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This study proposes a new perspective on The Man in the Moone, by focusing on the implied rivalry between the Spanish protagonist-narrator Domingo Gonsales and its English author Francis Godwin in a narrative of (lunar) new world expedition significantly set (and composed) in the decades of the Anglo-Spanish naval encounters, with reference to its implications for the early modern view(s) of the new 'new world discovered in the moon'. The Man in the Moone is often discussed together with Johannes Kepler’s Somnium (posthumously published in 1638 and 1634 respectively), the two landmark fictions of lunar travel in early modern Europe in the aftermath of Galileo Galilei’s Sidereus Nuncius (1610). The shared premise of lunar travel and resulting ocular confirmation of geomobility aside, the two fictions reveal an essentially different view on the lunar new world in its relation to the earth; that is, they read it differently. Somnium is engaged in the act of producing new knowledge by teaching how to read the newly observed phenomena counter to Aristotelean astronomy, by interweaving a threefold narrative of dream vision and book-reading for an alternative vision/reading of the new world, which is multivalent and non-acquisitive. In contrast, The Man in the Moone is a hybrid of picaresque and pseudo-utopian travelogue by Seville-born Domingo Gonsales the 'speedy messenger', whose view of the earth and the moon, in the Englishman’s rendering, is predetermined by his Spanish experience and anticipation of 'speedy' acquisitions (with Jesuit associations). Gonsales’ unsaid ambition for a lunar colony cannot but fail and makes him an inadequate reader/'messenger' of news from the moon, who does not even manage to return home with it. Godwin’s English readers might well have appreciated the ending, for the chances left for the late-comer nation in the competition now imaginatively magnified to the celestial scale.

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Siyeon Lee (South Korea) 13905
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