Journal article

Imperial ice? The influence of empire on contemporary french and british antarctic travel writing

J Dutton

Studies in Travel Writing | Published : 2009


This paper proposes a comparative study of imperialism in recent travel narratives to Antarctic regions by the French political commentator Jean-Paul Kauffmann and the English literary critic Francis Spufford. In spite of the apparent homogeneity of these desolate and austere landscapes of ice and snow, it is evident that the ‘French’ ice of the Kerguelen Islands appeals to Kauffmann whereas the ‘British’ ice of the South Pole beckons to Spufford, echoing the traditional relationship between colony and Empire. Drawing on Mary Louise Pratt’s Imperial Eyes, I question whether these two contemporary travel narratives constitute classic examples of the imperial gaze or whether, in the absence of..

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University of Melbourne Researchers