In: KulturPoetik 2008, Heft 1


Christof Hamann


Verwundern, Entwundern, Disziplinieren. Hans Meyer bearbeitet den Kilimanjaro




This essay analyses the travel reports of Mount Kilimanjaro by Hans Meyer, the first person known to have climbed it; it takes a structural-functional approach. Even though Ostafrikanische Gletscherfahrten (1890), Hochtouren im tropischen Afrika (1923), etc. are factual texts, they contain unexpectedly literary features which bring the scientific research reports out of their specialist discursive niche and also give them an ideological ›charge‹. At the centre of my article is an investigation of the symbolic structures by means of which the language of mountaineering is linked to other forms of discourse (erotic, religious, military and national). At the same time, the role of the performative acts of christening and naming is discussed, as well as their function in the power relationship between the German colonisers and the colonised.