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Passagiere des Eises: Polarhelden und arktische Diskurse 1874

Tildelt: kr 0,22 mill.

The book examines the way in which Arctic discourses are mobilized by political, social, cultural and aesthetic apparatuses in the reception history of a single Arctic expedition, the Austro-Hungarian Arctic Expedition (1872-1874). The return of this expe dition, also known as the Payer-Weyprecht expedition after its two leaders, set off a chain of discursive events framed within celebratory festivities, journalism, scientific publications, book accounts, and literary and artistic creations. This chain con tinues into the present day (most famously with the publication of Christoph Ransmayr's canonical novel Die Schrecken des Eises und der Finsternis in 1984) and transverses many different positions of cultural competence in relation to the Arctic. The boo k focuses on the time immediately following on the expedition's return, from the explorers' arrival in Vardø after their two-year stay in the ice and the discovery of Franz Joseph's Land to the publication of Julius Payer's book account of the expedition (in instalments, 1875-1876). In this period an extensive corpus of journalistic narratives (reportage, commentary, popular science, satire and romance) is gradually transformed into a selection of more permanent and structured printed and exhibited forms (expedition accounts, published diaries, scientific articles, novellas/novels, painting cycles). Due consideration is also given to material forms of reception, primarily the various welcoming celebrations which were held along the explorers' route from V ardø and to Vienna, and then on to their various homes within the Austro-Hungarian Empire. The book contributes to ongoing research efforts on Arctic discourses and the social/political/cultural contexts of Arctic exploration, opens new forms of analysis in Arctic history (combining cultural studies with a microhistory of the reception of an Arctic expedition), and uncovers historical interactions between Central Europe and Norway. (for more, see attachment.)

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