Giuliana Benvenuti

An Earthly Paradise for Sale: Alberto Moravia's Reportage from Africa and the Contradictions of Global Tourism

  • Abstract

Informations and abstract

Keywords: Alberto Moravia, Africa, reportage, travel literature, globalization

The article focuses, through Moravia's travel tales, on the paradox of the western traveller who, trusting in the comforts and safety offered by organised tourism, nevertheless searches for the opposite of what tourist travel proposes: that is, uncontaminated Nature, in reality contaminated by his very presence. Moravia knows that the aesthetic-ecstatic exploitation of natural landscapes in which man's presence is absent has already become a product of mass consumption: the mystery is shattered by the means of communication and technological progress, which renders «remote» places familiar to readers. In this way the rejection of consumption and the search for relaxation becomes the behaviour which distinguishses the writer from the bourgeois tourist: for the first Africa conserves its sense of the projection of a desire, that of the ancestral and prehistoric part of civilised man, experienced as both formative and a discovery.

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