Chapter published in:Maps and Mapping in Children's Literature: Landscapes, seascapes and cityscapes
Edited by Nina Goga and Bettina Kümmerling-Meibauer
[Children’s Literature, Culture, and Cognition 7] 2017
► pp. 167–184
Chapter 9“An island made of water quite surrounded by earth”
Mapping out the seascape in nonsense literature
This chapter examines the ways in which geography functions in nonsense verse, prose and illustration, and more specifically, in the representations of seascapes. The key purpose of maps, toponyms and topothesia, which conventionally help the readers envision and navigate a fictitious world, tends not to be fulfilled in literary nonsense, even when maps or detailed descriptions are provided. Focusing on the genre-defining nineteenth-century works and their twentieth-century visual re-interpretations, this chapter outlines selected common features of nonsense geography and shows how the nonsense game has since been followed in our own time, using a popular example drawn from contemporary literature.
- Nonsense geography: Seascapes and soundscapes
- Lear’s limericks
- Imprecise nonsense geography and soundscape
- Carroll: Maps as concepts
- Emptiness (re)imagined and a new nonsense seascape
- Lear’s realm re-illustrated and mapped
- The infinite eclecticism of Zamonia
- “Navigation was always a difficult art”
Published online: 14 August 2017
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