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.”
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