Spaces of Identity - Part 16

posted by usha on 2006/03/09 22:01

[ Spaces of Identity ]

Yesterday, I was attending a very interesting lecture on travel accounts from the beginning to the 18th century given by Prof. Le Huenen, Director of Comparative Literature at Toronto.

Prof. Le Huenen approached the topic via its formal aspects and set forth a "poetics of travel narratives". The travelogue, so he stated, can be understood, though not strictly definded, as a genre torn between narrative/fictional and descriptive/accumulating aspects.

The demarcation line between fiction and fact is very thin here, and most often one cannot decide whether the described object is the main point or is just remodeled into an objective for presenting knowledge and discourse.

Thus, the chronology of events which constitute a narrative and the one of of a log book which is part of description have to be brought together to balance discourse, description, and narrative. Crucial for this sort of travel account is the visual field, while in fiction it is mostly peripheral and subordinate to the unfolding of events.

Furthermore, travel accounts always deal with the Other, either in a geographical and territorial, in a cultural, and in a narrative sense. The description is appropriation on various levels. Thus, what is created within the "emplotment" are Spaces of Identity and Diversity.



You are welcome to participate in this blog. Please, post your comments and suggestions either by using the button "reply" at the bottom of each blog or send them to
> RSS Feed RSS 2.0 feed for Kakanien Revisited Blog Redaktion