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date: 18 May 2021

Abstract and Keywords

Jack London’s maritime writing often interrogates the difference between the savage space of the “outside” sea and the relative domesticity of land’s civilized interior, as well as the ways in which this spatial distinction supports the sovereignty of space, society, and the self. But instead of maintaining these spatial differences, London’s work is all about exposing their increasing indistinction in the early twentieth century and the effects such a spatial destabilization had on sovereignty itself. This interrogation of the new world order and its effects on previous forms of sovereignty, the chapter argues, is what makes London’s contribution to American maritime writing (especially The Sea-Wolf and The Cruise of the Snark) so important. London’s sea stories not only acknowledge the world’s new “nomos” but the effects this order has on political and personal forms of autonomy and coherence.

Keywords: sovereignty, nomos, The Sea-Wolf, The Cruise of the Snark, self, maritime, sea

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