Zone of the marvellous : in search of the Antipodes /
Martin Edmond.
Auckland, N.Z. : Auckland University Press, 2009.
258 p.
1869404475 (pbk.), 9781869404475 (pbk.)
More Details
Auckland, N.Z. : Auckland University Press, 2009.
1869404475 (pbk.)
9781869404475 (pbk.)
catalogue key
Includes bibliographical references and index.
A Look Inside
About the Author
Author Affiliation
Martin Edmond was born in Ohakune in 1952. He is the author of the award-winning Chronicle of the Unsung (AUP, 2004), Luca Antara: Passages in Search of Australia (2006), Waimarino County Other Excursions (AUP, 2007) and The Supply Party (2009). He lives in Sydney.
Review Quotes
"Compressing 4000 years of history into 250 pages is a formidable task, but maverick essayist Martin Edmond is up to the challenge." Iain Sharp, Metro
"Edmond's exploration of the idea of the Antipodes is pure magic. A must-read for anyone who wonders how we got here." Laura Kroetsch, Dominon Post
"If Martin Edmond has ever written a dull book, I've not come across it." Gordon McLauchlan, New Zealand Herald
"This book does much more than just build a case: it is an entertainment of the best kind." Jane Westaway, New Zealand Books
To find out how to look for other reviews, please see our guides to finding book reviews in the Sciences or Social Sciences and Humanities.
Main Description
Australia and New Zealand were imagined for thousands of years before they became real. From Plato's Atlantis to Dante's Mount Purgatory, from Sinbad the Sailor to Abel Tasman, travellers, writers, map-makers and charlatans have dreamt of an other world on the opposite side of the Northern Hemisphere. Martin Edmond's 4000-year history of the antipodes in the Western imagination has an extraordinary intellectual breadth and imaginative reach. Beginning with the Babylonian Epic of Gilgamesh, Edmond reveals the allure of an antipodal world from the earliest Western writing. While Ptolemy proposed a Great South Land to balance the weight of the Northern Hemisphere continents on his maps, and Phoenician, Greek and Roman sailors began voyaging down the African coast, thinkers from Dante to Defoe were imagining paradise (or its opposite) at the bottom of the South Seas. Would you find pearls or purgatory or lost tribes in the antipodes? And whose fantastic tales should you trust? Even though the South Seas were discovered and settled over the last few centuries, Edmond finds that the tradition of the marvellous antipodes has exerted a powerful hold over artists and writers such as Sidney Nolan, Shane Cotton, James K Baxter and Janet Frame.
Main Description
Imaginative and cerebral, this volume recounts the fantastic history of the antipodes--namely Australia and New Zealand--from the Western perspective over the course of the past five millennia. Tracing the fiction underlying the fact in the tales of, among others, Marco Polo, John Mandeville, and Thomas More, this remarkable compilation explores the imagination of travelers, writers, map-makers, charlatans, and rogues who dreamed of other worlds. Delving into the Australian character and the New Zealand psyche, this account also conveys an insightful glimpse into Western history.
Main Description
New Zealand and Australia were imagined thousands of years before they became real. From Plato's Atlantis to More's Utopia, Sinbad the Sailor to Abel Tasman, poets, travellers, fabulists, map-makers, charlatans and rogues dreamed of other worlds at the back of the sun. Would you find pearls or purgatory in the southland? Or lost tribes? And whose fantastic tales should you believe? In Zone of the Marvellous Martin Edmond recounts the history of the antipodes in the Western imagination. Here Gilgamesh seeks immortality on the far side of the Waters of Death; Ptolemy invents a Great South Land to balance the weight of northern-hemisphere continents; Sir John Mandeville goes roving - possibly only in a library; and that old pyrating dog William Dampier three times circumnavigates the globe. Explorers such as Wallis, Cook and Bougainville survey Australasia and the Pacific and flesh out the imagined world, while their successors romanticise the people who live, there as Noble Savages, Aryan invaders or the revenant childhood of the human race. Persistent imaginers Sidney Nolan and Colin McCahon inherit these diverse traditions, shaping a future. Zone of the Marvellous is one person's trawl through the detritus of the past five millennia. Edmond navigates his inquiry with a weather eye For the always fertile intertwining of fact and fiction; for those moments of wonder and wild surmise that invented our Land of Gold; and for the sense and the resonant non-sense that keep alive our feeling for the marvellous. Book jacket.
Table of Contents
Introductionip. 1
Ancient Voicesp. 11
Mount Purgatoryp. 37
Jewelled Sandsp. 61
Utopian Projectionsp. 93
Isles of Disappointmentp. 129
Lost Tribesp. 157
Ulimaroa, Yonaguni & Other Enigmasp. 189
After Erewhonp. 213
Notes on Sourcesp. 246
Indexp. 253
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

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