“The exotic is me or another.” Space and time in travelogues: the Countess of Merlin and Luisa Valenzuela
Keywords:Travel literature, women writers, identities
The study focuses on two examples of travel writers. The first one is a nineteenth century French Cuban writer, Countess of Merlin, who travelled alone from Paris to Havana in the mid-nineteenth century observing the world from an intermediate perspective, between the estrangement of a colonizer and the colonized. The fruit of this experience is La Havane (1844). The second one is Argentina’s Luisa Valenzuela (born in Buenos Aires 1938), who rewrote the fairy tale “If this is life, I am Little Red Riding Hood”, which belongs to the collection “Cuentos de Hades” (Fairy/Hell Tales), published in Simetrás (1993). By studying the characteristics of this genre, which are very different in the two centuries considered, one can detect the importance of time as a factor in the emotional and existential perspective typical in the point of view of both travellers in the texts considered.
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