Chapter

Reading Fish

in Science and Salvation

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print July 2004 | ISBN: 9780226276472
Published online March 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226276465 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7208/chicago/9780226276465.003.0004
Reading Fish

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The transition from natural history to salvation could potentially be somewhat abrupt, so its success might depend on the extent to which the reader trusted the narrator. Since most of the writers discussed here were anonymous, they had to develop this relationship with the reader through careful management of their narrative voices. The narrator of Northern Whale-Fishery was an exception, for he was identified with the whaler captain and minister, William Scoresby. This narrator was much more highly personalized than the others in the series, as he recounted his dangerous and exciting voyages in search of whales, and interspersed his history of whaling with tales of derring-do in the arctic seas. Through these tales, the Scoresby-narrator was able to build a close relationship with the reader.

Keywords: natural history; salvation; narratives; whales; arctic seas; William Scoresby; Northern Whale-Fishery

Chapter.  13312 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: History of Science and Technology

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