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  • The News at the Ends of the Earth: The Print Culture of Polar Exploration

    Author(s):
    Pages: 336
    Illustrations: 62 illustrations
    Sales/Territorial Rights: World
  • Cloth: $99.95 - Not In Stock
    978-1-4780-0322-9
  • Paperback: $26.95 - Not In Stock
    978-1-4780-0387-8
  • List of Illustrations  viii
    Chronology  xi
    Preface: Books on Ice  xv
    Acknowledgments  xxi
    Introduction. Polar Ecomedia  1
    1. Extreme Printing  43
    2. Arctic News  91
    3. Antarctic Imprints  138
    4. Dead Letter Reckoning  177
    5. Inuit Knowledge and Charles Francis Hall  209
    Conclusion. Matters of Life and Death  231
    Notes  237
    Bibliography  273
    Index
  • “What Hester Blum describes here is the production of print culture for the sake of not going crazy, for the sake of remaining, in some recognizable and accountable sense, human. This is media production under extreme duress, which makes for a fascinating story and theoretical provocation. Founded on a thought-provoking and unique archive, and busting with insight, The News at the Ends of the Earth is a terrific book.” — Stephanie LeMenager, author of, Living Oil: Petroleum Culture in the American Century

    “Using archives from Europe, Australia, and New Zealand, as well as North America, this pioneering work tells an unforgettable story about ship newspapers and other improvised media produced by sailors on Arctic and Antarctic expeditions. Informed by indigenous knowledge, and bearing witness to the extreme conditions of the polar regions, this invaluable material sheds light on the extreme weather of the Anthropocene as much as the print culture of the nineteenth century. Labor-intensive, detail-rich, and eye-opening.” — Wai Chee Dimock, Yale University

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  • Description

    From Sir John Franklin's doomed 1845 search for the Northwest Passage to early twentieth-century sprints to the South Pole, polar expeditions produced an extravagant archive of documents that are as varied as they are engaging. As the polar ice sheets melt, fragments of this archive are newly emergent. In The News at the Ends of the Earth Hester Blum examines the rich, offbeat collection of printed ephemera created by polar explorers. Ranging from ship newspapers and messages left in bottles to menus and playbills, polar writing reveals the seamen wrestling with questions of time, space, community, and the environment. Whether chronicling weather patterns or satirically reporting on penguin mischief, this writing provided expedition members with a set of practices to help them survive the perpetual darkness and harshness of polar winters. The extreme climates these explorers experienced is continuous with climate change today. Polar exploration writing, Blum contends, offers strategies for confronting and reckoning with the extreme environment of the present.

    About The Author(s)

    Hester Blum is Associate Professor of English at Pennsylvania State University, author of The View from the Masthead: Maritime Imagination and Antebellum American Sea Narratives, and editor of Turns of Event: Nineteenth-Century American Literary Studies in Motion and Horrors of Slavery, or, the American Tars in Tripoli.
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