Travel Books:

The Cartographic Eye

How Explorers Saw Australia


Paperback / softback

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The Cartographic Eye by Simon Ryan
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This book is about the mythologies of land exploration, and about space and the colonial enterprise in particular. It is an innovative investigation of the presumptions, aesthetics, and politics of Australian explorers' texts that looks at the journals of John Oxley, Thomas Mitchell, Charles Sturt, and Ludwig Leichhardt and shows that they are not the simple, unadorned observations the authors would have us believe, but, rather, complex networks of tropes. The book argues that contacts with Aborigines and the 'virgin' land are occasions of discursive contest, and that, however much explorers construct themselves as monarchs of all they survey, this monarchy is not absolute. This book scrutinises and undermines the scientific and literary methodology of exploration.
Release date NZ
September 13th, 1996
Country of Publication
United Kingdom
24 Halftones, unspecified
Cambridge University Press
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