Title page for ETD etd-04102008-154852

Type of Document Dissertation
Author Arnaudov, Plamen Ivanov
Author's Email Address parnau1@lsu.edu
URN etd-04102008-154852
Title Elements of Mythmaking in Witness Accounts of Colonial Piracy
Degree Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)
Department English
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Sandiford, Keith Committee Chair
Jacob Berman Committee Member
Novak, Daniel Committee Member
William Boelhower, William Committee Member
Suchy, Patricia Dean's Representative
  • Atlantic
  • English
  • Caribbean
  • French
  • literature
  • 18th century
  • colonial
  • pirates
  • piracy
Date of Defense 2008-03-24
Availability unrestricted
Focusing on historical accounts (1684-1734) by English, French, and Spanish witnesses, this dissertation establishes a continuity in fictionalized representations of anti-heroic pirates from the buccaneering period to the Golden Age of Piracy. Informed by history, literary, myth, and performance theory, the analysis identifies significant distortions in reports by observers and participants. The distortions that pertain to mythmaking patterns are classified and analyzed further. Conflicting and ambivalent representations of the pirate as an anti-hero are resolved through the positing of a literary scapegoat hypothesis drawing from René Girard and Joseph Roach. While demonstrating mythical archetypes at work in the construction of the colonial pirate figure, the analysis also takes into account the effects of confluent early modern processes such as the rise of colonial capitalism, print culture, and the middle class in Britain.
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