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Curiosity and the aesthetics of travel writing, 1770-1840 [electronic resource] : 'from an antique land' /
Nigel Leask.
imprint
Oxford ; New York : Oxford University Press, 2002.
description
x, 338 p. : ill.
ISBN
0199247005 (Cloth)
format(s)
Book
Holdings
More Details
imprint
Oxford ; New York : Oxford University Press, 2002.
isbn
0199247005 (Cloth)
restrictions
Licensed for access by U. of T. users.
general note
Title from e-book title screen (viewed October 15, 2007).
catalogue key
7370392
 
Includes bibliographical references (p. [315]-328) and index.
A Look Inside
Reviews
Review Quotes
... addresses the intersections between space and time more fully than any other recent book on Romantic travel ... Leask's detailed study contributes valuably to the body of criticism on Romantic travel literature and, more broadly, to criticism on Romantic conceptions of place and space.
At every turn, this book admirably resists overgeneralization and reductionism.
Leask ranges more widely than any of his predecessors ... Leask admirably rises to the challenge by widening his scrutiny beyond works composed in English ... an admirable and original synthesis of much rarely explored travel material.
Leask's approach is characterized by scrupulous attention to detail, ingenuity, and subtlety.
This is a timely, engrossing, and important revisionary account of Romantic period travel writing; for textual/theoretical journeying, it is the most accomplished ars apodemica to date.
"This is a timely, engrossing, and important revisionary account of Romantic period travel writing.... Leask's approach is characterized by scrupulous attention to detail, ingenuity, and subtlety."-- Byron Journal "Wide-ranging and discriminating.... Leask's book is refreshingly comparative, and boldly breaks new ground.... He unsettles a number of orthodoxies which have cramped our understanding of what happened when Western Europeans travelled outside the boundaries of their own civilization."-- Times Literary Supplement "Addresses the intersections between space and time more fully than any other recent book on Romantic travel.... Leask's detailed study contributes valuably to the body of criticism on Romantic travel literature and, more broadly, to criticism on Romantic conceptions of place and space."-- European Romantic Review
"This is a timely, engrossing, and important revisionary account of Romantic period travel writing.... Leask's approach is characterized by scrupulous attention to detail, ingenuity, and subtlety."--Byron Journal "Wide-ranging and discriminating.... Leask's book is refreshingly comparative, and boldly breaks new ground.... He unsettles a number of orthodoxies which have cramped our understanding of what happened when Western Europeans travelled outside the boundaries of their own civilization."--TimesLiterary Supplement "Addresses the intersections between space and time more fully than any other recent book on Romantic travel.... Leask's detailed study contributes valuably to the body of criticism on Romantic travel literature and, more broadly, to criticism on Romantic conceptions of place and space."--EuropeanRomantic Review "Wide-ranging and discriminating.... Leask's book is refreshingly comparative, and boldly breaks new ground.... He unsettles a number of orthodoxies which have cramped our understanding of what happened when Western Europeans travelled outside the boundaries of their own civilization."--TimesLiterary Supplement "This is a timely, engrossing, and important revisionary account of Romantic period travel writing.... Leask's approach is characterized by scrupulous attention to detail, ingenuity, and subtlety."--Byron Journal "Addresses the intersections between space and time more fully than any other recent book on Romantic travel.... Leask's detailed study contributes valuably to the body of criticism on Romantic travel literature and, more broadly, to criticism on Romantic conceptions of place and space."--EuropeanRomantic Review UNEDITED UK REVIEW: "Review from hardback edition... addresses the intersections between space and time more fully than any other recent book on Romantic travel ... Leask's detailed study contributes valuably to the body of criticism on Romantic travel literature and, more broadly, to criticism on Romantic conceptions of place and space."--European Romantic Review UNEDITED UK REVIEW: "Review from previous editionWide-ranging and discriminating . . . Leask's book is refreshingly comparative, and boldly breaks new ground . . . He unsettles a number of orthodoxies which have cramped our understanding of what happened when Western Europeans travelled outside the boundaries of their own civilization."--David Womersley, Times Literary Supplement UNEDITED UK REVIEW: "Leask ranges more widely than any of his predecessors . . . Leask admirably rises to the challenge by widening his scrutiny beyond works composed in English . . . an admirable and original synthesis of much rarely explored travel material."--Studies in Travel Writing "The analysis Leask gives of the problems at the heart of travel writing should prove of interest to students of the early novel and of nascent ethnography and anthropology.Curiosity and the Aesthetics of Travel Writingis scholarship of high caliber." --Eighteenth-Century Life
