International Journal of Humanities and Social Science

ISSN 2220-8488 (Print), 2221-0989 (Online) 10.30845/ijhss

Literary and Cartographic Projections
Dr. Paul Longley Arthur

Throughout the seventeenth, eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, imaginary voyages in the setting of the antipodes were published alongside genuine exploration accounts, and competed with them for the public’s attention. Both offered the novelty of glimpses into strange and exotic distant places and both were concerned with mapping, in painstaking detail, the routes taken and the lands discovered. This almost forgotten genre was remarkable for its ability to blend geographical fact with satire and fantasy in a way that captured the imaginations of readers, persuading them in many cases of the truth of its far-fetched reports of journeys into remote uncharted territory. This paper reflects on the relationship between imaginary voyage narratives and the desire to know and map the world in a systematic and verifiable way – to grasp its spatial dimensions - that was a feature of the period in which the imaginary voyage genre flourished.

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