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Veiled Encounters: Representing the Orient in 17th-Century French Travel Literature

Harrigan, Michael (2008) Veiled Encounters: Representing the Orient in 17th-Century French Travel Literature. Brill, United Kingdom (The full text of this publication is not currently available from this repository. You may be able to access a copy if URLs are provided) (KAR id:80134)

The full text of this publication is not currently available from this repository. You may be able to access a copy if URLs are provided.
Official URL
https://brill.com/view/title/29264

Abstract

Travel narratives were the principal source of knowledge about the lands of the Near East and the Indian Ocean Basin in 17th-century France. Claiming the authority of first-hand observation, they paradoxically rely for their legitimization on the tropes of an established literary tradition. The status of these texts remained ambiguous, not least because of their anecdotal depictions of great riches, brutality or sexual promise. Drawing on the insights of post-colonial scholarship, this study tackles a question given scant attention in previous work and suggests that beyond the hazy representation of the Orient, an opposition emerges between the threatening Near East and the indolent East Indies. Distinguishing recognizable representations from those generated by new encounters, this book questions the feasibility of cultural representation through travel, exploring a large corpus of original sources written by French ecclesiastics, gentlemen-travellers, ambassadors and adventurers. Linguistic, religious, cultural or geographical barriers meant most travellers remained distanced from the peoples about whom they would simultaneously become authoritative. The encounter was further transformed in narratives that were intended to entertain and to satisfy the criterion of curiosité. The ‘Oriental’ that emerges is a supremely variable entity, alternately naked or veiled, barbaric or civilized, menacing or attractive.

Item Type: Book
Uncontrolled keywords: Representations, Travel literature, curiosity, translation
Divisions: Divisions > Division of Arts and Humanities > School of Culture and Languages
Depositing User: Michael Harrigan
Date Deposited: 19 Feb 2020 15:01 UTC
Last Modified: 16 Nov 2021 10:26 UTC
Resource URI: https://kar.kent.ac.uk/id/eprint/80134 (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
Harrigan, Michael: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-5371-2528
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