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From Tracing to Writing: The Maps that Thoreau Copied

Abstract : By looking at maps that Thoreau copied during his lifetime and identifying the sources of his tracings, this article examines the role that these documents have played in his writing. Using Jacques Rancière's notion of the distribution of the sensible, the article suggests that mapping can be read as a perpetuation of the distribution that delineates and inscribes a common space, but also makes invisible those who do not fit in the distribution. Thoreau's tracings are understood here as a gesture of appropriation that becomes the basis of a politically subversive or re-writing of the distribution, in order to make visible the places and the individuals that it excludes.
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Submitted on : Sunday, October 29, 2017 - 9:54:23 PM
Last modification on : Wednesday, February 24, 2021 - 1:06:02 PM
Long-term archiving on: : Tuesday, January 30, 2018 - 12:31:00 PM


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  • HAL Id : hal-01625914, version 1


Julien Nègre. From Tracing to Writing: The Maps that Thoreau Copied. Nineteenth Century Prose, UNITED STATES NINETEENTH-CENTURY PROSE, 2017, 44 (2), pp.213-234. ⟨hal-01625914⟩



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