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Subterranean worlds : a critical anthology / edited by Peter Fitting.

Contributor(s): Fitting, Peter, 1940-.
Material type: TextTextSeries: Wesleyan early classics of science fiction series: Publisher: Middletown, CT : Wesleyan University Press, c2004Description: 224 p. : ill. ; 22 cm.ISBN: 081956723X (alk. paper); 9780819567239 (alk. paper); 0819567248 (pbk. : alk. paper); 9780819567246 (pbk. : alk. paper).Subject(s): Science fiction | Civilization, Subterranean -- Fiction | Underground areas -- Fiction | Earth -- Core -- Fiction | Utopias -- Fiction | Voyages, ImaginaryDDC classification: 808.83/8762 LOC classification: PN6071.S33 | S84 2004Other classification: ED 3010
Contents:
Acknowledgments -- 1: Bluffer's guide to the underworld: an introduction to the hollow earth -- Theories and descriptions of the inner earth, from Kircher to Symmes -- 2: Relation d'un voyage du Pole Arctique au Pole Antarctique (1721) -- Selections -- 3: Lamekis, ou Les voyages extraordinaires d'un Egyptian dans la terre interieure (1735-1738) -- Selections -- 4: Journey of Niels Klim to the world underground (1741) -- Selections -- 5: Life and adventures of Peter Wilkins (1750) -- Selections -- 6: Voyage to the world in the center of the earth (1755) -- Selections -- 7: L'aventurier francois (1782) -- Selections -- 8: Icosameron (1788) -- Selections -- 9: John Cleves Symmes Jr and Symzonia (1820) -- Selections -- 10: Collin de Plancy: Voyage au centre de la terre (1821) -- Selections -- 11: Edgar Allan Poe and "The narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym" (1838) -- Selections -- Jules Verne: Voyage au centre di la terre (1864) -- Selections -- 13: After Verne: later developments -- Selections -- Endnotes -- Bibliography -- Index -- About the editor.
Summary: From the Publisher: The bizarre idea that the earth's interior is hollow and, perhaps, even populated has been put to effective literary use by writers ranging from Edgar Allen Poe and Jules Verne to Rudy Rucker and Edgar Rice Burroughs. This notion had respectability as a scientific hypothesis until the early 1800s, and the theory that the earth "is hollow and inhabitable within" continues to find believers as an alternative description of the earth to this day. The hollow earth is one of the most important settings in the literature of the imagination that fed into early science fiction. Subterranean Worlds presents a fascinating look at the theme of the hollow earth and its history, as well as the geological theories which produced many of these stories. It excerpts key passages from the major subterranean world fictions, some translated into English for the first time. With helpful introductions to each selection and a comprehensive bibliography, this book is the definitive treatment of this entertaining topic.
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Includes bibliographical references (p. [213]-220) and index.

Acknowledgments -- 1: Bluffer's guide to the underworld: an introduction to the hollow earth -- Theories and descriptions of the inner earth, from Kircher to Symmes -- 2: Relation d'un voyage du Pole Arctique au Pole Antarctique (1721) -- Selections -- 3: Lamekis, ou Les voyages extraordinaires d'un Egyptian dans la terre interieure (1735-1738) -- Selections -- 4: Journey of Niels Klim to the world underground (1741) -- Selections -- 5: Life and adventures of Peter Wilkins (1750) -- Selections -- 6: Voyage to the world in the center of the earth (1755) -- Selections -- 7: L'aventurier francois (1782) -- Selections -- 8: Icosameron (1788) -- Selections -- 9: John Cleves Symmes Jr and Symzonia (1820) -- Selections -- 10: Collin de Plancy: Voyage au centre de la terre (1821) -- Selections -- 11: Edgar Allan Poe and "The narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym" (1838) -- Selections -- Jules Verne: Voyage au centre di la terre (1864) -- Selections -- 13: After Verne: later developments -- Selections -- Endnotes -- Bibliography -- Index -- About the editor.

From the Publisher: The bizarre idea that the earth's interior is hollow and, perhaps, even populated has been put to effective literary use by writers ranging from Edgar Allen Poe and Jules Verne to Rudy Rucker and Edgar Rice Burroughs. This notion had respectability as a scientific hypothesis until the early 1800s, and the theory that the earth "is hollow and inhabitable within" continues to find believers as an alternative description of the earth to this day. The hollow earth is one of the most important settings in the literature of the imagination that fed into early science fiction. Subterranean Worlds presents a fascinating look at the theme of the hollow earth and its history, as well as the geological theories which produced many of these stories. It excerpts key passages from the major subterranean world fictions, some translated into English for the first time. With helpful introductions to each selection and a comprehensive bibliography, this book is the definitive treatment of this entertaining topic.

Reviews provided by Syndetics

CHOICE Review

Fitting (Univ. of Toronto) provides an intriguing analysis of a selection of texts that have been largely ignored or forgotten by current scholars of utopian and science-fiction literature. The theme that connects these diverse texts is the "hollow earth," that is, the authors' description of a subterranean world contained within Earth's core. The volume includes excerpts of texts with dates ranging from the early 18th century through the 19th century, including the work of writers both well-known (Burroughs, Verne) and less familiar. Fitting includes scientific writings from the authors' time periods, which allow him to demonstrate how contemporary theories underpin the fictional texts. He deftly weaves works together by revealing how the authors influenced each other and by showing how the hollow-earth motif has changed and yet persisted into the 21st century, scientific evidence notwithstanding. Fitting provides a fascinating glimpse into the hollow-earth motif, and the excerpts are substantial enough to give readers a clear feel for the style and theme of each author. ^BSumming Up: Essential. All collections supporting study of fantasy, science fiction, or utopian fiction; all levels. P. J. Kurtz Minot State University

Author notes provided by Syndetics

PETER FITTING is Director of the Department of Cinema Studies Program at the University of Toronto and former chair of the Society of Utopian Studies.

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