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An Inquiry into Cultural Semiotics: Germaine de Staël's Autobiographical Travel Accounts

Cabak Rédei, Anna LU (2007)
Abstract (Swedish)
Popular Abstract in Swedish

Kultursemiotiken studerar möten mellan kulturer. Begreppen Kultur, Extra-kultur och Icke-kultur utvecklades av Tartuskolan under 1970-talet, och användes i deras studier av den ryska kulturen och dess relation till Västeuropa. Särskild vikt lades vid Peter den Stores försök att göra Ryssland mer likt Väst. Målet med denna avhandling i kultursemiotik är att vidareutveckla existerande modeller inom kultursemiotiken genom att konfrontera dessa med ny empiri. I detta sammanhang har Göran Sonessons utvidgade modell inom kultursemiotiken visat sig vara mycket användbar. Vad gäller det empiriska källmaterialet så har Mme de Staëls självbiografiska reseberättelser från hennes år i exil (på order av... (More)
Popular Abstract in Swedish

Kultursemiotiken studerar möten mellan kulturer. Begreppen Kultur, Extra-kultur och Icke-kultur utvecklades av Tartuskolan under 1970-talet, och användes i deras studier av den ryska kulturen och dess relation till Västeuropa. Särskild vikt lades vid Peter den Stores försök att göra Ryssland mer likt Väst. Målet med denna avhandling i kultursemiotik är att vidareutveckla existerande modeller inom kultursemiotiken genom att konfrontera dessa med ny empiri. I detta sammanhang har Göran Sonessons utvidgade modell inom kultursemiotiken visat sig vara mycket användbar. Vad gäller det empiriska källmaterialet så har Mme de Staëls självbiografiska reseberättelser från hennes år i exil (på order av Napoleon) mellan 1803 och 1812 visat sig vara fruktbara för den uppgift som denna undersökning ringat in som sin. I andra hand syftar därför denna avhandling till att belysa Mme de Staëls liv under dessa år.



Genom att länka begrepp utvecklade av Alfred Schutz inom den fenomenologiska sociologin till de utvecklade inom kultursemiotiken så har vikten av användandet av kulturbundna typer i möten mellan människor blivit synliga. Detta visar Germaine de Staëls reseberättelser tydligt, särskilt när hennes beskrivningar kan jämföras med andras beskrivningar av samma möte. Mme de Staëls texter var ett resultat av ideologiska influenser av andra texter, i synnerhet sådana skrivna av författare under Upplysningen. James V. Wertschs teori (baserad på Bachtin och Vygotskij bland andra) om skrivna berättelser har varit viktig i studerandet av Mme de Staëls litterära influenser. Också Pragskolan har varit viktig, eftersom den har pekat på den avgörande rollen som mottagaren har för att skänka mening åt ett konstverk. Konstnären är alltså påverkad av den implicite mottagaren i skapandet av ett konstverk.



Den huvudsakliga slutsatsen som dras i denna undersökning är att viljan och förmågan att etablera en dialog i kulturella möten är avgörande för att kunna förstå och/eller uppskatta den Andre. Germaine de Staëls utgångspunkt i hennes kulturmöten, såsom de beskrivs in hennes texter och av andra engagerade i dialogen, var alltid det Frankrike hon älskade och identifierade sig med: salongskulturen i Paris i slutet av 1700-talet. (Less)
Abstract
Cultural semiotics studies encounters between cultures. Notions such as Culture, Extra-culture and Non-culture were developed in the 1970s by the Tartu school and were used in their studies of Russian culture and its relation to Western Europe, with special focus on Peter the Great's attempt to Westernize Russia in the eighteenth century. The aim of this dissertation in cultural semiotics is to further develop existing models in the field by confronting them with new empirical data. In this connection Göran Sonesson's extended model of cultural semiotics has turned out to be especially useful. Concerning the empirical source material, the choice of Mme de Staël's autobiographical travel accounts from her years in exile (by order of... (More)
Cultural semiotics studies encounters between cultures. Notions such as Culture, Extra-culture and Non-culture were developed in the 1970s by the Tartu school and were used in their studies of Russian culture and its relation to Western Europe, with special focus on Peter the Great's attempt to Westernize Russia in the eighteenth century. The aim of this dissertation in cultural semiotics is to further develop existing models in the field by confronting them with new empirical data. In this connection Göran Sonesson's extended model of cultural semiotics has turned out to be especially useful. Concerning the empirical source material, the choice of Mme de Staël's autobiographical travel accounts from her years in exile (by order of Napoleon) between 1803 and 1812 has proved to be fruitful for the task that has been staked out for this inquiry. Hence, in the second place, this dissertation in cultural semiotics also aims at shedding some light on Mme de Staël's life and her times during those years.



