Chasing Tales: Travel Writing, Journalism and the History of by Corinne Fowler

By Corinne Fowler

Chasing Tales is the 1st unique learn of journalism, commute writing and the background of British rules approximately Afghanistan. It deals a well timed research of the notional Afghanistan(s) that experience prevailed within the well known British mind's eye. Casting its internet deep into the 19th century, the learn investigates the country's mythologisation by means of scrutinising commute narratives, literary fiction and British information media assurance of the new clash in Afghanistan. This hugely topical e-book explores the legacy of nineteenth-century paranoias and prejudices to modern guests and reporters and seeks to give an explanation for why Afghans remain depicted as medieval, murderous, warlike and unruly. Its identify, Chasing Tales, conveys the movement, and certainly the circularity, of principles generally present in British commute writing and journalism. The 'tales' part stresses the pivotal function performed by means of fictionalised assets, particularly the writing of Rudyard Kipling, in perpetuating annoying nineteenth-century thoughts of Afghan-British come upon. the subject material is compelling and its foci of curiosity profoundly appropriate either to present political debates and to scholarly enquiry concerning the ethics of shuttle.

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Extra resources for Chasing Tales: Travel Writing, Journalism and the History of British Ideas about Afghanistan. (Studia Imagologica)

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As can be seen in the following example, taken from Sheila Paine’s The Afghan Amulet (1995), past and present intervillage relations (in this case just over the Afghan border) are characterised in a decidedly Kiplingesque manner: ‘As they [the inhabitants of the Chitral, Swat and Indus valleys] were perpetually at war with each other, Britain left them well alone […] anarchy reigned and still does’ (35). The narrator here asserts significant continuity between past and present without providing either detailed context or substantiating evidence.

Representational discontinuities are scrutinised throughout the discussion, however atypical they may be. Attending to significant disruptions of, or interventions in, representational norms about Afghanistan re-opens the question of authorial agency and contributes usefully to debates about the ethics of reporting and associated ethnographic dilemmas of representation. Part Three considers the extent to which certain strategies might be adopted by individual journalists (if not by news organisations themselves) to disrupt or even transform the powerful drift of ideas about Afghanistan.

In many senses, his accusation lacks historical depth. Dyserinck provides a useful overview of the usefulness of the imagological tradition which, in his words, ‘promise[s] to form a bridge to other human sciences, in order to solve problems the importance of which indeed “dépasse la seule littérature”’ (2003:3). In the 1950s, for example, imagological studies made important contributions to ‘research on the psychological background of the in[t]er-European nationality conflicts’ (3). My work testifies to the longevity and usefulness of that discipline, which began so long ago with the study of ‘Germanophobia’ (Dyserinck: 6) has here extended its reach to examine the historical roots of phenomena such as ‘Afghanophobia’ in British imaginations.

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