This comprehensive analysis of literary responses to Antarctica examines the rich body of literature that the continent has provoked over the last three centuries, focussing particularly on narrative fiction. Novelists as diverse as 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 far south. The continent has also inspired genre fiction, including a Mills and Boon novel, a Phantom comic and a Biggles book, as well as countless lost-race romances, espionage thrillers and horror-fantasies. Antarctica in Fiction draws on these sources, as well as film, travel narratives and explorers' own creative writing. It maps the far south as a space of the imagination and argues that only by engaging with this space, in addition to the physical continent, can we understand current attitudes towards Antarctica.
Elizabeth Leane is a Senior Lecturer in English Literature at the University of Tasmania. She is author of Reading Popular Physics: Disciplinary Skirmishes and Textual Strategies (2007) and editor, with Carol Freeman and Yvette Watt, of Considering Animals: Contemporary Case Studies in Human-Animal Relations (2011).
Introduction; 1. Speculation visions of the south polar regions; 2. Bodies, boundaries and the Antarctic gothic; 3. Creative explorations of the heroic era; 4. The survival value of literature at high latitudes; 5. The transforming nature of Antarctic travel; 6. Freezing time in far southern narratives; Coda.