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Speaking for Colette

Title: Speaking for Colette: Literary Tourism, Storytelling, and La Maison de Colette.
Name(s): Engelking, Tama, author
Type of Resource: text
Genre: Text
Journal Article
Date Issued: 2019-12-31
Physical Form: computer
online resource
Extent: 1 online resource
Language(s): English
Abstract/Description: Literary tourism draws visitors to sites associated with writers or their works such as the recently restored natal home of Colette in rural Burgundy where she lived from 1873 to 1891. Purchased in 2011 and opened to the public in 2016, La maison de Colette is a writer’s house museum that incorporates the interpretive techniques of storytelling to communicate information and engage the emotions and imaginations of visitors as they literally walk in Colette’s footsteps. The director of the museum drew on Colette’s own stories about her childhood to recreate the house and gardens as she would have known them growing up, and to design a narrative for the guided tour that evokes the connection between Colette’s childhood and her genesis as a writer. Each tour is facilitated by a guide who uses storytelling to make Colette’s house come alive and “speak” to each visitor. To illustrate this aspect of storytelling, the author of this essay uses the example of three stories “told” to her during multiple visits to Colette’s house in 2017. The first uses the house to establish the outsider status of the Colette family in the village; the second relates the experience of Colette’s childhood bedroom to her close relationship with her mother; the third focuses on the garden wall featured in Colette’s story “Le curé sur le mur,” to illustrate how imaginative engagement with the enclosed garden provided insights into how Colette developed her sensibilities as a writer.
Identifier: FSU_libsubv1_scholarship_submission_1578588962_299d28f5 (IID)
Publication Note: Selected essay from the Women In French International Conference 2018
Persistent Link to This Record:
Host Institution: FSU
Is Part Of: Women in French Studies Special Conference Issue.

Choose the citation style.
Engelking, T. (2019). Speaking for Colette: Literary Tourism, Storytelling, and La Maison de Colette. Women In French Studies Special Conference Issue. Retrieved from