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L’environnement comme objet de médiation littéraire dans les récits d’exploration de Zebulon Pike et Zadok Cramer dans la vallée du Mississippi

Abstract : Questioning the inclusion of exploration writings in the field of travel literature leads to examine the definition of this type of text. The genre’s complexity requires to think travel narratives in terms of continuity rather than in terms of categories based on scientific and literary features. However, understanding exploration writings as a branch of literary travel narratives seems to depend on the reconsideration of their scientific value and objectivity. In the early 19th century, Zebulon Pike and Zadok Cramer’s writings offer a verbal depiction of the abundance of the Mississippi Valley, among which landscape descriptions. The explorers’ points of views propel the reader not in a geographical space but in a literary one. Nathalie Blanc, Thomas Pughe and Denis Chartier question "the link between environmental awareness and literary esthetics" (Blanc, Chartier, Pughe 2008, 36). Studying the link between nonhuman encounter and the literarity of these narratives also questions the link between environment and imagination, as well as the link between what is described by the traveller and what is received by the reader. We will examine the environmental knowledge which appears in Cramer’s Navigator (Cramer 1811) as well as in Pike’s Exploratory Travels (Pike 1810) connected to their literary scope. We will determine why and how some elements from the Mississippian nature—in particular the beauty of the river and the abundance provided by its surroundings—raise in the explorer and the reader an awareness of what is around, if not a feeling of wonder at the sight of nature which becomes an object of literary mediation.
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https://hal.univ-lorraine.fr/hal-03171197
Contributor : Gaelle LAFARGE LAURENT Connect in order to contact the contributor
Submitted on : Tuesday, March 16, 2021 - 6:18:06 PM
Last modification on : Thursday, January 27, 2022 - 4:33:59 PM

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Gaelle Lafarge Laurent. L’environnement comme objet de médiation littéraire dans les récits d’exploration de Zebulon Pike et Zadok Cramer dans la vallée du Mississippi. Caliban : French Journal of English Linguistics, 2018, 59, pp.73-87. ⟨10.4000/caliban.3744⟩. ⟨hal-03171197⟩

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