Curiosity and the Aesthetics of Travel-writing, 1770-1840
From an Antique Land
By (author) Nigel Leask
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Curiosity and the Aesthetics of Travel-writing, 1770-1840 by Nigel Leask
Book DescriptionThe decades between 1770 and 1840 are rich in exotic accounts of the ruin-strewn landscapes of Ethiopia, Egypt, India, and Mexico. Yet it is a field which has been neglected by scholars and which - unjustifiably - remains outside the literary canon. In this pioneering book, Nigel Leask studies the Romantic obsession with these 'antique lands', drawing generously on a wide range of eighteenth- and nineteenth-century travel books, as well as on recent scholarship in literature, history, geography, and anthropology. Viewing the texts primarily as literary works rather than 'transparent' adventure stories or documentary sources, he sets out to challenge the tendency in modern academic work to overemphasize the authoritative character of colonial discourse. Instead, he addresses the relationship between narrative, aesthetics, and colonialism through the unstable discourse of antiquarianism, exploring the effects of problems of creditworthiness, and the nebulous epistemologicial claims of 'curiosity' (a leitmotif of the accounts studied here), on the contemporary status of travel writing. Attentive to the often divergent idioms of elite and popular exoticism, Curiosity and the Aesthetics of Travel Writing plots the transformation of the travelogue through the period, as the baroque particularism of curiosity was challenged by picturesque aesthetics, systematic 'geographical narrative', and the emergence of a 'transcendental self' axiomatic to Romantic culture. In so doing it offers an important reformulation of the relations between literature, aesthetics, and empire in the late Enlightenment and Romantic periods.
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Book DetailsISBN: 9780199247004
(236mm x 163mm x 25mm)
Imprint: Oxford University Press
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Publish Date: 10-Jan-2002
Country of Publication: United Kingdom
Books By Author Nigel Leask
Robert Burns and Pastoral, Paperback (July 2015)
This book restores the long marginalised Scottish poet Robert Burns to his rightful place as a major poet of the 18th century and Romantic period. It discusses his education as a farmer during the revolutionary period of 'improvement' in 18th-century Scotland, decision to write 'Scots pastoral' poetry, and influence on Wordsworth and Coleridge.
Oxford Edition of the Works of Robert Burns, Hardback (August 2014)
The first volume in Oxford's new edition of The Collected Works of Robert Burns, this volume brings together Burns' prose works for the first time.
Romanticism and Popular Culture in Britain and Ireland, Paperback (June 2011)
An edited collection examining the construction of popular culture in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries.
Land, Nation and Culture, 1740-1840, Hardback (January 2005)» View all books by Nigel Leask
Critics and historians of the late 18th century have developed a multidisciplinary approach to the history of culture. This work, from literary critics and theorists, art historians and social historians, remaps the relations between culture and society, politics and aesthetics, law and representation.
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