By Corinne Fowler
Chasing Tales is the 1st unique research of journalism, commute writing and the heritage of British principles approximately Afghanistan. It bargains a well timed research of the notional Afghanistan(s) that experience prevailed within the well known British mind's eye. Casting its web deep into the 19th century, the examine investigates the country's mythologisation by way of scrutinising go back and forth narratives, literary fiction and British information media insurance of the new clash in Afghanistan. This hugely topical ebook explores the legacy of nineteenth-century paranoias and prejudices to modern visitors and reporters and seeks to give an explanation for why Afghans remain depicted as medieval, murderous, warlike and unruly. Its name, Chasing Tales, conveys the stream, and certainly the circularity, of principles generally present in British trip writing and journalism. The 'tales' part stresses the pivotal position performed via fictionalised resources, particularly the writing of Rudyard Kipling, in perpetuating anxious nineteenth-century stories of Afghan-British come upon. the subject material is compelling and its foci of curiosity profoundly suitable either to present political debates and to scholarly enquiry concerning the ethics of commute.
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Extra resources for Chasing Tales: Travel Writing, Journalism and the History of British Ideas about Afghanistan. (Studia Imagologica)
Wood is another influential writer about Nuristan who never visited the region and instead based his commentary on a meeting with a Nuristani in northern Afghanistan (Marx 1999: 48). Concentrating on the legend that ‘Kafirs’ are distantly related to Alexander the Great’s soldiers, Wood reported that ‘[Kafirs] resemble Europeans in being possessed of great intelligence and […] pride themselves on being, to use their own words, brothers of the Firingi [foreigners, generally British]’ (1872: 187).
The following discussion of Nuristani fighting by Jonny Bealby is clearly shaped by the emphasis of Kipling’s story on local feuding, as opposed to region-wide dispute, with women or the theft of goats as the principal cause: …did every village in Nuristan have a murderous quarrel? […] [M]urder, it would seem, is still very often the order of the day. Families still fight families, villages fight villages and valleys fight valleys. They continue to steal each other’s goats, seduce each other’s women and kill each other as a consequence (179-80).
In this respect, as Dyserinck himself argues, this scholarly venture is ‘of great extraliterary promise’ (5). Ethical commitment therefore need not be tied to ‘ideological loyalties’ as Schiffer suggests. Ideally, however, a study that raises ethical concerns will also offer constructive conclusions. Investigated throughout, therefore, is the potential for travel narratives and news media coverage to subvert, negotiate and strategically revise popular British notions of Afghanistan. The study ends by combining its insights with an assessment of the viability and relevance of proposals by anthropologists and media professionals for more experimental, responsible and self-reflexive practices.
Chasing Tales: Travel Writing, Journalism and the History of British Ideas about Afghanistan. (Studia Imagologica) by Corinne Fowler