Memo for Nemo

Memo for Nemo

Paperback (05 Oct 2022)

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Publisher's Synopsis

In Memo for Nemo, William Firebrace investigates human inhabitation of the undersea, both fictional and real. Beginning with Jules Verne's Captain Nemo-an undersea Renaissance man with a library of 12,000 volumes on his submarine-and proceeding through aquariums, undersea photography, artificial seas on land, nuclear-powered submarines, undersea film epics, giant squid, and NASA satellites, Firebrace examines the undersea as a zone created by exploration and invention. Throughout, the history of undersea life is accompanied by an imagined undersea, envisioned by cultural figures ranging from Verne and Herman Melville to Orson Welles and Jimi Hendrix. Firebrace takes readers though the enormous sequence of rooms (impossible in real life) in Nemo's submarine, recounts the competition among nineteenth-century cities to build the most spectacular aquatic world, and explains the workings of the bathysphere-an early underwater vessel modelled on a hot-air balloon. He considers the aquarium's function in films as a sort of viewing lens, describes the chlorine-proof artificial sea life seen by passengers on the submarine ride at Disneyland, and reports that Jacques Cousteau's famous underwater documentaries were in fact highly staged. The oceans of today are not those imagined by Verne; they are changing from both natural processes and human influence. Memo for Nemo documents the power of the undersea in both art and life.

Book information

ISBN: 9780262544085
Publisher: The MIT Press
Imprint: The MIT Press
Pub date:
DEWEY: 809.9332162
DEWEY edition: 23/eng/20220309
Language: English
Number of pages: 252 , 16 unnumbered of plates
Weight: 466g
Height: 140mm
Width: 225mm
Spine width: 19mm