Arctic expeditions in search of the missing British explorer Sir John Franklin carried copies of Typee and Omoo in their libraries in two notable examples. How does one read Melville's Polynesian romances in the Arctic? In the context of their interactions with Inuit and other indigenous people of the North, Arctic sailors might have concluded from their reading of Typee or Omoo that white, Western ways were not supreme. Ideologically instantiating Western primacy would have consequences both for indigenous and colonial populations. The story of Melville in the Arctic is a history of refusing national or imperial sovereignty in favor of the open spaces of the sea.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Literature and Literary Theory