The introduction to the edited volume outlines the topics covered by the essays that follow and places them within historical and academic contexts. Turning for examples to several literary and non-literary texts, most notably the 1820s diaries of Edward Beck and Richard Henry Dana, Jr.’s Two Years Before the Mast (1840), it considers the differences and the continuities that prevail in shipboard environments across time, while also discussing the ways in which the human experience of time itself is complicated by seafaring. Particular attention is paid to the role of literary practices in shaping the experience of seafaring – to how such practices construct and reshape shipboard hierarchies, and also to how they help seafarers come to terms with the shipboard environment and with the ocean itself. While thus shaping shipboard cultures, the introduction argues, literary practices are also themselves affected – or ‘stained’ – by the ocean environment.
|Title of host publication||Shipboard Literary Cultures: Reading, Writing, and Performing at Sea|
|Editors||Laurence Publicover, Susann Liebich|
|Publication status||Accepted/In press - 2021|