‘Entzückend schöne Gegend’: Dutch Travel Writing ‘Langs den Rijn’ [Along the Rhine] around the midst of the nineteenth century
Keywords:travel literature/reisliteratuur, Rheinromantik/Rijnromantiek, travel diaries/reisdagboeken, fictional travel writing/fictionele reisliteratuur, tourist gaze/toeristische blik
In the aftermath of the ‘Rheinromantik’, roughly speaking the period between 1840 and 1860, travelling ‘along the Rhine’ was a quite popular travel destination for Dutch travellers. Many of them wrote about their journey in diaries, letters, travelogues or even fictional texts. I will focus on the particularities of travel texts by (mainly) Dutch authors, and explore how these authors dealt with the problem that on the one hand their writing covered experiences already widely known and described, and on the other hand they aspired after a personal, original, sometimes literary expression for it. The difference between factual and fictional, between non-literary and literary texts is difficult to discern. The narrative modes typical of the travel guide genre intermingle with devices that strive for a romantic, subjective and literary expression.