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ISBN Elizabeth Leane observes in her introduction to Antarctica in Fiction that Antarctica has traditionally been represented as "unwritable" 1. Ground rather than figure, this "poor cousin" 15 to its inhabited polar opposite in the North has frequently served as a tabula rasa available for imaginative colonization by authors and artists. The continent's various significations therefore are inflected through the hundreds of novels, poems, short stories, graphic novels, plays, and films set in the region or that engage with its history or politics without a counter-history produced by an indigenous population.

Leane in her study is thus interested in the production of Antarctica as both a place and an idea--in "the kinds of stories about Antarctica which imaginative texts tell" Although Leane mostly leaves aside non-fiction writing about Antarctica, the volume and diversity of the imaginative narratives available still presented an organizational challenge that she addressed through thematically focused chapters. After an introduction characterizing the study, the book is divided into six chapters attending respectively to early myths and legends surrounding the region, Gothic narratives, stories of the "Heroic Era" of Antarctic exploration, literary productions by Antarctic explorers themselves, narratives of transformation, and creative engagements with Antarctica's "anomalous relationship with time" Although there is some occasional minor overlap, this organizational framework allows Leane to emphasize the recurrent themes she deems most essential.

The introduction sets the tone for the study as Leane foregrounds the appeal and conventions of writing about a place that looms large in the imagination as mysterious and alien, inviting and inhospitable. Le Guin's The Left Hand of Darkness and cultural geographer Yi-Fu Tuan's speculations on "home spaces" and "alien spaces," as well as to theories of the sublime, to help think about the interaction of the self and the icy environment.

Antarctica: The Edge of the Earth

For Jameson, the frozen landscape creates a barrier between the self and the world, while for Tuan, that barrier is collapsed entirely. Both solipsism and loss of self, notes Leane, are responses found in the Gothic and science fiction Antarctic texts to which she will turn her attention. In her first chapter, "Speculative Visions of the South Polar Regions," Leane examines early myths and legends by authors writing about a place to which they had never been--a situation simultaneously limiting and liberating.

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Antarctica in Fiction : Imaginative Narratives of the Far South.

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The first comprehensive analysis of literary responses to Antarctica Seamlessly draws together high and popular cultural texts Responds to new interest in the Antarctic in the centenary year of Scott's ill-fated expedition. Log in to review.

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