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Images Of The Antipodes In The Eighteenth Century.A Study in Stereotyping. (Cross/Cultures 18)
How did Europeans view the unknown region at their antipodes in early times, before the explorations of Captain Cook and others made it well known? Throughout the ages it has evoked fantastic images which affected the arts and sciences, and the evolution of the novel in the century prior to the major discoveries was influenced in the same way. The...
How did Europeans view the unknown region at their antipodes in early times, before the explorations of Captain Cook and others made it well known? Throughout the ages it has evoked fantastic images which affected the arts and sciences, and the evolution of the novel in the century prior to the major discoveries was influenced in the same way. The eighteenth century was also a critical phase in European social history, a time when many modern patterns of economic life and international relations were formed. Distant explorations and discoveries bore implications for that process, which tended to be worked out in fictional voyages mingling fact with fiction. Images of the Antipodes asks what these can tell us about Europe's expansion to the limits of the New World - about the first contacts between cultures with very different worldviews, about the colonial relations that followed, and about the geopolitics of the region since then. They offer a perspective on cross- cultural relationships generally - nowhere more apparent than in their use of ancient images of the antipodes.This is the third part of a study on the intellectual history of travel fiction, and deals with the period from the 1720s to the 1790s, focusing on an issue that is as vital now as it was then: cultural or racial stereotyping, and the link between this and the differing politico-economic aspirations of peoples. It is a dual problem of exploitation, which has been associated with the antipodes since the beginnings of Western literature. The book discusses teratological fantasies, the literary background in utopias and Robinsonades, Gulliver's Travels and other travel fiction from mid-century onwards, the parallels between real and imaginary voyages, and the way the latter often prefigured the rise of modern anthropology and of colonial relationships in the austral regions. Particularly relevant was the odd blend of arcadianism and horror inspired by, or projected onto, these places in the later eighteenth century - as it had long been in the past. The works discussed are chiefly English and French, but include other European examples of the type.
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