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n Acta Germanica : German Studies in Africa - See(h)reisen : 1800 - 1900 - 2000
Travels by sea / to see
Foucault counted the ship amongst the 'greatest arsenal of imagination' of the civilisation process since the16th century. This paper analyses the relationship between seafaring as a global and ambivalent instrument of economic development and the processes of spatial perception with regard to three periods. Around 1800 Georg Forster describes in his Travels around the World perceptions as part of a scientific strategy of seeing. Dependent on the representations of power of the Dutch-East-India-Company it turns its attention at the same time during its stay in the service of the British Crown. Around 1900 the focus of the perception of the Other is directed towards the building and stabilisation of the relationships between colonial politics and missionary activity. This can be seen particularly clearly in the Collected Writings of the Austrian missionary in Africa Franz Mayr. They prepare traditions of excluding the indigenous population, but are participating at the same time in their cultural knowledge production. Hans Pleschinski's Novel at Sea, published shortly before the turn of the millenium, stages again with wit and deeper meaning the traditions of the Christian Seafaring - this time as a cultural detective novel, which turns self-ironically against the customs of the old world. This investigation provides information on how the literary motif of seafaring changes during modern times.
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