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Polar Travel


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Leane, E ORCID: 0000-0002-7954-6529 2019 , 'Polar Travel', in T Youngs and N Das (eds.), The Cambridge History of Travel Writing , Cambridge University Press, United Kingdom, pp. 361-375.

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Travel writing looms large in literary histories of the polar regions. The bestknown Arctic and Antarctic texts have been and continue to be accounts of travel: official narratives, diaries, and memoirs by explorers – John Franklin, Robert F. Scott, Apsley Cherry-Garrard, and others – and travelogues by professional writers such as Barry Lopez and Sara Wheeler. While the Arctic and Antarctic icescapes have both inspired influential works of fiction and poetry, such as Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein (1818) and Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s ‘Rime of the Ancient Mariner’ (1798), these too centre on tales of travel, drawing on polar exploration accounts for their detail. Many Arctic indigenous peoples are traditionally nomadic, so that storytelling and travel become intertwined in their cultures. But the originally oral and linguistically diverse nature of these cultures means that many of the most prominent Arctic narratives are those produced by travellers from elsewhere. The uninhabited Antarctic takes the dominance of the travel narrative to its apogee: all writing about the Antarctic from experience is travel writing of a sort, in that any encounter with the place is premised on a journey

Item Type: Book Section
Authors/Creators:Leane, E
Keywords: travel writing, polar regions, Arctic, Antarctic
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
DOI / ID Number: 10.1017/9781316556740.024
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Copyright 2019 Cambridge University Press

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