Autor: Jason H. Lindquist
erschienen in: HiN V, 9 (2004)
- Excess Verdure and the Traveling Observer
- Tropical Threats to the European Subject
- Aesthetic Overload and Textual Excess in Personal Narrative
- The Nineteenth-Century After-lives of Overload
Jason H. Lindquist´s essay attends to a number of passages in Alexander von Humboldt’s Personal Narrative in which the Prussian explorer expresses anxiety about the apparent dangers posed by the overwhelmingly productive tropical landscapes he observes. In these passages, the excesses of an “exotic nature” threaten European identity and modes of civilization—and they trouble the accuracy of Humboldt’s own observational project. Finally, I sketch the influence of Humboldt’s representations of tropical excess on nineteenth-century British cultural thought and literary practice. Studying the instabilities experienced by Personal Narrative’s expatriates and colonists promises to draw out important tensions latent in Humboldt’s treatment of tropical landscape.