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Reiseliteratur als Landesbeschreibung: eine Untersuchung zur Bewertung von Reiseliteratur durch die Geographie im späten 19. und frühen 20. Jahrhundert

Travel literature as a regional description: an examination for the evaluation of travel literature throughout the geography of the late 19th and early 20th century
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Miggelbrink, Judith

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Abstract The starting point of this examination is the thesis, that there is a mutual correlation between the geographic-scientific interest in countries and landscapes, which crystallised after the establishment of the subject geography as an university discipline in 1870, and a tourist interest in landscapes and the population of the tourists' own country and unknown regions. A new, middle class relationship to nature, experienced during periods of travel developed in the tourism of the early 19th century, as well as a new perception and digestion of the impressions gained of foreign countries and cultures. The new patterns and forms of perception were canonised and standardised in the travel guides published since the first third of the 19th century. In this way, a new form of depicting (foreign) regions developed, which scientists were able to tackle. In order to examine this context, reviews of the travel literature were analysed, which had been published in the Geographische Zeitschrift between 1895 and 1944. The travel literature from the (university) geographers in the phase up until the First World War was not only included in its function as a regional description, rather, it is also taken as a medium for conveying regional studies in a manner which is satisfactory to meet the geographical requirements. In the ideal case -as the scientists demanded- geographers should write regional studies introductions to the travel area for the large, respected publishers of travel guides. This idea has particularly been fulfilled since 1918. In the period between 1918 and 1944, the depiction of the landscape became the central category in the perception and evaluation of travel literature by geographers, who now increasingly started to propagate an emotional access to nature. This means that they simultaneously demand that science should be bound to a style of depiction that appeals to the sense of beauty and emotion. A direct comparison of travel guides and geographic-regional depictions of the Sudeten Mountains for the same period demonstrates, on the one hand, parallels and differences between both categories and, on the other hand, changes within the patterns of regional depictions. In front of the backdrop of the changing selfevidence of this subject, geography has dealt with travel literature as a form of modern production of regional depictions and regional impressions, even if often very little distance was left to the subject matter at hand.
Keywords geography; tourism; psychology of perception; literature; travel
Classification Area Development Planning, Regional Research; Cultural Sociology, Sociology of Art, Sociology of Literature; Natural Science and Engineering, Applied Sciences; Leisure Research; General Psychology
Document language German
Publication Year 1995
Page/Pages p. 37-46
Journal Europa Regional, 3.1995 (1995) 4
ISSN 0943-7142
Status Published Version; reviewed
Licence Deposit Licence - No Redistribution, No Modifications