Tales of shipwreck have always fascinated audiences, and as a result there is a rich literature of suffering at sea, and an equally rich tradition of visual art depicting this theme. Exploring the shifting semiotics and symbolism of shipwreck, the interdisciplinary essays in this volume provide a history of a major literary and artistic motif as they consider how depictions have varied over time, and across genres and cultures. Simultaneously, they explore the imaginative potential of shipwreck as they consider the many meanings that have historically attached to maritime disaster and suffering at sea. Spanning both popular and high culture, and addressing a range of political, spiritual, aesthetic and environmental concerns, this cross-cultural, comparative study sheds new light on changing attitudes to the sea, especially in the West. In particular, it foregrounds the role played by the maritime in the emergence of Western modernity, and so will appeal not only to those interested in literature and art, but also to scholars in history, geography, international relations, and postcolonial studies.
Table of Contents
1. Introduction Carl Thompson 2. The Capsized Self: Sea Navigation, Shipwrecks and Escapes from Drowning in Southern Buddhist Narrative and Art Sarah Shaw 3. 'Describe Nunc Tempestatem': Sea-Storm and Shipwreck Type-Scenes in Ancient Literature Boris Dunsch 4. The Sunken Voice: Depth and Submersion in Two Early Modern Portuguese Accounts of Maritime Peril Josiah Blackmore 5. God's Voice: Shipwreck and the Meanings of Ocean in Early Modern England and America Steve Mentz 6. Shipwreck and the Forging of the Commerical Nation: The 1786 Wreck of the Halsewell Carl Thompson 7. Shipwreck in French and British Visual Art, 1700-1842: Vernet, Northcote, Géricault and Turner Christine Riding 8. Shipwrecks on the Streets: Maritime Disaster and the Broadside Ballad Tradition in Nineteenth-Century Britain and Ireland Kirsty Reid 9. What Lies Beneath: The Submarine Shipwreck in Anglo-American Culture, 1880-1920 Stephen Donovan 10. Molly Brown and the Titanic: the Shipwrecked Woman in U.S. Culture Robin Miskolcze 11. Shipwrecking the World's 'Wretched Refuse': Spectres of Neo-colonial Exclusion in Carl de Souza's Ceux qu'on jette à la mer and Charles Masson's Droit du sol Véronique Bragard 12. Wrecked in the Shallows: Yann Martel's Life of Pi Michael Titlestad 13. Salvaging a Romantic Trope: The Conceptual Resurrection of Shipwreck in Recent Art Practice Emma Cocker
Carl Thompson is Senior Lecturer in English at Nottingham Trent University, UK.
"Thompson deserves praise for having assembled a wide range of essays that cover such a broad sweep of time…the collection as a whole warrants considerable merit. In its close focus on shipwreck as a way to reframe imperial expansion and technological change, as a lens through which to explore the complexities of religion, race, class, and gender through time, and as a critique of modernity in the broadest terms, Shipwreck in Art and Literature is a valuable addition to the recent revival of oceanic studies across the disciplines." --Christopher L. Pastore, University of Albany, SUNY, Journeys