Using Wonder

  • Glenn Willmott
Part of the Literatures, Cultures, and the Environment book series (LCE)


Wonder has a history in art and literature, in both wonder genres and wonder motifs. Willmott explores the politics of wonder in exotic genres of travel writing and curiosity cabinets, from the European Renaissance to the present, and in speculative fiction. From readings of Chris Marker’s photography and Weird Tales pulp fiction, he turns to scholarship itself to ask what imperative a call for wonder imposes on critical writing. Finally, shifting to readings of wonder in historical situation, he traces the ubiquitous, modern motifs of the personified ape (from Poe’s orangutan to Tarzan to Coldplay, with a focus on King Kong) and of the South Seas paradise (from exploration to tourism, with a focus on Lord Byron’s verse drama of the mutiny on the Bounty).


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Glenn Willmott
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of EnglishQueen’s UniversityKingstonCanada

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