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The Resource Oceanic mirrors : Atlantic literature and the global chaosmos, Leslie Elizabeth Eckel

Oceanic mirrors : Atlantic literature and the global chaosmos, Leslie Elizabeth Eckel

Label
Oceanic mirrors : Atlantic literature and the global chaosmos
Title
Oceanic mirrors
Title remainder
Atlantic literature and the global chaosmos
Statement of responsibility
Leslie Elizabeth Eckel
Creator
Author
Subject
Genre
Language
eng
Summary
This essay explores what would happen to the literary study of the Atlantic world if oceanic nature rather than land- or ship-based cultures were placed at its center. Drawing primarily on three novels from the American and oceanic traditions -- Charles Johnson's Middle Passage, Herman Melville's Moby-Dick, and Amitav Ghosh's Sea of Poppies -- read in dialogue with recent works of Atlantic theory, this essay contends that in literature, the ocean's primary function is to undermine and even to erase cultural assumptions, not to draw boundaries between individual and national identities or racial and religious affiliations. These authors insist that the ocean has a life and an intent of its own, and that it may be threatening as well as liberating for human beings who engage with it. Like Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Johnson, Melville, and Ghosh step into that space of uncertainty to ask, "What is the ocean doing?" When we examine a map of Atlantic currents, the ocean's naturally occurring blank spots shock us with their emptiness, which for Melville warns of watery oblivion but for Johnson and Ghosh allows for productive detachment from grounded particulars. Johnson imagines that the "nothing" of the ocean generates a Buddhist condition of "no-self, " opening up patterns of black Atlantic narrative to influences from the Indian and Pacific Oceans. Consequently, a wrenching experience of the Middle Passage becomes a promising Middle Path. Following similar cultural currents, Ghosh envisions the Indian Ocean basin as a dynamic, refracted mirror of the Atlantic world, breaking apart racial categories while also reflecting familiar patterns of slavery, creolization, and landlessness. Reframed in an oceanic light, Atlantic literature shares a transhistorical and transnational commitment to testing the limits of human understanding in the face of what Johnson calls the oceanic "chaosmos" that pulls apart and recombines worlds again and again.--
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Assigning source
Abstract from publisher
Cataloging source
UBY
Illustrations
  • illustrations
  • maps
Index
no index present
Literary form
non fiction
Nature of contents
bibliography
Label
Oceanic mirrors : Atlantic literature and the global chaosmos, Leslie Elizabeth Eckel
Instantiates
Publication
Note
Photocopy
Bibliography note
Includes bibliographical references (pages 141-144)
Carrier category
volume
Carrier MARC source
rdacarrier
Content category
text
Content type MARC source
rdacontent
Extent
pages 128-144
Media category
unmediated
Media MARC source
rdamedia
Other physical details
illustrations, maps
System control number
  • (OCoLC)ocn905619661
  • UtOrBLW
Label
Oceanic mirrors : Atlantic literature and the global chaosmos, Leslie Elizabeth Eckel
Publication
Note
Photocopy
Bibliography note
Includes bibliographical references (pages 141-144)
Carrier category
volume
Carrier MARC source
rdacarrier
Content category
text
Content type MARC source
rdacontent
Extent
pages 128-144
Media category
unmediated
Media MARC source
rdamedia
Other physical details
illustrations, maps
System control number
  • (OCoLC)ocn905619661
  • UtOrBLW

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