The Idea of the Antipodes: Place, People, and Voices (Routledge Research in Postcolonial Literatures)

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Yet antipodean discourse suggests that even such a newly oriented One—Other binary will not suffice because, as the Greek ideas of plural and relative antipodes suggests, the antipodes are not always exactly south. Goldie 9th pages. Tropicalism as it pertains more specifically to Oceania remains in the popular and scholarly imagina- tion as a set of projections, representations, and condensations: palm tree idylls, anthropological primitives, desert islands in an unpopulated ocean, and the fatal, tragic impact of European contact.

He describes the majority of palagi European, American, etc. In addition, although I employ a chronological organization of the Goldie 9th pages. My research into the affective features of antipodean discourse, rather than more familiar characteristics, has the potential to contribute to post- colonial studies in two more ways. First, it adds to the growing body of scholarship that extends the chronological boundaries of postcolonial his- tories further than the high points of European global imperialism and colonialism in the eighteenth through the twentieth centuries.

The present inquiry might be read as another response to such a call in that I examine antipodean tropes through the ages. In addi- tion, the editors of the anthology call for scholarship on different kinds of texts. Rather than traditional postcolonial subject matter, they urge the examination of, for example, empirical, scientific, and other writings. The written texts that discuss the antipodes include poetry, prose, and drama, but they also include works from other disciplines: phi- losophy, geography, and physics.

The prose takes a variety of forms: essays, letters, and travel writings. The antipodes and antipodeans also appear on maps and in artworks such as paintings, illuminations, book illustrations, and drawings, which are therefore also crucial to take into account when considering their geography, habitation, and correspondences. Second, it is not my intent to ignore recent postcolonial theory, but instead to offer the antipodes as one way to stand to the side of—beside—potential impasses in postcolonial studies.

For example, consider mimicry and hybrid- ity, two key related postcolonial features. Many critics have begun to grow impatient with the simplistic identification of these tropes in primarily nine- teenth- and twentieth-century non-European literature because to point out mimicry and hybridity in the literature implies that all postcolonial literature is somehow similar and perhaps only texts that include a hybrid character or moment of colonial mimicry are worthy of study.

However, my attempt is to look for other relations Goldie 9th pages. In terms of the chronological scope of this study, I examine Greek and Roman texts, such as those of Plato and Cleomedes; medieval writers and mapmakers like Roger Bacon and Lambert of St. Omer; texts and artworks from the Early Modern period; travel and related literatures of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries; twentieth-century texts written in the antipodes; and twenty-fi rst century antipodean discourses.

The significant difference between these two groups is more to do with tropes than place, perspective, or even the strategies they employ in their writings and artworks. The history of discourses about the antipodes, whether written from outside or inside, can in part be seen as a history of different genres: mathematical and geographical in the early era, cartographical and kinetic in the medieval period, social and sexual in the Early Modern period, sartorial and littoral in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, bodily and humoral in the twentieth century, and some combina- tion of these in the most recent era.

On the other hand, the antipodes also tend to flout classificatory models of chronological history and to cross genre boundaries. My focus therefore is more an analysis of tropes, of how the presentations come about and are articulated aside from generic distinctions. In this early European history, the term antipodes refers fi rst to a place, then a people—an example of geography quickly leading to anthropology.

Greek and Roman discourse is seemingly logical; scientists and others reason that the antipodes would simply be places or a place opposite the Northwest and, when they consider the Temperate Zone in the South, inhabited. How- ever, writers such as Plato, Strabo, and the astronomer Cleomedes immedi- ately fi nd the place and people fi lling with imaginary phenomena. It is as though the very logic at the basis of their speculations about the antipodes, combined with that wholly imaginary space, breed multiplicities: places, humans, and voices, the latter nevertheless failing to speak back to their Greek and Roman projections and plosives.

The antipodes therefore can call Goldie 9th pages. Chapter 2 examines the medieval period, which continues many of the ancient conjectures. However, Christianity and new forms of scientific knowl- edge from the Middle Ages introduce three novel elements.

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The fi rst is a kind of quandary for the northern thinkers. If people exist down there, where did they come from, and has the Word of God reached them? How could this correspondence have occurred? Second, writers in the Middle Ages tell the initial narratives of travel to the antipodes, including stories of tunnels through the earth and strange genealogies and stories whose begin- nings and futures are the antipodes. For many writers and artists during the period, such as the twelfth-century encyclopedist Lambert of St.

Island Theory: The Antipodes in: Islanded Identities

Omer, Albertus Magnus in the thirteenth-century, and the fourteenth-century author of The Book of John Mandeville, the antipodes embody a mobile potential and therefore extend and alter their metageographical preconceptions in ways that set the world into disorienting motion.

The Early Modern period involves a complicated return to both classical and medieval tropes. The third chapter focuses on the first titular reference to the southern land and peoples, a drama by the English playwright Rich- ard Brome. The cure?

