Lyon dissertation no. 20. MS

Title Lyon dissertation no. 20. MS
Type Academic prize contest entry
Language French
Content Advice on educational benefits of travel
NotesThe reviewer of the contest, count Laurencin, found this piece "very weak" and opined that its author should not be aiming for academic prizes. It opens with some general thoughts on what education is (for the heart, the spirit and the body), and with a historical survey of educational travel throughout the ages. Some criticisms, inspired by Montaigne, are formulated against travelling motivated by nothing more than superficial curiosity.

However, this criticism touches only useless travel - the author still considers the circulation of men and ideas essential to spread the 'lumières' and fight prejudice. The age to travel should not be before 16; some youngsters would only reach the level of judgement necessary for travelling only around the age of 20-25 - and some, never. The author believes that learning the ways of foreign nations is not the primary goal of travelling - the traveller is in a difficult position to judge in the midst of the experience of travelling. However, as a quote supporting this statement, the author quotes Montaigne's famous sentence on travel - which did define "learning of the humour of people and of their manners" as a goal of travel.

This dissertation is, in fact, rather complete - covers most aspects of an apodemic text, establisheds itself within the apodemic tradition and within its own context. It is not very original - but it was so poorly judged by Laurencin most of all because of its weakness when it came to expression and style.