Shipwreck and Island Motifs in Literature and the Arts


The motifs of island and shipwreck have been present in literature and the arts from ancient times. Whether they occur as plot elements, as part of literary or film imagery, as symbols in paintings, as leitmotifs in songs, or as concepts in philosophical theories, both have always been a source of fascination to authors, artists and scholars.
In Shipwreck and Island Motifs in Literature and the Arts, Brigitte Le Juez and Olga Springer have gathered essays that explore shipwreck and island figures in texts as historically, culturally and artistically diverse as Walter Scott’s The Lord of the Isles, Cristina Fernández Cubas’ “The Lighthouse”, reality TV series Treasure Island, pop songs of the BBC Radio programme Desert Island Discs, or The Otolith Group’s essay-film Hydra Decapita.

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Biographical Note
Brigitte Le Juez is Senior Lecturer in Comparative Literature at Dublin City University (PhD Paris IV-Sorbonne). Her publications are in Reception studies concerning France and Ireland, Geocriticism and Myth criticism. She is President of the Comparative Literature Association of Ireland.

Olga Springer is currently completing her PhD study “Ambiguity in Charlotte Brontë’s Villette” at Tuebingen University (Germany). She worked as DAAD-Lektorin at Dublin City University between 2010 and 2012. Her research interests include Victorian literature and ambiguity in literature.
Table of contents


Brigitte Le Juez and Olga Springer
Introduction: Shipwrecks and Islands as Multilayered, Timeless Metaphors of Human Existence

I: Shipwrecks, Islands and Subjectivity

Volkmar Billig
“I-lands”: The Construction and Shipwreck of an Insular Subject in Modern Discourse

Yulia Pushkarevskaya Naughton, Gerald Naughton, and Samiah Haque
The Island as Chora

Phillip Stevenson
“Mine Was a Peculiar Kind of Wreck”: Robert Louis Stevenson’s Deconstruction of Treasure Island in The Wrecker

Michael Hinds
Robinson in Headphones: The Desert Island as Pop Fetish

II: The Island as Aesthetic Concept

Heather H. Yeung
Adventures in Form: The Hebrides and the Romantic Imaginary

Patricia García
“The Lighthouse” (Edgar Allan Poe, 1849; Cristina Fernández Cubas, 1997): From the “Egocentred” to a “Geocentred” Analysis

David Garrett Izzo
Fifty Years On: Aldous Huxley’s Island (1962) Reconsidered

III: Weathering the Tempest – Images of Shipwrecks and Islands from Ancient to Modern Times

Barbara Freitag
The Gaelicization of Brasil Island: From Cartographic Error to Celtic Elysium

Robert J. Vrtis
The Tempest Toss’d Ship: Twelfth Night and Emotional Communities in Early Modern London

Dyani Johns Taff
A Shipwreck of Faith: Hazardous Voyages and Contested Representations in Milton’s Samson Agonistes

Barra Ó Seaghdha
Islands and Irelands: Journeys, Mappings and Re-Mappings

IV: The Island as Feminine Space

Sara K. Day
“Maybe Girls Need an Island”: Desert Islands and Gender Troubles in Libba Bray’s Beauty Queens

Amy Hicks
Recreating Home for the New Girl: Domesticity and Adventure in L.T. Meade’s Four on an Island

Shawn Thomson
Lady Castaways in the Gilded Age in Edith Wharton’s The House of Mirth

Sandra Vlasta
Islands to Get Away From: Postcolonial Islands and Emancipation in Novels by Monica Ali, Andrea Levy and Caryl Phillips

V: Experimental Shipwrecks and Island as Laboratory

Shiela Pardee
Drifting and Foundering: Evolutionary Theory in Kurt Vonnegut’s Galápagos

Maria Błaszkiewicz
“You Turn Worlds Upside Down”: The Politics of Reversal in Terry Pratchett’s Nation

Pat Brereton
Shipwrecks and Desert Islands: Ecology and Nature – A Case Study of How Reality TV and Fictional Films Frame Representations of Islands

Beatrice Ferrara
The Figuration of the Shipwreck as Political Commentary in Hydra Decapita, an Essay-Film by The Otolith Group

Notes on Contributors
The book is aimed at readers and researchers in general and comparative literary studies, but will also be of interest to readers and researchers in the visual arts, music and media studies.
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