The illusion of travel to the most distant land, thanks to the careful manipulation of a doctor, family members, and friends. The play proposes that the antipodes have already returned to London and have altered the Early Modern sense of British bodies, relationships, and sexualities. Physical travel to and from the Southern Hemisphere in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries is the subject of Chapter 4.

Here I consider travel writing, which includes ship logs, epistolary poems, and a pantomime. The Goldie 9th pages. Indeed, ever since the ancient era, speculative but nevertheless empirical writings about the antipodes have been customary, so the change in discourse in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries is more subtle and complex. Also, rather than an examination of only European projections about the antipodes, Chapter 4 includes analyses of narratives that begin and end in the antipodes for the fi rst time in the history of the subject.

Works Cited

It looks particularly at Mai, from islands west of Tahiti, who in went to London and, in the company of the renowned naturalist Joseph Banks, met King George, the painter Sir Joshua Reynolds, and the novelist Fanny Burney. Mai was the fi rst antipodean to survive the return voyage to the Society Islands, and when he arrived back, he rode a horse along the beach wearing motley clothing of Tahitian, Tongan, and English influence, and in the end, he moved to another island where he lived in a small English-style house fi lled with English goods, which was itself cov- ered by a Tahitian structure.

The transformations and adaptations of these items of clothing and goods suggest further unexpected effects of antipodean habitation and correspondence. After an introduction to what we might call island theory, I focus on places, people, and correspondences within the antipodes, networks princi- pally inside or among the antipodes rather than with locations outside the region.

One notable tone of this principally later twentieth-century literature is nostalgia. This tone arises out of an interest in the past, and rather than a nostalgia for, say, England, it expresses an attitude of regret in the face of European and American influences and a desire for a former home within the antipodes.

Many authors write of an antipodal region that is subject to neo-colonial derogations, but other causes contribute to a generally sorrow- ful tone. Soon, however, a lighter attitude toward the places, peoples, and their history appears.


An antipodal chuckle communicates itself in short works, mainly stories and poems, which not only make comic inversions and parodies of northwestern expectations about Oceania, but also poke gentle fun at objects and attitudes within the antipodes. The afterword looks to the future of the antipodes. One may see a photograph, for example, of a rough hillside just outside Beijing and another of a flat, shrub-covered field in the Goldie 9th pages. A global readymade, the site demon- strates one potential future for the antipodes that turns them away from a relationality to England and towards a kind of strict relativity, like the math- ematical defi nition in the earliest Greek writings.

Let me close with two brief examples of the topics that arise in this study. While they are not strictly about the antipodes but rather about the South more generally, they stand at a historical turning point of discourse when the antipodes are starting to be associated with the southern Pacific Ocean. It was an international success and was soon translated into English.

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  • Francis Bacon used it as a principal source for his utopian tract New Atlantis. Several conjoined discourses enable him to do so: the known and as-yet unknown help him to comprehend the world, the ancients and his contemporary experience in Peru allow him to consider the earth in new ways, and in his writing he notes that reason and imagination need to work together to address the new sense of the world. Acosta begins the Historia natural y moral by looking upward at the south- ern sky.

    He describes the expansiveness of the Milky Way in contrast to the stars in the Northern Hemisphere.

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    Nor does he consider the antipodean spaces as better in the present or in the past, in that they might offer another path that Europe might have taken or might take towards a superior future. Instead, his evaluations of Augustine, Lactantius, and others as he looks out from the West Coast of South America point Acosta to a different future, something that is to the side of Old World—New World narratives, beside a Spain—Indies dichotomy, and beside other binaries such as known—unknown, ancient— contemporary, and ratio—imagines.

    The most important word in the title of this work by Hall—bishop, polemicist, and satirist—is the conjunction and because he presents another world that is also the same world. Like Acosta, he appears interested in something other than comparison with and satire of European conventions and mores, even though satire comprises the majority of the work. A map included in the text fig. In the narrative of Mundus alter et idem, an English traveler appropriately named Mercurius Britannicus boards a vessel called The Phantasia and trav- els south along the coast of Africa, rounds the Cape of Good Hope, and takes a different route from all previous seamen by continuing south instead of turning north along the African coast and heading to India or the Indies.

    Women rule Viraginia and its various provinces and islands: Aphrodysia, Hermaphroditica Island, and Amazonia or Gynan- dria. Courtesy of the Library of Congress. Even implicit ones, though prevalent, do not dominate so that while the book is a satire of Catholicism, women, and nations, it is only gently ironic about human vices. Instead, we are presented with a par- allel world that is the same in which the narrator wanders and wonders over the attributes of its vast lands.

    Laws, rites, sumptuary, habitation, expression, all arise out of something about the place yet end up exceeding what is strictly inherent to it. Also, a kind of radical flatness characterizes the cultures: the world of this southern continent is in some sense the same as Europe. It is as though it is continuous with the place where Mercurius Britannicus starts out.