Synopses & Reviews
This second edition of a highly acclaimed and interdisciplinary book which quickly established itself as a seminal text in its field investigates the way in which travel writing has constructed an image of the world beyond Europe for European readerships.
Focusing on writing about South America and Africa in relation to the political and economic expansion of Europe, this long-awaited second edition of Imperial Eyes:
- is updated throughout, including a new preface, an updated introduction and a postscript reflecting critically on the category of the 'postcolonial' and how it has changed since the first edition was published in 1992
- contains new material, which reads well-known Latin American texts through the concept of neocoloniality and continues to discuss more general questions of the postcolonial in relation to the Americas and new ways of expressing late twentieth-century experiences of migration and displacement
- contains new illustrations of relevant documents and artefacts discussed within the text.
How has travel writing produced "the rest of the world" for European readerships?
How does one speak of transculturation from the colonies to the metropolis?
Studies in colonial and exploration discourse have identified the enormous significance of travel writing as an ideological apparatus of Empire. The study of travel writing has, however, remained either naively celebratory or dismissive, treating texts as symptoms of imperial ideologies.
"Imperial Eyes" explores European travel and exploration writing, in connection with European economic and political expansion since 1700. It is both a study in genre, and a critique of ideology. Pratt examines how travel books by Europeans create the domestic subject of European imperialism, and how they engage metropolitan reading publics with expansionist enterprises whose material benefits accrued mainly to the very few. These questions are addressed through readings of particular travel accounts connected with particularhistorical transitions, from the eighteenth century to Paul Theroux: sentimental travel writing and its links with abolitionist rhetoric, discursive reinventions of South America during the period of its independence (1800-1840), and eighteenth-century European writings on Southern Africa in the context of inland expansion.
Includes bibliographical references (p. -250) and index.