Relations with “the other”: d’Orbigny and Darwin at the Paraná River

Petrucci, Liliana Cecilia

Abstract

The travels of nineteenth century European Naturalists are linked to the re-invention of America as “nature”. The narratives of two nineteenth century naturalist travelers will be studied in their relationship with “the other one”, matter which is a main topic in their travels and recognition of the coasts of the Paraná River. We will focus on the narratives of Alcides d’Orbigny –French Naturalist– and Charles Darwin –British–. In the first case, some references to nature are the excuse to vindicate the traveler’s own culture. In the second naturalist writing, circumscriptive and self-controlled by his work and knowledge, appears (according to our reading) linked to most frankly ethnocentric vindications, with a nationalist tinge in dispute with colonizers. The relationship with “the other/the otherness” will be analyzed, taking into account how the “other” is constructed, in relation to the order of discourse at the time and to the social imaginary implied.

Keywords: cultural history, european naturalist travellers, social imaginaries, otherness

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