Utazók és utazások
From the Amazon River to the Amazons. Echoes of a“perfect voyage”
The ideal of the “perfect voyage” is one that keeps recurring in European thought since antiquity. Th e paper fi rst review the manifestations of this ideal, then proposes a new approach for the examination of traditional sources (thus, for example, ars apodemica discourses) and proposes the utilization of new sources as fell (e.g. the registers of “ideal libraries”).
One of the basic tenets of my analysis is that the expectations towards this type of text – one which does not yield to inquiries easily and has been grappling with problems of (self-) defi nition throughout its history – are best rasped on the recipients’ size. Th erefore, it is from this aspect that we have approached the travelogue that had achieved, perhaps, the most unanimous success in 18th century France: the voyage of La Condamine along the Amazon River.
During the analysis of this text and its reviews in the contemporary press I have tried to answer the question how, almost uniquely the among travelogue writes of the age, La Condamine had been able to meet the expectations of the strictly scientifi c Journal des Savants, the scientifi c, but Jesuit Mémoires de Trévoux and the periodical representing a new, literary and subjective type of journalism, the Jugements sur quelques ouvrages modernes. One of the secrets of this success seems to be that the author consciously calculated with this target audiences: while he submitted a several hundred pages long treatise to the French Academy of Sciences, he provided the broader public with a shorter and lighter work that included popular topics as well (such as that of the tribe of the Amazons). He was thus able to embody the “heroic traveler” risking his life as well as the “popular scientist” aware of his audiences’ expectations and able to present scientifi c results in a comprehensible way.
Identity and borders: 17th century Hungarian travellers in West and East
The survey discusses the identity and self-image of 17th century Hungarian and Transylvanian travellers as conveyed through their travel texts. Th e cultural borders in the mental map of the travellers coincided with the Eastern and Southeastern borders of Transylvania. Th e authors placed themselves in the same position as their Western European contemporaries: although the general tone in their diaries was that of admiration, they did not make explicit comparisons to the disadvantage of their home. Th ere are also some cases of criticism on civilisational basis towards the West, which shows, that the travellers felt that they stayed on equal grounds with the West. Th e few cases of auto-stereotypes also show that some travellers tended to reinforce even the negative stereotypes attributed to Hungarians, in order to question the Western discourse which placed them on a lower grade on a civilisational scale. Towards the Eastern neighbours, the travellers tended to use a condescending tone, qualities such as boorishness, lack of education and barbarity were attributed to Russians, Wallachians and Moldavians. Th e worst reputation was the share of the Ottomans: in their case, even if – in a very few cases – tolerance and understanding came into picture, there was no possibility of acceptance. Hungarian travellers only used the discourse of their own inferiority towards Western Europeans, when it was a part of their political agenda: otherwise, they included themselves into the concept of the region, imagined on the basis of erudition and Latin education, which they more and more often called Europe.
Travels of the political and social elites. On the examination of 18th century voyages from the aspect of German researches
The first part of the paper reviews the German attempts to process the travelogues of the 18th century. Hitherto, travelogues have been primarily treated from the point of view of the history of literature and the typology of the genre was created. Th e University of Bremen and the research center, Eutiner Forschungsstelle zur historischen Reisekultur collets, catalogues and analyzes travelogues published in German between the 16th and the 19th centuries. To date, however, researchers have neglected manuscript sources. A project entitled „Europareisen der politischen Funktionsträger des alten Reichs (1750–1800)” was launched to make up for this by the Forschungszentrum Europäische Aufklärung Potsdam founded in 1996. Rather than focusing on a single type of travelogue, a certain type of voyage or a given social stratum, this research targeted the elites they call “social functionaries” (Funktionsträger). Beside the primary travelogues, they also collected the sources related to the preparations and results of the voyages (invoices, reports, correspondence). According to their relative purposes, the project identifi ed fi ve major groups (travels of the ruler - Regentenreise, Fürstenreise; study tours of the nobility - Kavalierstour, Kavaliersreise, diplomatic trips - diplomatische Reise; offi cial trips– Berufsreise; study tours – Studienreise).
Th e Hungarian examples mentioned in the paper are presented on the basis of the German results and according to the German categorization. Th e paper is the fi rst to create such a systematic overview of the travels of the 18th century Hungary social and political elites through a brief study of the travels of a number of individuals. Th e paper presents examples of the following types of travels with the most important sources and the possibilities of further research:
Th e sources uncovered and the examples shown enable the examination of the evolution process of the culture of the Age of Enlightenment (Kulturtransferforschung). Within the framework of Reisefolgenforschung, the sources enable us to analyze the actual impact of travel on the initial culture of the travellers, he knowledge they acquired and the way in which they were able to utilize at home the cultural, economic, technical and organizational innovations acquired abroad.
