Title

Reading, Walking, and Writing the Camino de Santiago

Presentation Type

Presentation

Abstract

Santiago de Compostela, a city in Galicia, Spain, has been said since the 8th century to hold the remains of St. James, an apostle and the patron saint of Spain. Old walking routes, still in use, fork all throughout the European continent toward this singular destination, with the collective label of the “Way of St. James,” (the Camino de Santiago in Spanish, Le Chemin du St. Jacques in French). For nine months of this past year, the Camino de Santiago and the study of pilgrimage was my singular destination as well. I studied the history of pilgrimage, European pilgrimage literature, and travel- and spirituality-based nature writing. I then left my books and completed the pilgrimage myself, starting about a thousand miles away in the town of Le Puy outside of Lyon, France. The nature writing I will present is my attempt to synthesize my research and experience into an account of my pilgrimage. I have reworked my notes from journals on the pilgrimage, pieces of the studies I completed in the summer, and tales and histories that I learned on the Camino route into my essays, works of creative scholarship, which use my personal experience as a medium to speak of essential themes in pilgrimage—rites of passage, burdens, creating new temporary communities, walking through a blend of myth and history, and searching for a great mystery.

Category

Humanities

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Apr 17th, 1:40 PM Apr 17th, 2:00 PM

Reading, Walking, and Writing the Camino de Santiago

UC 331

Santiago de Compostela, a city in Galicia, Spain, has been said since the 8th century to hold the remains of St. James, an apostle and the patron saint of Spain. Old walking routes, still in use, fork all throughout the European continent toward this singular destination, with the collective label of the “Way of St. James,” (the Camino de Santiago in Spanish, Le Chemin du St. Jacques in French). For nine months of this past year, the Camino de Santiago and the study of pilgrimage was my singular destination as well. I studied the history of pilgrimage, European pilgrimage literature, and travel- and spirituality-based nature writing. I then left my books and completed the pilgrimage myself, starting about a thousand miles away in the town of Le Puy outside of Lyon, France. The nature writing I will present is my attempt to synthesize my research and experience into an account of my pilgrimage. I have reworked my notes from journals on the pilgrimage, pieces of the studies I completed in the summer, and tales and histories that I learned on the Camino route into my essays, works of creative scholarship, which use my personal experience as a medium to speak of essential themes in pilgrimage—rites of passage, burdens, creating new temporary communities, walking through a blend of myth and history, and searching for a great mystery.