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Zeit als kategorische Erfahrung im modernen Individualtourismus

Annemarie Schwarzenbachs ‚Autotherapie‘ um 1940

Andreas Keller

Pages 45 - 82



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The road trip to Afghanistan and the Near East of Swiss novelist, photographer and freelance journalist Annemarie Schwarzenbach (1908-1842) in 1939/40 was an attempt to resolve a number of personal crises: her existence as an unconventional artist, lesbian and antifascist created conflicts with her conservative family and the political and social conservatism in Swiss society; running in the same circles as Klaus and Erika Mann, she also struggled with morphine addiction. Drawing on Schwarzenbach’s articles and stories of her journey to Afghanistan, the paper explores the specific modes of perception (of time, self and other) the journey by car affords the troubled writer. The paper argues that her road trip can be read as a form of self-therapy. Schwarzenbach experiences her self-determined mobility as an early auto-mobilist as challenging but also empowering. The theme of female mobility reappears in Schwarzenbach’s depictions of Afghan women (e.g. in their perceived restricted mobility, the covering of their bodies with the chador). These depictions, the paper argues, problematize concepts like enlightenment, progress, and emancipation.

Keywords: Annemarie Schwarzenbach, automobility, road trip, therapy, female emancipation, religious traditions


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