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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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Fantasies of the Common Sailor; or, Enjoying the Knowing Jack Tar

Fantasies of the Common Sailor; or, Enjoying the Knowing Jack Tar

(p.25) Chapter 1 Fantasies of the Common Sailor; or, Enjoying the Knowing Jack Tar
Antebellum at Sea

Jason Berger

University of Minnesota Press

This chapter discusses the links between antebellum maritime narratives and maritime labor. It argues that the authenticity of the narratives is an indication of fantasies about different classes and the maritime labor experience. It studies Richard Henry Dana Jr.’s Two Years before the Mast and James Fenimore Cooper’s Ned Myers; or, A Life before the Mast to explain the Lacanian notion of fantasy. It investigates the apparent anxiety-ridden impasse between maritime narratives and the experiences of common sailors they seek to depict.

Keywords:   antebellum maritime, surplus enjoyment, Lacanian notion of fantasy, Two Years before the Mast, Ned Myers, a Life before the Mast

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