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The times of men, mysteries and monsters: The Terror and Franklin’s Last Expedition
Umeå University, Faculty of Arts, Department of language studies. (Arcum)ORCID iD: 0000-0001-5265-6421
2010 (English)In: Arctic Discourses / [ed] Anka Ryall, Johan Schimanski, och Henning Howlid Wærp, Newcastle upon Tyne: Cambridge Scholars , 2010, 199-217 p.Chapter in book (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The mystery surrounding the last Franklin expedition and the absence of concrete information concerning the fate of its members have resulted in a number of fictionalizations. The chapter focuses on how the Arctic and a mystery central to the Western idea of the area are dealt with in Dan Simmons’ The Terror (2007).The novel is a curious mix of carefully researched facts and horror story in which the expedition members succumb to the cold, scurvy and lead poisoning, but are also hunted and killed by a fourteen-foot tall ice monster (later revealed to be a Tuunbaq). A focus on three coexisting time tracks illuminates how the few facts which remain are utilized to create a persuasive story and how the supernatural elements are integrated. Fictional time is the time of narration, unfolding as the novel progresses. The numerous references to actual events and the use of real-life characters situate the story in time and give it a certain authenticity: a temporal category which may be termed historical time. Finally, mythical time can be seen as coexisting with both real and historical time, and as something which unites the two. The Arctic setting (both geographical and cultural) is crucial to how mythic time is worked into the narrative, isolated as the area is from the surrounding world and of interest is also how Simmons continues a tradition of writing about the Arctic in the treatment of themes such as the cold, the isolation and the male, heroic persona.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Newcastle upon Tyne: Cambridge Scholars , 2010. 199-217 p.
Keyword [en]
Dan Simmons, The Terror. fictionalization, mythical time, historical time, fictional time, historical novel, science fiction, fantasy, horror, Inuit, discursive formation, cold, the Arctic, heroism, isolation, cannibalism, the Tuunbaq
National Category
Languages and Literature
Research subject
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-37632ISBN: 978-1-4438-1959-6OAI: diva2:369456
Available from: 2010-11-10 Created: 2010-11-10 Last updated: 2016-07-01Bibliographically approved

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Lindgren Leavenworth, Maria
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