IALJS Conference edition:8 location:Tampere, Finland date:15 -18 May 2013
As much of literary journalism work is confronted with the boundaries of the sometimes strongly demarcated genres of literature and journalism, writers feel they should be extra alert about presenting an acceptable and persuasive ethos. This ethos negotiation takes place within the text, but it can also be influenced by extra-textual elements such as the position of the journalist or writer in the cultural domain. A significant case in point is a 575-pages nonfiction work written by the famous Dutch literary journalist Geert Mak. In his Travels Without John. In search of America (2012), he describes his 2010 journey through the United States, following the tracks of John Steinbeck who travelled exactly fifty years earlier and published his Travels with Charley in search of America in 1962. The arduous confrontation with this source text is striking, and it reveals some risks and pitfalls of literary journalism projects.