Talk:Travel literature

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Lists and sources[edit]

Well, right or wrong, we have a problem: the list is growing alarmingly, with no sign of sources; and the text part of the article is also accreting uncited examples and claims, including of travel blogs with no support and direct primary links embedded in the text. In short it's becoming a mess. I think we will have to split off the list so it sinks or swims on its own merits. It might be worth splitting it further by century, so at least the older centuries might escape deletion, as sources should not be hard to find. The more outrageous claims in the article can be marked Citation Needed, while uncited bloglists should just be removed. Shall we go for it? Chiswick Chap (talk) 07:32, 14 October 2013 (UTC)

In the absence of discussion, I've been bold and done it. At least it has a bibliography. Chiswick Chap (talk) 16:59, 16 October 2013 (UTC)

I Totally agree with that. By the way, What's the particular purpose of citation in a list? Each item is supposed to link to an article, which in turn it's supported by its own references Engranaje (talk) 03:15, 22 October 2013 (UTC)

Oh, you think that? Wow. This is a basic feature of Wikipedia, that claims (basically, every claim, though not everybody agrees yet) must be supported by reliable sources such as books and scientific journals. But, you argue, a wikilink points to another page which defines and describes and discusses the fact over there, so why bother to provide another source over here? Well, what if that other page is unsourced, or unreliably sourced? Suppose it's a total load of tosh, in fact? We can't rely on it at all, in that case; and since we can't know whether its sources are any good until we read them, we need to have at least one source (for this particular fact) over here as well. The general assumption that Wikipedia makes about Wikipedia articles is therefore that they are unreliable sources! The definition of what a reliable source is, is roughly something that has been written by a named person and published in a reputable place which has ensured its accuracy - say, Professor Bloggs has published a paper on Sponges in Nature. The Prof doesn't want to make himself and his university look stupid; and the journal takes great care to protect its name by reviewing every paper very carefully. By the end, the chance that nonsense will slip through is very small. Whereas here on Wikipedia ... you know the rest. So, sources are needed, including in lists. Oh, you'll argue. Other lists are totally unsourced crap, so why shouldn't this one be? Well, WP:OTHERSTUFFEXISTS is no kind of argument for adding rubbish, I'm afraid. So, that's what you are Totally agreeing with: fully cited articles. FWIW, I believe list articles *especially* need citations for each item, as each one is essentially an unrelated claim, whereas in a normal article, a citation in a section may easily support every claim made there (different details of Prof Bloggs's sponges, say). All the best, Chiswick Chap (talk) 03:30, 22 October 2013 (UTC)

I'll make my own point clear with an example. I don't see any references here nor there. So would you say they are crappy lists? In my opinion a list is just a list, it just lists. If any plants, or painters by name beginning with "A" or books or authors that don't belong to the genre of travel literature appear in any of those, they will have to be removed. As simple as that. Engranaje (talk) 04:16, 22 October 2013 (UTC)

They are tidy but not correct; this is a core Wikipedia policy. Coming back to our own focus, the looming threat is of deletion if anyone takes exception to the list: one was deleted before. The only defence will be that the article is well constructed, well sourced, and especially, not indiscriminate. Therefore we must ruthlessly remove anything that is not defensible, and provide firm defences for everything else. Otherwise the end is inevitable. Chiswick Chap (talk) 07:35, 22 October 2013 (UTC)

Would you mind showing me a list that fulfils those requirements? Engranaje (talk) 22:48, 31 October 2013 (UTC)

I believe I have reminded you that WP:OTHERSTUFFEXISTS is not a valid argument at AfD. However, List of camouflage methods is an example of good practice. I trust this conversation is now closed. Chiswick Chap (talk) 09:00, 1 November 2013 (UTC)

Fine. I'll see what I can do. Engranaje (talk) 23:30, 9 November 2013 (UTC)

Cévennes view[edit]

Re comment on image -- this was my somewhat desperate attempt to brighten the article, as the two existing images were so dull. The diagram should be deleted and the Cévennes view is purely decoration and expendable. Rwood128 (talk) 23:27, 8 January 2014 (UTC)

But was it perhaps the Goethe image? That seems relevant. Rwood128 (talk) 23:52, 8 January 2014 (UTC)

I think we're talking WP:UNDUE here, but there is certainly no call for decoration. Image should illuminate and clarify the text. The real problem is that the article ceaselessly attracts listcruft (read, publisher spamvertisementcruft), and attempts to write an actual history or overview have been scant. The article should be cited and illustrated from books or papers ABOUT the topic, rather than being 'in-universe' from within a book or two. Chiswick Chap (talk) 07:09, 9 January 2014 (UTC)
You have been busy. I'll have a closer look, but I was surprised to see nature writing as travel - the genre can be totally static and close to home. Seems an odd call - any reason for it? Chiswick Chap (talk) 18:59, 9 January 2014 (UTC)

Nature writing et al[edit]

Re the query as to why Nature writing is included, see that article for an explanation -- though I was just copying from Outdoor literature in the edit. Perhaps it should be removed? Rwood128 (talk) 19:36, 9 January 2014 (UTC)

We're having trouble because this is all piecemeal. What we need is a solid overview, which means reliable sources that talk about travel literature (rather than being our favourite examples of it). Some websites that might be useful are:

BTW 'travelogue' is often used to mean 'travel journal', the definition in the article may be WP:OR or WP:POV and suspect! Chiswick Chap (talk) 20:14, 9 January 2014 (UTC)

  • Yes, I agree.

But I don't understand the point about travelogue, though the word isn't in my vocabulary (American usage?). The definition is from a reputable dictionary and I've now checked other dictionaries, which have more or less the same, though some omit books. I found no reference to travel journals, but these are older dictionaries.

I guess the usage is travel-log like ship's log; I have no opinion on it, except that the article had 2 different usages. Any sensible resolution will do.

On another point, why not include travel journal in the opening sentence, which includes a series of sub-genres? Rwood128 (talk) 21:42, 9 January 2014 (UTC)

OK, but the lead should not be one sentence, but three or four paragraphs summarizing the article, once it's been written... Chiswick Chap (talk) 22:03, 9 January 2014 (UTC)

I'm still trying to understand. Are you saying that "travel journals, diaries and direct records of a traveler's experiences" are not normally literature? I read the article's title as including all 'travel writing'.

No! I've no idea how you came to that conclusion. Travel journals and diaries are clearly capable of becoming travel literature, most likely by being worked up for publication. Chiswick Chap (talk) 06:38, 10 January 2014 (UTC)

The two different usages I take to be:

  • (1) Works written for publication, with possible literary pretensions, and
  • (2) Journals, diaries, etc., which were not written for publication and only occasionally have literary, as opposed to historical or scientific, value.

I presume that the article should not include, films, documentaries, and lectures -- travelogues. I note that travelogue is used to mean travel writing, despite what dictionaries say. If, what I surmise is correct, I'll try revising the preamble. Rwood128 (talk) 23:04, 9 January 2014 (UTC)

(1) and (2) are both clearly relevant to the article. Films and lectures surely aren't. Chiswick Chap (talk) 06:38, 10 January 2014 (UTC)