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Accidental Explorers, Unsuitable Authors The Textual Strategies of the Pacific Beachcomber 1783-1867

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dc.contributor.author Milcairns, Susanne Margaret
dc.date.accessioned 2008-07-29T02:26:53Z
dc.date.accessioned 2022-10-19T19:54:38Z
dc.date.available 2008-07-29T02:26:53Z
dc.date.available 2022-10-19T19:54:38Z
dc.date.copyright 2004
dc.date.issued 2004
dc.identifier.uri https://ir.wgtn.ac.nz/handle/123456789/22142
dc.description.abstract This thesis examines the written accounts of European sailors who "went native" on various Pacific islands between 1783 and 1867. Historically they were known as Pacific beachcombers and their acceptance into native societies was essential for their immediate survival, and for their long-term return to Europe. The extraordinary extent of their assimilation, and their participation in all aspects of native life, rendered the men suspect in the eyes of their European contemporaries. The act of "going native" was regarded as a repudiation of civilisation and this perception affected the sailors' presentation of themselves as credible authors upon their return to Europe. The narratives of this unique group of men were perceived to be tainted with the stigma of marginality and an examination will be made of the complex system of legitimation, justification and self-authorisation at work in the resultant texts. As uniquely marginal individuals the beachcombers were exclusively placed to explore and examine life on the periphery of the European world. An examination is made of the complex negotiations, personal and textual, required in the act of cross-cultural integration and its presentation in print. The adaptability, resourcefulness and ingenuity associated with a beachcomber's life in island communities are reflected in the reconfiguration of traditional generic conventions that characterise his written account. It is argued that the literary strategies employed by the castaway sailor challenge and subvert the ideology of primitivism and prevailing assumptions regarding the nature of the "savage", the efficacy of the missionary endeavour and the role of western civilisation in the Pacific. The thesis will focus on the distinctive fusion of anthropology, geography, philosophy, and personal adventure that distinguishes the beachcomber narratives, presenting them as unparalleled in the annals of voyage and travel. en_NZ
dc.format pdf en_NZ
dc.language en_NZ
dc.language.iso en_NZ
dc.publisher Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington en_NZ
dc.subject Travelers' writings en_NZ
dc.subject Discourse analysis en_NZ
dc.subject Narrative en_NZ
dc.subject 18th Century en_NZ
dc.subject 19th century en_NZ
dc.subject Criticism and interpretation en_NZ
dc.subject Oceania en_NZ
dc.title Accidental Explorers, Unsuitable Authors The Textual Strategies of the Pacific Beachcomber 1783-1867 en_NZ
dc.type Text en_NZ
vuwschema.type.vuw Awarded Doctoral Thesis en_NZ
thesis.degree.grantor Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington en_NZ
thesis.degree.level Doctoral en_NZ
thesis.degree.name Doctor of Philosophy en_NZ

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