Repräsentation und Augenschein : Organisation des Wissens und Wahrnehmung des Fremden um 1800 am Beispiel der Reiseberichte und -tagebücher Alexander von Humboldts

  • In der Moderne gilt die instrumentelle Vernunft als eine Bedingung für Objektivität und Rationalität. Der Vortrag wendet sich anhand dieser Überlegung der Frage zu, in welcher Weise sie die Begegnung mit dem Fremden um 1800 prägt und welche Organisationsformen von Wissen sie zur Voraussetzung hat. Wie gestalten die Repräsentationen europäischer Wissensbestände jenen globalen Bezugsrahmen aus, in dem die Reiseberichte und -tagebücher Alexander von Humboldts heute stehen? Seine Aufzeichnungen über die Eroberung der Neuen Welt, so die These, stellen das Verhältnis der europäischen Sinnwelt zur vermeintlichen Unmittelbarkeit des Augenscheins und zur Welt der Sinne in den Mittelpunkt. Durch einen Vergleich mit den Schriften Georg Forsters wird darüber hinaus deutlich, in welcher Weise an der Wende des 18. zum 19. Jahrhundert ein Wandel der Darstellungsformen eingeleitet worden ist, der über das Genre des Reiseberichts weit hinausweist.
  • Alexander von Humboldt's American travelogue (Relation historique du Voyage aux Régions équinoxiales du Nouveau Continent, 3 vols., 1814-1831) defies generic definitions: It is a complex hybrid of diverse scientific discourses, documentations of empirical data, diary writing, and traditional forms of travel narrative. Humboldt's poetics specifically undermine the conventional format of the travelogue. All its central features which could lend the text coherence and make it readable for the recipient, are charged with multiple meanings and become thus destabilized: (1) the subject (traveller, author, narrator, signature, personal pronouns), (2) the object (the countries that the travelogue is supposed to thematize, their various and contradictory forms of denomination and description in the text), (3) the addressee (the explicit narratee as well as the implicit reader and the interpretive community), and finally (4) the text itself (as a literary genre or discoursive phenomenon, its format, its polyphony, its self-reference and self-reAlexander von Humboldt's American travelogue (Relation historique du Voyage aux Régions équinoxiales du Nouveau Continent, 3 vols., 1814-1831) defies generic definitions: It is a complex hybrid of diverse scientific discourses, documentations of empirical data, diary writing, and traditional forms of travel narrative. Humboldt's poetics specifically undermine the conventional format of the travelogue. All its central features which could lend the text coherence and make it readable for the recipient, are charged with multiple meanings and become thus destabilized: (1) the subject (traveller, author, narrator, signature, personal pronouns), (2) the object (the countries that the travelogue is supposed to thematize, their various and contradictory forms of denomination and description in the text), (3) the addressee (the explicit narratee as well as the implicit reader and the interpretive community), and finally (4) the text itself (as a literary genre or discoursive phenomenon, its format, its polyphony, its self-reference and self-reflection). A narratological analysis and a structural reading lead us to the question of how Humboldt's poetics reflect his approach to cultural difference. The specific kind of deconstruction of the travelogue which is at work here de-authorizes imperial forms of colonial writing. There are no "identities" and "differences" which can be defined unequivocally from a privileged perspective. Humboldt's travelogue can thus be read within the paradigm provided by contemporary postcolonial theory: In the encounter with "the other", Homi Bhabha observed, "the language of the master becomes hybrid".show moreshow less

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Metadaten
Author:Eva-Maria Siegel
URN:urn:nbn:de:kobv:517-opus-34987
Document Type:Postprint
Language:German
Date of Publication (online):2009/09/02
Year of Completion:2003
Publishing Institution:Universität Potsdam
Release Date:2009/09/02
Source:HiN : Alexander von Humboldt im Netz, IV (2003) 7
Organizational units:Philosophische Fakultät / Institut für Romanistik
Dewey Decimal Classification:0 Informatik, Informationswissenschaft, allgemeine Werke / 00 Informatik, Wissen, Systeme / 000 Informatik, Informationswissenschaft, allgemeine Werke
Collections:Universität Potsdam / Zeitschriften / HiN : Alexander von Humboldt im Netz ; International Review for Humboldtian Studies, ISSN 1617-5239 / HiN IV, 7 (2003)
Licence (German):License LogoKeine Nutzungslizenz vergeben - es gilt das deutsche Urheberrecht
Notes extern:The original publication is available at
http://www.hin-online.de