Australian Journal of French Studies

Contemporary French-Australian Travel Writing: Transnational Memoirs by Patricia Gotlib and Emmanuelle Ferrieux

Australian Journal of French Studies (2022), 59, (2), 171–184.

Abstract

This article focuses on the portrayal of Australia by two female French travel writers at the turn of the twenty-first century. Based upon Charles Forsdick’s theory of a set of uncertainties locatable in Francophone travel writing at the fin de siècle, this article analyzes how such uncertainties are played out in an Australian setting. It argues that while these texts ostensibly exoticize Australia in stereotypical manners, they gradually complicate these views, especially through their representation of rural Australia. Both writers find in rural Australia the means of recovery from the trauma that has spurred them to travel, which they locate in fast-paced, urban European life. Yet their texts are not simple celebrations of Australia as a site of return to simpler or “primitive” lifestyles, as they uncover links between supposedly exotic Australia and long-repressed aspects of their home cultures.

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Author details

EDWARDS, NATALIE

HOGARTH, CHRISTOPHER