The Odyssey of national discovery: Hungarians in Hungary and abroad, 1750–1850
The Hungarian symbolic map of the country, or the map of the country in the mind of individual, loaded with emotions, cultural, political and ideological values, had the national capitals, Upper Hungary, Transylvania, the puszta, Balaton, the Danube and the Tisza, as its main highlights. Th e symbolic map of the world refl ected the Hungarian idea of their country located between East and West, overcoming the traces of Asianness and moving along the road of Western civilization. Th is map of the world, travel routes and the focus of travellers’ attention depended on travellers’ identities. Th e journeys across Hungary and abroad marked and at the same time transgressed the real and symbolic boundary lines of the country, the borders of the Habsburg Monarchy and its dominions, and the edges of civilization/barbarity, which often coincided with the ethnic borders within Hungary. Austria was perceived by Hungarian travellers as a part of Europe in terms of the culture and richness of its museums, but was only a passage to Europe as far as the industrialization and the development of political institutions was concerned. When travelling across Hungary, “the people moved across physical space and from one social world to another.” Th eir individual travel agendas pursued by each traveller made it diffi cult to assign meaning to travel experiences, and often invited criticism from other travellers. As a result of the increasing speed and relative ease of moving across this territory, Hungarian travellers redefi ned the “social world’s spatial dimensions,” and re-discovered the social groups of rural and urban areas. Like the maps which fi xed the frontier lines, the guide books and travel accounts fixed the travel routes and sets of objects to be seen during the journey.
Th e Hungarian gentry and urban non-noble professionals of the fi rst half of the nineteenth century were moved by patriotism, to be understood as a “middling virtue determined by altruism, goodwill, discernment and uprightness” linked to “a community-related moral-political attitude”, and intended to “organize and personalize” their “country as a place of life for human beings protected by law”. Travel across Hungary ceased to be a part of the trip to Europe, and acquired its own value and attraction. Trips within the country were journeys of “nationalizing” the landscapes through quoting Hungarian poets, recalling celebrities and historical events. Travels abroad were the journeys of learning about the Hungarian past and looking into the Hungarian future. Like threads plaited into an intricate ornament of the lace, the lines of travel routes and travel narratives were braided into the story of the nation and its territory.
The land of threats. America in the 2nd half of the 19th century – through Hungarian eyes
In the fi rst half of the 19th century, the US was an enormously fascinating and attractive land for Hungarians to travel in and to report on. Th e Hungarian liberal Bölöni Farkas travelled and wrote on America at the same time as Tocqueville, with resounding success. Th is paper picks up the story of the changing image of America after the 1849 defeat of the revolution in Central-Europe. It is a story of consecutive deterioration of the shining image of America. Th e travellers were of very diff erent social background, from aristocratic landowner to professional journalist, from university lecturer of chemistry to a clerk of the Ministry for Agriculture, Industry and Trade. Th e deepening aversion to America can be linked to a generally sceptical outlook towards the development of capitalism and liberal political democracy. Interestingly, however, it does not stop there. From the fi rst to the last of the travellers there are a number of criticisms, which refl ect profound diff erences in the way an appropriate, humane, dignifi ed life of the community is pictured by the visitors as opposed to what they see in the US.
„Let us travel the roads of our homeland!” Th e problems of domestic tourism in Hungary between the two Word Wars
Modern tourism emerged in Hungary between the two World Wars. Its market supply and demand, structure and directions of development were not only defi ned by contemporary factors, but by the travelling habits of the late 19th century and the consequences of the Trianon peace dictates.
The travelling habits and trends of the late 19th century were primarily related to the famous health spas and climatic resorts of historical Hungary and the Monarchy, the Alps and the Tartan Mountains. As a result of Trianon, the most favoured, best equipped targets were removed beyond the borders of the country. However, the recuperation from the shock of the First World War and the revitalization of the industry brought about the renewal of travelling habits, too. Holidays became a real option for broader strata of society. Th e shift in the structure of supply and demand, the travel of masses to the old, traditional resorts of the Monarchy that were now abroad, involving a substantial outfox of money, caused sensitive losses for the country’s budget. Inbound tourism was unable to make up for this defi cit. Tourism experts had to face the challenge of keeping would-be holiday-makers within the borders, thereby improving the trade gap in the balance of the tourism industry. Beside administrative measures and the encouragement of inbound tourism, they also turned to the development of domestic tourism to achieve this end. Th is eff ort was directed towards changing old, rigid travelling habits, which required the creation of new, attractive domestic targets. The program, Let us travel the roads of our homeland!, equally served economic purposes and tried to teach people to notice the values of the shrunken country.