Unsettled Narratives: The Pacific Writings of Stevenson, Ellis, Melville and London, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Unsettled Narratives

The Pacific Writings of Stevenson, Ellis, Melville and London, 1st Edition

By David Farrier


256 pages

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Paperback: 9781138813939
pub: 2014-11-10
Hardback: 9780415979511
pub: 2006-11-30
eBook (VitalSource) : 9780203943151
pub: 2006-11-30
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In the nineteenth-century Pacific, the production of a text of encounter occurred in tandem with the production of a settled space; asserting settler presence through the control of the space and the context of the encounter. Indigenous resistance therefore took place through modes of representation that ‘unsettled’ the text. This book considers the work of four Western visitors to the Pacific—Robert Louis Stevenson, William Ellis, Herman Melville, and Jack London—and the consequences for the written text and the experience of cross-cultural encounter when encounter is reduced to writing. The study proposes a strong connection between settling and writing as assertions of presence, and, by engaging a metaphor of building dwellings and building texts, the study examines how each writer manipulates the process of text creation to assert a dominant presence over and against the indigenous presence, which is represented as threatening, and extra-textual.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments. Introduction: The Written Pacific 1. 'Talk Languished on the Beach': The Possibility of Reciprocity in Robert Louis Stevenson’s In the South Seas 2. 'These Words are so Changed in a Native’s Mouth': Contested Frames in William Ellis’s Polynesian Researches 3. 'Typee or Happar?': The Unsettling Narrative of Typee 4. 'This is the Book I Write': Jack London’s Strictly Limited Body Conclusion: Ambivalence and Authorship. Notes. Works Cited. Index

About the Series

Literary Criticism and Cultural Theory

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
LITERARY CRITICISM / Semiotics & Theory
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Popular Culture