February 01 2022

The Spectral Arctic - A History of Ghosts and Dreams in Polar Exploration

The Spectral Arctic - A History of Ghosts and Dreams in Polar Exploration

The Spectral Arctic - A History of Ghosts and Dreams in Polar Exploration
pdf | 22.51 MB | English | Isbn:‎ 1787352471 | Author: Shane McCorristine | Year: 2018


Visitors to the Arctic enter places that have been traditionally imagined as otherworldly. This strangeness fascinated audiences in nineteenth-century Britain when the idea of the heroic explorer voyaging through unmapped zones reached its zenith. The Spectral Arctic re-thinks our understanding of Arctic exploration by paying attention to the importance of dreams and ghosts in the quest for the Northwest Passage. The narratives of Arctic exploration that we are all familiar with today are just the tip of the iceberg: they disguise a great mass of mysterious and dimly lit stories beneath the surface. In contrast to oft-told tales of heroism and disaster, this book reveals the hidden stories of dreaming and haunted explorers, of frozen mummies, of rescue balloons, visits to Inuit shamans, and of the entranced female clairvoyants who travelled to the Arctic in search of John Franklin's lost expedition. Through new readings of archival documents, exploration narratives, and fictional texts, these spectral stories reflect the complex ways that men and women actually thought about the far North in the past. This revisionist historical account allows us to make sense of current cultural and political concerns in the Canadian Arctic about the location of Franklin's ships.  Praise for The Spectral Arctic '... Open[s] up new ways of viewing how the search for the Northwest Passage and the loss of Franklin and his men had profound spiritual impacts on British society, and which goes into greater detail than most books of the ways that spiritualist fads during an era of rapid modernization affected the search for the missing ships.' Anchorage Daily News 'The Spectral Arctic closes with a deft and compelling reflection on the recent discoveries of the locations of the Franklin expedition's two ships, lost for over 160 years; the finds have implications both for contemporary and historical Indigenous communities and for the Anglo-American Arctic imagination.' Victorian Studies 'The Spectral Arctic builds on a growing field of humanities research dedicated to histories of the uncanny and the unexplainable. ...The cold, untamed emptiness of the Far North was, as McCorristine acknowledges, an imperial invention made possible by ignoring the experience and knowledge of indigenous people. Attuned to these occlusions, The Spectral Arctic looks to stories of ghosts and reveries as sites from which a more inclusive history of Arctic exploration might emerge.' Magic, Ritual and Witchcraft '...Readers with a background in the field of history, geography or psychology can enjoy an in-depth examination of the far north, presented from an original perspective. It is highly recommended to any researcher interested in the captivating spectral geography of this place.' The Polar Journal 'McCorristine's is an impressive and often enjoyable study of the supernatural in 19th-century Britain and the Dominions; of Arctic exploration (with many pages on the neglected Inuit); and of mechanisms by which the penny press transmitted news of both to an attentive nation.' Times Higher Education (THE) '[The Spectral Arctic] is a book I can only strongly recommend – a book that is both a fascinating and page-turning read, as well as a thorough scholarly engagement with historical, cultural, and political geographies. And, given its open access availability by UCL Press, I have no doubt it will reach a wide readership. Or, in my case, it will become a book I will return to again; this is a history that is still unfolding.' ANTIPODE 'McCorristine opens avenues of analysis relevant to our contemporary understanding of the Arctic and he ends with a call to reorientate the way we think about polar explorers, emphasizing the significance they hold for us today.' Times Literary Supplement 'A deeply interesting work on the psychology of adventurers, The Spectral Arctic is a sound addition to the canon of Arctic exploration literature.' Foreword Reviews 'This is a...

Category:History of Canadian First Nations, History of Arctic & Antarctica, Maritime History & Piracy

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