Re-viewing the world: appropriations of travel writing in the French periodical press (1780–1820)
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionStudies in Travel Writing. 2017, 21 (2), . dx.doi.org/10.1080/13645145.2017.1330186
This article analyses practices of appropriation at work in French travel book reviews at the turn of the eighteenth century. It establishes six categories of appropriation, consisting of rhetorical, literary and formal devices, which entail different ways of altering, sometimes radically, sometimes almost imperceptibly, the value and functions of the travel texts. The article argues that travel book reviews operated to alter the representation of travel, in a form of journalistic criticism which sought not only to review a book, but also to remediate and appropriate a set of experiences, thus re-viewing the world described by the travelogue. The analysis of these appropriative practices sheds new light on the role of the French press as an actor in the public discourse on travel, history and geography, in a period where non-fictional travel writing was immensely popular among the reading public.