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The Bird's-Eye View: Looking at the City in Paris and Algiers

The Bird's-Eye View: Looking at the City in Paris and Algiers Abstract: In the forty years following 1830, hundreds of travelogues, city descriptions, and histories of Algeria appeared, forming a literary topography for the new colony. This literature, part of the exoticist tradition in North Africa, did not develop in isolation: descriptions of Algiers took shape concurrently and symbiotically with descriptions of Paris published in even greater numbers. Conversely, perspectives and polemics from the metropolitan center were often informed by writing about the city on the colonial periphery. The French learned to describe cities through modes of observation elaborated in both Paris and Algiers. Moving to the supposed antipodes of the modern, to the anti-Paris constructed in the French imagination of Algiers, questions the received history of modernité . It suggests other loci for the tropes and techniques associated with it, and opens a new way to understand the role of the colony in the development of nineteenth-century French culture. (SG) http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Nineteenth Century French Studies uni_neb

The Bird's-Eye View: Looking at the City in Paris and Algiers

Nineteenth Century French Studies , Volume 36 (2) – Apr 25, 2008

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Publisher
University of Nebraska Press
Copyright
Copyright © 2008 The University of Nebraska Press
ISSN
1536-0172
Publisher site
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Abstract

Abstract: In the forty years following 1830, hundreds of travelogues, city descriptions, and histories of Algeria appeared, forming a literary topography for the new colony. This literature, part of the exoticist tradition in North Africa, did not develop in isolation: descriptions of Algiers took shape concurrently and symbiotically with descriptions of Paris published in even greater numbers. Conversely, perspectives and polemics from the metropolitan center were often informed by writing about the city on the colonial periphery. The French learned to describe cities through modes of observation elaborated in both Paris and Algiers. Moving to the supposed antipodes of the modern, to the anti-Paris constructed in the French imagination of Algiers, questions the received history of modernité . It suggests other loci for the tropes and techniques associated with it, and opens a new way to understand the role of the colony in the development of nineteenth-century French culture. (SG)

Journal

Nineteenth Century French Studiesuni_neb

Published: Apr 25, 2008

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