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Showing Rating details. Sort order. Apr 09, Lisa rated it really liked it Shelves: australia. Landscape of Desire is a masterly first novel fictionalising this same story.

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Ambitious in scope and structure, the book assumes some knowledge of the expedition and its protagonists, introducing multiple narratives that shape events before, during and after the loss of the party, and fracturing the chronology to sustain interest in a story already very well-known. View 2 comments. Oct 24, Katie rated it really liked it.

Lyrical and evocative of its time, and mysterious. Both Burke and Wills are well drawn in their lives before their expedition. It is a love story, a triangle, with Julia Mathews at it apex. Both Burke and Wills are said to have been in love with her, and she reportedly gave one glove to each ma as a memento of her. Burke had asked her to marry him, and the novel suggests that she slept with Wills. I knew nothing of this story, despite having the familiarity every Australian schoolchild has with Lyrical and evocative of its time, and mysterious.

I knew nothing of this story, despite having the familiarity every Australian schoolchild has with the doomed expedition. It is quite a story. It is told from various points of view, including Howitt, who went to try and find out what had become of the explorers, and John King, the sole survivor. It is hard to believe that this is the author's first book. It is very original and polished, very accomplished. Oct 29, Jennifer added it. An interesting exploration of the men behind the Burke and Wills expedition and the relationships and competing motivations.

There are no discussion topics on this book yet. About Kevin Rabalais. Kevin Rabalais. Marijane Osborn.

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Get A Copy. Paperback , pages. More Details Original Title. Other Editions 1. Friend Reviews. To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. To ask other readers questions about Landscape Of Desire , please sign up. Lists with This Book. Community Reviews. Showing Rating details. More filters. Sort order. May 16, Jason rated it it was amazing Recommends it for: Vikings, geographers, medievalist, ScandStudies.

The landscape of desire

Shelves: scandinavia , medieval-studies. Reading this book reminded me why the Icelandic sagas and Beowulf first fired my intellect and imagination - the experience of place and geography of belonging. I made it through the first half of the book, where the authors discuss their recreation of Beowulf's sea journey to Heorot before I put it down to reread Beowulf. Their narrative and discussion of geography opened my eyes to new ways of seeing Beowulf.

The second half moves to their journeys across Iceland to see the sites of Icelandic Reading this book reminded me why the Icelandic sagas and Beowulf first fired my intellect and imagination - the experience of place and geography of belonging. The second half moves to their journeys across Iceland to see the sites of Icelandic heroes, which met my expectations after reading the first half.

Overing and Osborn negotiate their own expectation of space and what the texts represents and the physical geography. A compelling narrative method in the book is the personal narrative and critical self reflection the authors weave through the scholarly analysis. A refreshing break from some academic discussions of medieval questions. May 29, Paula rated it it was amazing. Not what I was expecting, but far from being a disappointment.

Here's what I was expecting: a collection of stories that were part of a Scandinavian mythology which is otherwise unknown to me.

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Here's what I got: a discussion about the Scandinavian territories and how the stories as well as the authors who sought these places about twenty years ago could be identified in this remote region of the world. When I first read the introduction, I was wary of what I would encounter, which surely could Not what I was expecting, but far from being a disappointment. When I first read the introduction, I was wary of what I would encounter, which surely could not be scholarly research despite the fact that both Overing and Osborn are both respected medievalists.

But what is presented is simultaneously pure conjecture and fully researched, and this odd combination of experience and scholarship was incredibly pleasant to read.


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I felt most comfortable reading the first chapter, because this one literally is placing Beowulf in a physical context and I've read Beowulf the poem enough times to be familiar with the places they referenced and explored. I was more lost with the second chapter because I really know nothing about Icelandic sagas, but I was still able to follow along given the epic conventions shared between Beowulf and the Icelandic sagas; in particular, I got the most out of the chapter's ending because it made explicit comparisons between those works.

The third chapter was intriguing because it summed up the ways in which Overing and Osborn were able to take part in the epics they love by being in places that perhaps mythically, perhaps not are directly associated with the poem and stories respectively.

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Fair warning: This book contains jargon associated with literary criticism, so it can be a daunting read for those who are unfamiliar with the lingo. Good as a continuing discussion of how epics can related to life today. Also an interesting dialectic on the relationship between literal space and how a person's relationship to it can affect her relationship to a text set within it. Aug 18, Lisa added it.

Jul 04, Neil rated it really liked it. Two medieval scholars go on a real life journey to map the geography of Beowulf and the Icelandic Sagas. A very pleasant and enjoyable little book.