Antarctica in Fiction: Imaginative Narratives of the Far by Dr Elizabeth Leane

By Dr Elizabeth Leane

This finished research of literary responses to Antarctica examines the wealthy physique of literature that the continent has provoked during the last 3 centuries, focussing relatively on narrative fiction. Novelists such Edgar Allan Poe, James Fenimore Cooper, Jules Verne, H. P. Lovecraft, Ursula Le Guin, Beryl Bainbridge and Kim Stanley Robinson have all been drawn artistically to the a ways south. The continent has additionally encouraged style fiction, together with a generators and Boon novel, a Phantom comedian and a Biggles e-book, in addition to numerous lost-race romances, espionage thrillers and horror-fantasies. Antarctica in Fiction attracts on those assets, in addition to movie, shuttle narratives and explorers' personal inventive writing. It maps the a long way south as an area of the mind's eye and argues that in basic terms via attractive with this area, as well as the actual continent, will we comprehend present attitudes in the direction of Antarctica.

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Extra info for Antarctica in Fiction: Imaginative Narratives of the Far South

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Bauer’s ‘Forgotten World’ (1931) and Paralee Sutton’s White City (1949) continued to rehearse the established utopian conventions of the genre€– warm southern continents, tunnels and subterranean spaces, lost civilizations€– and added to them more up-to-date mysteries such as telepathy and ether waves. The attempts of Scott, Shackleton and others to explore the interior of the continent€– and their failure to find lost races€– do not appear to have affected the utopian speculation about the continent in the short€term.

78 These are only the more popular of the diverse means by which protagonists of fictional narratives are compelled towards the Pole: Coleridge’s ancient mariner and the narrator of Poe’s ‘MS. Found in a Bottle’ (1833) are blown south when their ships come in the path of tremendous winds; Will Rogers, the eponymous hero of Spotswood’s novel, is dragged southward by a whale. 79 If the South Pole is not considered a blank€– a piece of flat land, sea or ice€– but a physical feature which pulls objects and creatures towards it, then logically it must lead somewhere.

Increased access to the continent has encouraged the production of what might be termed ‘realist’ Antarctic novels, which concentrate on the details of everyday experience of polar stations and, particularly in recent years, gender relations. Sharing much with travel memoirs, they explore the continent’s impact on individual subjectivity, emphasizing its power to jolt those who visit it out of their stale relationships or dead-end jobs, cluttered lifestyles and damaged emotional states. These novels are the focus of Chapter 5.

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