By Dr Elizabeth Leane
This complete research of literary responses to Antarctica examines the wealthy physique of literature that the continent has provoked over the past 3 centuries, focussing really 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 long way south. The continent has additionally encouraged style fiction, together with a generators and Boon novel, a Phantom comedian and a Biggles publication, in addition to numerous lost-race romances, espionage thrillers and horror-fantasies. Antarctica in Fiction attracts on those resources, in addition to movie, trip narratives and explorers' personal artistic writing. It maps the some distance south as an area of the mind's eye and argues that in simple terms by means of enticing with this area, 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
36 In the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, however, the sprawling southern continent (not yet disposed of by Cook’s voyages) lent itself more frequently to political or ideological opposition, becoming a favoured site for the overlapping genres of the utopia, utopian satire and fantastic voyage. The unknown southern regions provided an ideal ‘no place’ in which writers could imagine new modes of being which inverted, contradicted, exaggerated or otherwise satirized their own. 39 Hall’s novelÂ€ – which in modern translation is entitled Another World and Yet the Same – features the South Polar land of ‘Moronia’, a vast, cold, but densely populated region, whose inhabitants are large, stupid and contrary.
These novels are the focus of Chapter 5. The Antarctic ice is powerfully associated with the ability to preserve. Historic huts, old biscuits, rubbish tips and explorers’ dead bodies are kept in pristine condition by the extreme cold. This effect, along with the unfamiliar diurnal rhythms of high latitudes, gives the sense that time progresses differently in the far south. Historical events seem closer, even present. Stories in which characters are ‘frozen in time’ are common in Introduction 21 Antarctic literature, from nineteenth-century reports of a ship drifting for decades around Antarctic waters, her captain and crew snap-frozen in place, through ‘lost race’ adventures set in a temperate Antarctic continent, to a time-travel story in which Oates walks out of his tent into the far future.
Often, they are concerned with the task of finding a language appropriate to the continent. This group of texts is too important to be forced into the interstices of an analysis focussed on narrative, or to be included only as an afterthought. Lastly, I have concentrated here on imaginative narratives, leaving aside non-fiction writing unless it bears very closely upon a particular group of fiction texts (as is the case with exploration narratives in Chapter 3 and contemporary travel writing in Chapter 5).