Between literary tourism and contents tourism

Marcel Proust and his madeleine as a tourist attraction

Clothilde Sabre



Marcel Proust is a famous French writer and his series of novels À la recherche du temps perdu (In Search of Lost Time) is considered a masterpiece of French literature. Consequently, tourism associated with Proust might be considered to be literary tourism limited to specialists. However, the two main sites associated with Proust in France, Illiers-Combray and Cabourg, demonstrate characteristics of contents tourism, not only in that Proust’s books have been adapted into other formats but also in that fictional narratives are associated with the tourist sites. This article describes preliminary investigations conducted at these two sites as part of a broader research project about contents tourism in France. Initial results show that the image of Proust is associated with various initiatives to promote these sites, from an accurate introduction to his fictional universe to branding that uses Proust as a popular character and plays with the image of the famous madeleine.



Author Biography

Clothilde Sabre researches the anthropology of tourism related to pop culture. She is an associate researcher at the Center for Advanced Tourism Studies (Hokkaido University) and at Clersé CNRS laboratory (Lille, France). She holds a PhD in Anthropology and Ethnology from the University of Lille1, France, and a degree in Media Studies. Her main research themes are the anthropology of tourism, contents tourism, imaginary, exoticism and representation, and popular/fan culture. She has been conducting ethnography among French fans and tourists in Japan for many years. Her previous research focused on the connection between the international success of Japanese pop culture and tourism in Japan, and she has published academic articles and book chapters on this topic in French and in English. Her current research aims to compare contents tourism in Japan with cases in France and Belgium.

クロチルド・サブレ。専門はポップカルチャーの側面から見た観光人類学。北海道大学観光学高等研究センター研究員、Clersé CNRS laboratory(フランス、リール)研究員。リール第一大学(フランス)にてPhD(文化人類学)を取得。主な研究領域は、観光人類学、コンテンツツーリズム、イマジナリー、エキゾチシズムと表象、ポピュラーカルチャーとファン文化。長年、フランス人を対象として、ファンや訪日ツーリストのエスノグラフィー調査に従事。現在、海外における日本のポップカルチャー人気と日本におけるツーリズム振興との関係性に着目した研究を展開中であり、関連研究成果をフランス語・英語の学術論文・学術書(章担当)として発表している。今後は、コンテンツツーリズムの国際比較研究(日本とフランス、ベルギー)を実施していく予定である。