Sites of Celtic Authenticity in post-Ossian Francophone Travelogues

Williams, Heather (2023) Sites of Celtic Authenticity in post-Ossian Francophone Travelogues. Australian Journal of French Studies. ISSN 2046-2913

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Through a series of close readings from French-language travelogues on the “Celtic” north, this article illustrates the importance of place to the authentic experience of poetry among the generations that had fallen under the spell of Ossian at the end of the eighteenth century. It traces the motif of the “poetic encounter” through texts by Faujas de Saint-Fond, Necker de Saussure, Charles Nodier, Astolphe de Custine and Alfred Erny. Spanning almost a century, these texts show that in investigating the distant past there is no substitute for going sur place and experiencing the landscape. This article contrasts the various ways in which the “Celtic” land generates poetry: through the medium of ghosts, visions or just through inspiration. An evolution of attitudes towards untranslatability and poetic authenticity is also traced and is contextualized in the history of translation. "Sans contredit le plus beau point de vue de l’Écosse est pris du coin du feu, vis-à-vis d’Ossian et de Walter Scott"1 —Custine

Item Type: Article
Subjects: P Language and Literature > PB Modern European Languages
Divisions: Centre for Advanced Welsh and Celtic Studies
Depositing User: Natalie Williams
Date Deposited: 23 Mar 2023 11:47
Last Modified: 20 Dec 2023 10:45

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