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Patagonia : A Cultural History - Chris Moss


A Cultural History

Paperback Published: 4th July 2008
ISBN: 9781904955382
Number Of Pages: 256

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Patagonia is the ultimate landscape of the mind. Like Siberia and the Sahara, it has become a metaphor for nothingness and extremity. Its frontiers have stretched beyond the political boundaries of Argentina and Chile to encompass an evocative idea of place. A vast triangle at the southern tip of the New World, this region of barrensteppes, soaring peaks and fierce winds was populated by small tribes of hunter-gatherers and roaming nomads when Ferdinand Magellan made landfall in 1520. A fateful moment for the natives, this was the start of an era of adventure and exploration. Soon Sir Francis Drake and John Byron, and sailors from Europe and America, would be exploring Patagonia's bays and inlets, mapping fjords and channels, whaling, sifting the streams for gold in the endless search for Eldorado. As the land was opened up in the nineteenth century, a crazed Frenchman declared himself King.A group of Welsh families sailed from Liverpool to Northern Patagonia to find a New Jerusalem in the desert. Further down the same river, Butch and Sundance took time out from bank robbing to run a small ranch near the Patagonian Andes. All these, and later travel writers, have left sketches and records, memoirs and diaries evoking Patagonia's grip on the imagination. From the empty plains to the crashing seas, from the giant dinosaur fossils to glacial sculptures, the landscape has inspired generations of travellers and artists. This place is a land of myth and legend: the "big foot" Indians and sea monsters; the mad King of Araucania and Patagonia; penal colonies and Nazi fugitives. It is land of explorers and settlers: Magellan and Drake; the journey of the Beagle; Welsh migrants and gauchos; Salesians and sheep farmers. It is the land of writers: W. H. Hudson and Charles Darwin; Chatwin and Theroux; Baudrillard's post-modern Patagonia.

The Last Days of Shorr: Patagonia's Indigenous Mythsp. 1
The Invention of Patagonia: Magellan and Drakep. 27
Port Famine: Sarmiento De Gamboap. 41
The English Mariners: Cavendish, Davis, Bryonp. 53
Unreal Cities: Founding Fathers and Fantasistsp. 73
Sounding the Soul: FitzRoy, Darwin and Jemmy Buttonp. 89
Y Wladfa: The Welsh in Patagoniap. 125
King of Patagonia: Orille Antoine and the Arauganosp. 143
Mystical Twitcher: W. H. Hudsonp. 157
Patagonia Conquered, 1870-1922p. 171
Taming the Wind: Antoine De Saint-Exuperyp. 199
Reclaiming Territory: Latin American Narrativesp. 211
Minimal Stories: Film and Music in Patagoniap. 233
Chatwin, Theroux and the Travel Writersp. 251
Postscript: Deconstructing Patagonia: The Brand, the Brochures and Jean Baudrillardp. 281
Further Readingp. 287
Index of Literary and Historical Namesp. 293
Index of Places and Landmarksp. 297
Table of Contents provided by Blackwell. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9781904955382
ISBN-10: 190495538X
Series: Landscapes of the Imagination Ser.
Audience: General
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 256
Published: 4th July 2008
Publisher: Signal Books Ltd
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 21.6 x 13.8  x 2.0
Weight (kg): 0.5