Trysts tropiques: the torrid jungles of science fiction

Menadue, Christopher B. (2017) Trysts tropiques: the torrid jungles of science fiction. Etropic: electronic journal of studies in the tropics, 16 (1). pp. 125-140.

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Abstract

In science fiction magazines of the first half of the twentieth century, tropical environments are chaotic domains where civilised restrictions do not apply. Visitors who cross the boundary between civilisation and jungle exhibit carnal desires and violent behaviours in response to the opportunities and threats they encounter. Mysterious cities and settlements hidden in the jungle and inhabited by supernatural beings are a common feature of science fiction of this period. The tropics are ‘torrid’ in both a human, emotional sense,as well asin the sense ofAristotle’s definition of a geographical areathat is virtually uninhabitable due to the hostility of the climate (Physics, 362a33-362b29). However, by the end of the century, the tropical jungle had been transformed in science fiction into something positive and less fearsome; a rich ecological reserve, endangered, and in need of preservation. Tropical science fiction narratives reflect a changing public understanding of the tropics, and illustrate the value of science fiction as a record of the history of changes in social and cultural values.

Item ID: 49178
Item Type: Article (Refereed Research - C1)
Keywords: fiction, gender, jungle, literature, methodology, tropical
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Authors retain copyright and grant the journal right of first publication with the work simultaneously licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY) License that allows others to share and adapt the work with an acknowledgement of the work's authorship and initial publication in this journal.

ISSN: 1448-2940
Date Deposited: 07 Jun 2017 23:15
FoR Codes: 20 LANGUAGE, COMMUNICATION AND CULTURE > 2002 Cultural Studies > 200299 Cultural Studies not elsewhere classified @ 40%
20 LANGUAGE, COMMUNICATION AND CULTURE > 2005 Literary Studies > 200599 Literary Studies not elsewhere classified @ 40%
20 LANGUAGE, COMMUNICATION AND CULTURE > 2005 Literary Studies > 200508 Other Literatures in English @ 20%
SEO Codes: 95 CULTURAL UNDERSTANDING > 9599 Other Cultural Understanding > 959999 Cultural Understanding not elsewhere classified @ 20%
97 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 970119 Expanding Knowledge through Studies of the Creative Arts and Writing @ 50%
95 CULTURAL UNDERSTANDING > 9502 Communication > 950203 Languages and Literature @ 30%
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