Volume 8, 2008
Phenomenology and Literature
Théophile Gautiers Voyage en Russie als „phänomenologisches“ Experiment avant la lettre
Théophile Gautier, French romanticist writer, visits Russia twice in 1858/61. His Voyage en Russie (1866) is not just a travelogue, but rather an intrinsically philosophical text about travelling, about the perception of the own and the other, suggesting “(self)alienation”, “bracketing” of the world and one’s own experience as a means of aesthetic pleasure and intellectual penetration; a reflection on the “gift of the visible”; on the mutual in- and superscriptions of reality, imagination and art – in one word: a “phenomenological” experiment avant la lettre. This paper proposes a reading of Voyage en Russie through the prism of Merleau-Ponty’s phenomenology of perception, in particular of vision.