By Dr Elizabeth Leane
This accomplished 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 some distance south. The continent has additionally encouraged style fiction, together with a turbines 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, commute narratives and explorers' personal artistic writing. It maps the some distance south as an area of the mind's eye and argues that simply by way of enticing with this house, as well as the actual continent, do we comprehend present attitudes in the direction of Antarctica.
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Additional resources for Antarctica in Fiction: Imaginative Narratives of the Far South
47 The ships reached 74ºS in what is now the Weddell Sea, a record southern latitude that held for the next eighteen years. 48 The knowledge of the earth’s oblation (its flattening at the poles) suggested to some that both the Antarctic and the Arctic might draw warmth from their closer proximity to the earth’s core. An open sea at the South PoleÂ€– Â�scattered with inhabited lands and surrounded by a barrier of iceÂ€ – appears frequently in nineteenth-century and early twentieth-century Antarctic speculativeÂ€fiction.
Additionally, when in-house ‘newspapers’ were published on the expedition’s return, they could provide publicity and even raise funds to cover outstanding expenses. This chapter examines the literary input and output of Antarctic explorers themselves, analysing why and what they read, how they represented themselves in their poetry and short stories and the uses they made of communal activities such as drama and newspaper production. For men deprived of many other ordinary comforts, literature became a necessity.
The genre, however, has its roots in far older myths, legends and motifs that surround the continent. The speculations of Greek philosophers; the superstitions of medieval sailors; the fantastic voyages of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries; the far southern utopias of the nineteenth century; the unlikely theories of John Cleves Symmes; the gothic and nautical romances of Edgar Allan Poe and James Fenimore CooperÂ€– for anyone familiar with Antarctic literature, these traditions can be found lurking subtextually in the latest polar airport novel (and the occasional mainstream movie).
Antarctica in Fiction: Imaginative Narratives of the Far South by Dr Elizabeth Leane