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    Travellers' visions: French encounters with Japan, 1887-2004

    Kawakami, Akane (2006) Travellers' visions: French encounters with Japan, 1887-2004. Liverpool, UK: Liverpool University Press. ISBN 9780853237301.

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    Book synopsis: What is involved in seeing a foreign culture? Guidebooks, historical references and cultural prejudices constantly colour what the traveller might hope to see afresh, with a naked eye. Through whose eyes, for instance, do we see Japan today? This book is an analytical history of French literary images of Japan, since its reopening to the West in 1854 to the present day. It aims to analyse the social and historical contexts surrounding French perceptions of Japan, to present close readings of selected texts, and to show how Japan offers an exceptional instance in postcolonial studies of French literary relations with the east, being a Far Eastern country that was never colonised by the west. The book is centrally concerned with the experience of seeing and understanding a foreign culture, focusing on each writers individual vision of Japan. Each of these is related to a specific mode of travel journalism, diplomacy, collecting, ethnography, photography and each writer is discussed as a different type of traveller. The book offers an unusual angle on the work of canonical writers such as Proust, Claudel, Michaux and Barthes, as well as being an introduction to several less well-known writers such as Farrère, Loti and Gérard Macé. Interdisciplinary in scope, the end result is the history of the intercultural exchanges between France and Japan, between a literary lineage and the object of its gaze, that is still relevant and pertinent today.


    Item Type: Book
    School: Birkbeck Faculties and Schools > Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences > School of Creative Arts, Culture and Communication
    Depositing User: Sarah Hall
    Date Deposited: 27 Feb 2018 11:26
    Last Modified: 09 Aug 2023 12:43


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