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Antebellum at SeaMaritime Fantasies in Nineteenth-Century America$
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Jason Berger

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780816677061

Published to Minnesota Scholarship Online: August 2015

DOI: 10.5749/minnesota/9780816677061.001.0001

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Bewitching Sea

Bewitching Sea

Chapter:
(p.1) Introduction Bewitching Sea
Source:
Antebellum at Sea
Author(s):

Jason Berger

Publisher:
University of Minnesota Press
DOI:10.5749/minnesota/9780816677061.003.0001

This introductory chapter presents the sea narratives of James Fenimore Cooper and the novel, White-Jacket by Herman Melville to discuss how sea narratives engenders desire for fantastic and unruly maritime experiences, and demonstrate a complex array of sociopolitical valences. The chapter examines the Lacanian psychoanalytic perspective of fantasy, stating that “Desire is not something given in advance, but something that has to be constructed—and it is precisely the role of fantasy to give the coordinates of the subject’s desire.”

Keywords:   sea narratives, James Fenimore Cooper, White-Jacket, Herman Melville, fantasy

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