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Mon, 15 Feb 2010 13:11:51 EST by admin, 101451 views
University of Debrecen
Language and Literature paper by Venkovits, Balázs (all papers)
Recollections and Photographs of a Journey in the Americas: Travels of Pál Rosti between 1856 and 1859
Travelogues written by Hungarian travelers during the nineteenth century represented a major source of information for Hungarians interested in the culture, history or social traditions of countries in both North and South America. Pál Rosti was one of the most significant travelers of his time, who can be considered outstanding not only because of his writings, but also as a result of his achievements regarding the use of the new invention of the era, photography.
In this presentation I am planning to introduce Rosti’s journeys in the United States, Mexico, Venezuela and Cuba through the discussion of his travel book and various articles published in Hungarian newspapers. The presentation, however, will focus on Rosti’s photographs that appeared in a special album after his return to Europe, as well as in his travel book, as the basis of the illustrations. The presentation will try to answer several questions regarding his photographs: What was Rosti’s purpose with using photography during his travels? Did he simply want to provide illustrations for his book? Or did he intend to present a more objective (scientific) view of the countries visited? How were the photos turned into actual illustrations? Did they all belong to Rosti or were some of them taken from other works? While answering these questions we will get a clearer picture of the unique achievements of an outstanding Hungarian and we can also identify the changes in travel writing brought about by the appearance of photography.
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