Imaginary Travel as Thought Experiment
Up to now, little attention has been paid to « imaginary journeys ». These journeys haven’t yet been envisioned in themselves, but rather from a rhetorical, political or argumentative point of view. This course intends to return to these imaginary travels, and read them not only as adventures but also as symbols, cultural and ideological patterns. Thus we aim to redefine the “imaginary journey” as a proper genre, and not only as a light, fantasy journey.
Throughout history, from Antiquity to the present day, many literary genres have invested the form of “travels” in order to deliver a particular discourse (didactic, philosophical, poetic, satirical, etc.).
These fictitious journeys that have often been denigrated in literary history deserve, on the contrary, to be studied both for themselves and as mirrors of real journeys. This course thus implies analyzing the characteristics of travel literature in order to have a better understanding of the construction of imaginary, fantastic and didactic discourses.
From Plato’s Critias to Cyrano de Bergerac, Jules Verne and twentieth century space travels, we will thus explore the evolution of the genre of “imaginary journeys”.
• Cyrano de Bergerac, L'Autre Monde Les États et Empires de la Lune - Les États et Empires du Soleil, Folio Classiques, ISBN-13 : 978-2070425013
• Jule Verne, Voyage au centre de la Terre, Hatier, ISBN-13 : 978-2401059344
- 11:00am-11:50am on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday (Jul 2, 2020 to Aug 14, 2020)