Article: article from journal or magazin.
Le recouvrement des Alpes et la question de l'ironie
129 à 146
Since the beginning of the nineteenth century, "the tourist industry" (as it was then called) that fostered traveling in Switzerland has partially doomed the perception and the representation of the Alpine regions to a stutter of sorts. The extraordinary public success of travel narratives, reinforced by the publication of travel guides such the Joanne, the Murray and the Baedeker, seems to have produced then a randomly repetitive discours - one may be tempted to call it "postmodern." As a result, the discovery of Switzerland seems impossible for an individual who reads and writes (a tourist), for Switzerland is always already something that was produced discursively. Everything seems to have been said once and for all toward the close of the century, after Tartarin de Tarascon climbed the Jungfrau, and after Monsieur Périchon wrote upon his visit of the "She of Ice" (la Mère [sic] de Glace !) : "this is the highest place where I've ever blown my nose." The authenticity of the traveler seems to be a joke and his tourist sensibility seems to convey "impressions" that come out of a collection of platitudes. This article shows that irony undermines the discursive iteration adumbrated above and rejuvenates and energizes the aesthetics of Swiss travel narratives.
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