'Wide-ranging and discriminating ... Leask's book is refreshingly comparative, and boldly breaks new ground ... He unsettles a number of orthodoxies which have cramped our understanding of what happened when Western Europeans travelled outside the boundaries of their own civilization.'David Womersley, Times Literary Supplement
'Wide-ranging and discriminating ... Leask's book is refreshinglycomparative, and boldly breaks new ground ... He unsettles a number oforthodoxies which have cramped our understanding of what happened when WesternEuropeans travelled outside the boundaries of their own civilization.'David Womersley, Times Literary Supplement
"Wide-ranging and discriminating.... Leask's book is refreshingly comparative, and boldly breaks new ground.... He unsettles a number of orthodoxies which have cramped our understanding of what happened when Western Europeans travelled outside the boundaries of their own civilization."-- Times Literary Supplement "This is a timely, engrossing, and important revisionary account of Romantic period travel writing.... Leask's approach is characterized by scrupulous attention to detail, ingenuity, and subtlety."-- Byron Journal "Addresses the intersections between space and time more fully than any other recent book on Romantic travel.... Leask's detailed study contributes valuably to the body of criticism on Romantic travel literature and, more broadly, to criticism on Romantic conceptions of place and space."-- European Romantic Review
Introduction: Practices and Narratives of Romantic Travel 1. Cycles of Accumulation, Curiosity, and Temporal Exchange 2. Curious Narratives and the Problem of Creidt: James Bruce's 'Travels to Discover the Source of the Nile' 3. 'Young Menmon' and Romantic Egyptomania: pt. 1 Shelley's 'Ozymandias' and Napoleon's Savants; pt. 2 Belzoni, Burckhardt, and the 'Rape of the Nile' 4. Indian Travel Writing and the Imperial Picturesque 5. Domesticating Distance: Three Women Travel Writers in British India 6. Alexander von Humboldt and the Romantic Imagination of America (the Impossibility of Personal Narrative) Conclusion: William Bullock's Mexico and the Reassertion of Popular Curiosity Bibliography Index
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Summaries
Bowker Data Service Summary
Drawing on original texts and modern scholarship in literature, history and anthropology, this text focuses on the unstable discourse of curiosity to offer a reformulation of the relations between literature, aesthetics and colonialism in the period.
Long Description
The 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 credit worthiness, and the nebulous epistemological 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.
Long Description
The first book of its kind to study the Romantic obsession with the "antique lands" of Ethiopia, Egypt, India, and Mexico, Curiosity and the Aesthetics of Travel Writing is an important contribution to the recent wave of interest in exotic travel writing. Drawing generously on both original texts and modern scholarship in literature, history, geography, and anthropology, it focuses on the unstable discourse of "curiosity" to offer an important reformulation of the relations between literature, aesthetics, and colonialism in the period.
Main Description
The 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 studiesthe 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 ofantiquarianism, 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 'geographicalnarrative', 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.
Table of Contents
Introduction: Practices and Narratives of Romantic Travel
Cycles of Accumulation, Curiosity, and Temporal Exchange
Curious Narratives and the Problem of Creidt: James Bruce's 'Travels to Discover the Source of the Nile'
'Young Menmon' and Romantic Egyptomania: pt. 1 Shelley's 'Ozymandias' and Napoleon's Savants
2 Belzoni, Burckhardt, and the 'Rape of the Nile'
Indian Travel Writing and the Imperial Picturesque
Domesticating Distance: Three Women Travel Writers in British India
Alexander von Humboldt and the Romantic Imagination of America (the Impossibility of Personal Narrative)
Conclusion: William Bullock's Mexico and the Reassertion of Popular Curiosity
Bibliography
Index
Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.

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