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Title:Travelling in Language and Image: Representing Alterity in French Romantic Fiction, Travel Narrative, Journalism, and Art, 1830--1870
Author(s):Shvets, Eteri
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Talbot, Emile J.
Department / Program:French
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Literature, Romance
Abstract:In his discussion of the importance of theorizing about "pictures" and their relationship to "words," W. J. T. Mitchell states that "the tensions between visual and verbal representations are inseparable from struggles in cultural politics and political culture" (3). The present study examines the implications of such tensions in the works of nineteenth-century artists and authors who often defined and influenced "cultural politics" and reflected "political culture" of their time: Delacroix, Fromentin, Sand, and Merimee. The mid-nineteenth-century nascent "society of the spectacle," to use Guy Debord's term, bearing the impact of colonization, political changes, an esthetic/scientific revolution of photography, and commercialization of works of art, represented a fertile ground for discussions on problems and politics of representation. An analysis of visual and discursive representations of alterity in the works by these authors is, therefore, an inquiry into an important cultural phenomenon of French society during the Romantic period. This study suggests that having appropriated the theme of the competition---or collaboration---between images and words, vision and language, visuality and discursivity, the works by Delacroix, Fromentin, Sand, and Merimee represent alterity in a way that is plural, unstable, and at times inconsistent with or even critical of dominant discourses. Their complexity, introspection, and novelistic "inconclusiveness," to use M. Bakhtin's term, indicate that the theme of exoticism and travel did not represent an end in itself, but rather served as a vehicle for discussions on contemporary esthetics, human nature, subjectivity, artistic mission, and the role and place of visual culture in modern society.
Issue Date:2003
Description:209 p.
Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2003.
Other Identifier(s):(MiAaPQ)AAI3111638
Date Available in IDEALS:2015-09-28
Date Deposited:2003

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