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Antipodean AmericaAustralasia and the Constitution of U. S. Literature$
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Paul Giles

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780199301560

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199301560.001.0001

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Parallax Zones

Parallax Zones

The Founding Fathers and Austral Enlightenment

(p.39) 2 Parallax Zones
Antipodean America

Paul Giles

Oxford University Press

This chapter considers how the antipodes operated as a realm of utopian fantasy for writers in the early eighteenth century, and how the satirical works of Benjamin Franklin rework this tradition to position American and Australia in parallax relationships to the British Empire. It discusses how Crevecoeur’s interest in philosophical primitivism, particularly in his Journey into Northern Pennsylvania and the State of New York, leads him to appropriate “New Holland” as a test case for his analysis of the relation between Western society and rational design. The final section of this chapter discusses how the fascination of Thomas Jefferson and John Ledyard with the West Coast of America led them to take a particular interest in transpacific engagements.

Keywords:   Franklin, Crevecoeur, Jefferson, Ledyard, Parallax, American Enlightenment

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