Luigi Cepparrone

Stevenson emigrant for delight

  • Abstract

Informations and abstract

Keywords: Stevenson, De Amicis, emigration, ethnography, relationships between literature and cultural anthropology.

The author offers an interdisciplinary reading, between literature and anthropology, of the Stevenson's story The amateur emigrant. The text, that tells a journey of the writer on a ship of emigrants, has been written when literature began to have a confrontation with the studies of the emerging social sciences in the description of the society. While cultural anthropology devoted itself to the description of exotic societies that were called "primitive", the description of the more interesting social phenomena of the European complex societies was developed by the literature. Stevenson's story is remarkable for the long participant observation that the writer undertakes among the emigrants, and for the description of the life on board. Thus it takes shape as a real ethnographic text, on the border between a literary work and an anthropological essay.

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