The Faroe Islands visited by the French expedition “La Recherche” in 1839. A presentation and discussion of the Faroese chapter of Xavier Marmier’s official account. Franska rannsóknarferðin La Recherche á vitjan í Føroyum í 1839. Ein lýsing og viðgerð av partinum um Føroyar í almennu frágreiðingini hjá Xavier Marmier.

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Published Oct 4, 2022
Bergur Djurhuus Hansen Jan Borm

Abstract

Abstract
The French expedition La Recherche conducted by naval surgeon and naturalist Paul Gaimard (1793-1858) was one of the first major international and interdisciplinary scientific endeavours to explore the European North in the first half of the nineteenth century. Inaccessibility in English may be one of the principal reasons why La Recherche is far from receiving the critical attention it deserves. Xavier Marmier (1808-1892) was the expedition’s official historian and chronicler. The Faroese chapter from his official account in Voyages de la commission scientifique du Nord, en Scandinavie, en Laponie, au Spitzberg et aux Feröe, pendant les années 1838, 1839 et 1840, sur la corvette La Recherche [1842] is printed for the first time in English translation in this issue of Fróðskaparrit. Considering Marmier’s short stay, he writes quite extensively about the Faroes. His descriptions are marked by the Romantic longing for the sublime as well as images of the North as a cold and sparsely populated place. Marmier’s purpose however, did not consist solely of sharing his impressions, but to provide an official account of the voyage including the principal points of interest observed, concerning e.g. geography, economy, trade and popular culture. Marmier is in this context the typical travel writer at the time, representing modernity and progress, noticing lack of developments, suggesting improvements, having better insight and knowing the world better than the people he is visiting, while at the same time not forgetting the actual purpose of his travel, which is to gather information and introduce the reader to an unknown far away region in the world.

Úrtak

Franska rannsóknarferðin La Recherche var millum fyrstu stóru rannsóknarferðirnar í Norðuratlantshavi í fyrru helvt av 19.øld. Við nøkrum undantøkum í Norðurlondum hevur ferðin ikki vakt so stóran ans millum granskarar, sum hon átti, kanska tí tað mesta av tilfarinum frá ferðini ikki er til á enskum. Greinin er ein viðgerð av kapitlinum um Føroyar í frásøgnini hjá Xavier Marmier (1809-1892), sum var almennur skrivari á ferðini. Kapittulin er prentaður fyri fyrstu ferð í enskari týðing í hesum Fróðskaparriti. Náttúruvísindamaðurin Paul Gaimard (1793-1858) stóð fyri ferðini, og umframt Xavier vóru vísindafólk og tveir listamálarar við. Árini eftir komu fleiri útgávur við frásagnum og úrslitum frá luttakarunum á ferðini. Kapittulin um Føroyar er úr almennu frágreiðingini Voyages de la commission scientifique du Nord, en Scandinavie, en Laponie, au Spitzberg et aux Feröe, pendant les années 1838, 1839 et 1840, sur la corvette La Recherche [1842]. Í greinini verður víst á, at hóast steðgurin hjá Xavier í Føroyum var stuttur, ger hann rættiliga nógv burtur úr at lýsa oyggjarnar, týðiliga ávirkaður av romantiskum rákum, serliga hugmyndum um tað kalda, næstan manntóma norð og hugsanini um tað sublima, sum eyðkendi bæði skaldskap og ferðafrásagnir í fyrru helvt av 19. øld. Endamálið við ferðini var kortini ikki einans at lýsa upplivingar, men at skriva eina almenna frágreiðing við nýtiligum upplýsingum um t.d. landafrøði, búskap, handil og siðir. Sum flestu ferðafrásagnarhøvundar í síni samtíð tekur Marmier í hesum samanhangi á seg leiklutin sum tann, ið leggur til merkis ein tørv á broytingum og menning, t.e. umboðar framburð, hevur størri útsýni og kennir heimin betur enn fólkini í landinum, hann vitjar, meðan hann um somu tíð eisini veit meir enn lesarin og ikki gloymir, at endamálið við ferðini er at savna inn upplýsingar um ein ókendan part av heiminum.

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Keywords

Travel writing, Romanticism, Faroe Islands, the Arctic, Xavier Marmier, La Recherche, Explorations to the North, the sublime

References
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Humanities