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Photography and the cultural encounter in François Maspero's and Nicolas Bouvier's Chronique japonaise

Gorrara, Claire Jacqueline ORCID: and Topping, Margaret Eileen 2008. Photography and the cultural encounter in François Maspero's and Nicolas Bouvier's Chronique japonaise. Journal of Romance Studies 8 (1) , pp. 61-75. 10.3828/jrs.8.1.61

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This article examines two textual and photographic narratives depicting travel to regions that have been subject to politically and/or ideologically inflected forms of representation by the western European gaze: François Maspero’ Balkans-Transit (1997), with photographs by Klavdij Sluban, and Nicholas Bouvier’s Chronique japonaise (1975). Despite their diverse geographical settings, the two texts share the ethical and humanist endeavour of contesting reductive national and ethnic stereotypes in favour of cultural encounters that promote the vibrancy of intercultural contact and knowledge. Yet these journeys, inscribed in words and images, are also shot through with intimations of the fragmentary and precarious nature of such an endeavour. This article analyses the contribution of the photographic narratives to these textual projects, focusing in particular on the ways in which they challenge received views, reframe cultural historics and open up new spaces for the reader and viewer to imagine ‘elsewhere’.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Modern Languages
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HN Social history and conditions. Social problems. Social reform
P Language and Literature > PN Literature (General) > PN0080 Criticism
Uncontrolled Keywords: Travel; phototextuality; cultural encounter; Japan; Balkans; national stereotypes
Publisher: Berghahn Journals
ISSN: 1473-3536
Last Modified: 19 Oct 2022 09:47

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