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Literary Culture and the Pacific : Nineteenth-Century Textual Encounters - Vanessa Smith

Literary Culture and the Pacific

Nineteenth-Century Textual Encounters

Hardcover Published: 30th July 2012
ISBN: 9780521573597
Number Of Pages: 314

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This book examines a range of nineteenth-century European accounts from the Pacific, depicting Polynesian responses to imported metropolitan culture, in particular its technologies of writing and print. Texts designed to present self-affirming images of 'native' wonderment at European culture in fact betray the emergence of more complex modes of appropriation and interrogation by the Pacific peoples. Vanessa Smith argues that the Pacific islanders called into question the material basis and symbolic capacities of writing, even as they were first being framed in written representations. Examining accounts by beachcombers and missionaries, she suggests that complex modes of self-authorisation informed the transmission of new cultural practices to the Pacific peoples. This shift of attention towards reception and appropriation provides the context for a detailed discussion of Robert Louis Stevenson's late Pacific writings.

'The work of theorists such as Homi Bhabha and Walter Ong are used with economy and precision to illuminate how the reception of missionary literature was astonishingly diverse.' Times Literary Supplement

List of Illustrations
Introduction: acts of reading
-A gift of fabrication-: the beachcomber as bricoleur
Lip service and conversation
-Other people-s books-: Stevenson-s Pacific travels
Piracy and exchange: Stevenson-s Pacific fictions
In the press of events: Stevenson-s Pacific history
Afterword: -the impediment of tongues-
Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780521573597
ISBN-10: 0521573599
Series: Cambridge Studies in Nineteenth-Century Literature & Culture
Audience: Professional
Format: Hardcover
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 314
Published: 30th July 2012
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 22.8 x 15.2  x 2.2
Weight (kg): 0.63