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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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PRINTED FROM MINNESOTA SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.minnesota.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of Minnesota Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in MNSO for personal use.date: 17 May 2022

Bewitching Sea

Bewitching Sea

(p.1) Introduction Bewitching Sea
Antebellum at Sea

Jason Berger

University of Minnesota Press

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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