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Title: Discourses of Remembering: the Construction of Recollections in “Travels in West Africa”
Author: Bennett, Karen
Keywords: Mary Kingsley
travel writing
Issue Date: 2006
Publisher: Narr Francke Verlag
Citation: Bennett, Karen. ‘Discourses of Remembering: the Construction of Recollections in “Travels in West Africa”’ in Literature and Memory, Ansgar Nünning, Marion Gymnich, Roy Sommer (Eds.), Tübingen: Narr Francke Verlag, 2006
Abstract: Mary Kingsley’s Travels in West Africa, first published in 1887, is a book constructed out of memories. It was published following the author’s return from two amazing lone voyages to the Congo and Camaroon, and although is vaguely categorised today as ‘Travel Writing’, it was not originally conceived as a coherent unified whole. Instead, it was patched together from a series of different texts, some of which were possibly written in situ (notebook jottings), others during moments of reflection in Africa (diary entries and letters), and yet others upon the author’s return to England (extracts from the lectures that she gave to institutions as diverse as the Cheltenham Ladies College, Manchester Chamber of Commerce and the Royal Geographical Society). Consequently, the final product bears traces of many different narrative voices. This paper examines the ways in which distance (temporal, geographical and social) conditions Kingsley’s memories of Africa. It looks at how those memories are construed in the various discourses according to the degree of elaboration demanded by the conventions governing each one, and focuses on the way in which the construction of identity (of the Self and Other) is affected by the implied presence of particular narratees.
ISBN: 978-3-7720-8163-7; 3-7720-8163-0
Appears in Collections:FL - CEComp - Livros e Capítulos de Livros

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