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Type: Journal article
Title: The narrative interruptions of science: The baudin expedition to australia (1800 - 1804)
Author: Fornasiero, F.
West-Sooby, J.
Citation: Forum for Modern Language Studies, 2013; 49(4):457-471
Publisher: Oxford Univ Press
Issue Date: 2013
ISSN: 0015-8518
Statement of
Jean Fornasiero and John West-Sooby
Abstract: The nature of scientific voyaging evolved considerably during the second half of the eighteenth century, as the focus shifted from speculative explorations aimed at geographical discovery to the more programmatic and methodical collection of data and specimens. Consequently, field work came to occupy an increasingly central place and, as this necessitated breaks in the journey, the notion of interruption became inscribed in the conception and practice of the voyage of discovery. Fresh narrative approaches were required both to reflect this change and to feed the growing public interest in natural history. This, however, posed a dilemma: how could detailed and often specialized scientific reporting be incorporated within travel accounts without interrupting the narrative flow? This essay proposes to address that question by conducting a detailed analysis of the textual records pertaining to the last of the great scientific voyages of this period: Nicolas Baudin's expedition to Australia (1800–1804). It will in particular attempt to explain why, despite the innovative approaches taken by the commander and by his leading scientist to weave the interruptions of science into a coherent narrative, this voyage ultimately failed to impose a new mode of scientific travel writing.
Keywords: Baudin, Nicolas; nineteenth century; scientific exploration; Australia; botanizing; travel writing
Rights: © The Author (2013)
RMID: 0020132144
DOI: 10.1093/fmls/cqt036
Appears in Collections:French publications

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