Gebote und Verbote des kindlichen Blicks: Adelbert von Chamisso und die Reise um die Welt

Translated title of the contribution: From the Perspective of the Child: Suppositions and Prohibitions in Adelbert von Chamisso’s Reise um die Welt

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (Book)Researchpeer-review


The encounter with the foreign, given either as another individual or as an unknown space, here the space of the Pacific, calls for a specific disposition. It entails on one hand an affective and unconscious disposition, on the other hand a conscious positioning of the subject in lieu of the other. Chamisso’s travel account Reise um die Welt (1836), which consists of the amended Bemerkungen und Ansichten (first published in 1821) and the so-called Tagebuch, i.e. the journal, written two decades after the voyage, oscillates between an ironic-resigned distancing view and one which emphasises the emotional proximity of the traveller.
Current research deems Chamisso to be a philosophical travel writer. Gabriele Dürbeck locates his travel prose within the genre of popular science. She appreciates his ethnographical descriptions, in particular his observations of the Caroline and Marshall Islands, but she also criticises his rousseauistic exoticism in his discourse on the ‘noble savage’. However, the Reise um die Welt, and particularly the Tagebuch, is not only a philosophical but first and foremost a psychological and analytical travel account. Chamisso’s Reise um die Welt stages the experience of the Pacific not through the perspective of the cosmopolitan, masculine and adult explorer but via the figure of the child. This perspective of the child is in Chamisso’s case neither naïve nor innocent but complex and sexually differentiated.
Translated title of the contributionFrom the Perspective of the Child: Suppositions and Prohibitions in Adelbert von Chamisso’s Reise um die Welt
Original languageGerman
Title of host publicationPazifikismus
Subtitle of host publicationPoetiken des Stillen Ozeans
EditorsJohannes Görbert, Mario Kumekawa, Thomas Schwarz
Place of PublicationWürzburg Germany
PublisherVerlag Königshausen & Neumann
Number of pages15
ISBN (Print)9783826061691
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2017

Publication series

NameRezeptionskulturen in Literatur- und Mediengeschichte
PublisherKönigshausen und Neumann

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