By linking insights made by Alfred Schutz in his phenomenological sociology to those made in cultural semiotics, the importance of culture-bound types in human encounters has become clear. This is shown very neatly by Germaine de Staël's travel accounts, in particular when her own writings are confronted with the description of the same encounters by somebody else. Mme de Staël's writings were a result of being ideologically influenced by other texts, notably by authors of the Enlightenment. James V. Wertsch's theory (based on Bakhtin and Vygotsky among others) of written texts has been helpful when studying Mme de Staël's literary influences. Also, insights made by the Prague school have been equally important since they have pointed to the essential role of the receiver in the process of giving meaning to an artwork. Hence, the artist is influenced by the implied receiver in the making of the artwork.



The main conclusion drawn in this inquiry is that willingness and ability to establish a dialogue in cultural encounters is crucial for the understanding and/or appreciation of the Other. Germaine de Staël's point of departure in her cross-cultural meetings, as described in the writings by her and by others engaged in dialogue, was always the France she loved and identified with: the Parisian culture of salons at the end of the eighteenth century. (Less)
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author
supervisor
opponent
  • Docent Marner, Anders, Department of Esthetics
organization
publishing date
type
Thesis
publication status
published
subject
keywords
Phenomenological sociology, Fenomenologi, Contemporary history (circa 1800 to 1914), Phenomenology, Humanities, Parisian salons, Humaniora, Fransk litteratur, Germaine de Staël, Cultural semiotics, Autobiographical travel accounts, French literature, Modern historia (ca. 1800-1914)
pages
287 pages
publisher
Lund University Div. of Semiotics Department of Art History and Musicology Box 117 SE-221 00 LUND
defense location
Lund University Department of Art History and Musicology Biskopsgatan 5, Lund
defense date
2007-09-28 10:00
ISBN
978-91-628-7109-3
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
25308935-6f24-4e4e-a342-327007d6cdce (old id 548922)
date added to LUP
2007-11-13 08:53:40
date last changed
2016-09-19 08:45:07
@phdthesis{25308935-6f24-4e4e-a342-327007d6cdce,
  abstract     = {Cultural semiotics studies encounters between cultures. Notions such as Culture, Extra-culture and Non-culture were developed in the 1970s by the Tartu school and were used in their studies of Russian culture and its relation to Western Europe, with special focus on Peter the Great's attempt to Westernize Russia in the eighteenth century. The aim of this dissertation in cultural semiotics is to further develop existing models in the field by confronting them with new empirical data. In this connection Göran Sonesson's extended model of cultural semiotics has turned out to be especially useful. Concerning the empirical source material, the choice of Mme de Staël's autobiographical travel accounts from her years in exile (by order of Napoleon) between 1803 and 1812 has proved to be fruitful for the task that has been staked out for this inquiry. Hence, in the second place, this dissertation in cultural semiotics also aims at shedding some light on Mme de Staël's life and her times during those years.<br/><br>
<br/><br>
By linking insights made by Alfred Schutz in his phenomenological sociology to those made in cultural semiotics, the importance of culture-bound types in human encounters has become clear. This is shown very neatly by Germaine de Staël's travel accounts, in particular when her own writings are confronted with the description of the same encounters by somebody else. Mme de Staël's writings were a result of being ideologically influenced by other texts, notably by authors of the Enlightenment. James V. Wertsch's theory (based on Bakhtin and Vygotsky among others) of written texts has been helpful when studying Mme de Staël's literary influences. Also, insights made by the Prague school have been equally important since they have pointed to the essential role of the receiver in the process of giving meaning to an artwork. Hence, the artist is influenced by the implied receiver in the making of the artwork.<br/><br>
<br/><br>
The main conclusion drawn in this inquiry is that willingness and ability to establish a dialogue in cultural encounters is crucial for the understanding and/or appreciation of the Other. Germaine de Staël's point of departure in her cross-cultural meetings, as described in the writings by her and by others engaged in dialogue, was always the France she loved and identified with: the Parisian culture of salons at the end of the eighteenth century.},
  author       = {Cabak Rédei, Anna},
  isbn         = {978-91-628-7109-3},
  keyword      = {Phenomenological sociology,Fenomenologi,Contemporary history (circa 1800 to 1914),Phenomenology,Humanities,Parisian salons,Humaniora,Fransk litteratur,Germaine de Staël,Cultural semiotics,Autobiographical travel accounts,French literature,Modern historia (ca. 1800-1914)},
  language     = {eng},
  pages        = {287},
  publisher    = {Lund University Div. of Semiotics Department of Art History and Musicology Box 117 SE-221 00 LUND},
  school       = {Lund University},
  title        = {An Inquiry into Cultural Semiotics: Germaine de Staël's Autobiographical Travel Accounts},
  year         = {2007},
}