Perry – Deep mapping and emotion in place-writing practice
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This chapter proposes a preparatory method for researchers and literary travel writers who are planning inquiry into a new urban space, with the French port city of Cherbourg, presented as a case study to illustrate this process. Using theory from Onfray, Bartlett and Patron, and travel writing from Ernaux, Barthes, Mann and Sebald the work develops the research instrument of the hexis for collecting and arranging knowledge discovered during archive searches and literary reading. In order to widen the sensibilities of the research participants, a cross-reading is proposed, called here dialogic reading, which opens up emotional links between places under inquiry and personal cultural capital. It is argued that literary writing, using imagistic language, the past tenses and other literary devices, offers a method for storing and communicating these emotions and that it may be employed as part of place inquiry. If prepared carefully, the hexis acts a route map for the town to be followed during fieldwork, while simultaneously indicating references to reading associated with particular points to be investigated by the researcher, which this research calls plateaus.
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