Pacific Passages

Pacific Passages

An Anthology of Surf Writing

eBook - 2008
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Baker & Taylor

A thousand years after Hawaiians first paddled long wooden boards into the ocean, modern surfers have continued this practice, which has recently been transformed into a global industry. Pacific Passages brings together four centuries of writing about surfing, the most comprehensive collection of Polynesian and Western perspectives on the history and culture of a sport currently enjoyed by millions of people around the world. The stories begin with Hawaiian legends and chants and are followed by the journals of explorers; the travel narratives of missionaries and luminaries such as Herman Melville, Mark Twain, and Jack London; and the contemporary observations of Tom Wolfe, William Finnegan, Susan Orlean, and Bob Shacochis.

Readers follow the historical transformation of surfing’s image through the centuries: from Polynesian myths of love to Western accounts of horror and exoticism in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, to modern representations of surfing as a character-building activity in pre-World-War II California and the quintessential expression of disaffected youth. They explore the sport’s most recent trends by writers and cultural critics, whose insights into technology, competition, gender, heritage, and globalism reveal how surfing impacts some of today’s most pressing social concerns.

Aided by informative introductions, the writings in Pacific Passages provide insight into the values and ideals of Polynesian and Western cultures, revealing how each has altered and been altered by surfing—and how the sport itself has shown an amazing ability throughout the centuries to survive, adapt, and prosper.

Book News
As edited by Moser (Drury U.), this anthology of "surf writing" spans over four centuries, relating both Hawaiian legends and stories from such noted observers as Herman Melville, Mark Twain, Jack London and Tom Wolfe. Comparisons are often drawn between the myths of the origin of surfing, and detailed commentary from modern practitioners about the social, technological and global impact of this sport. Written for general audiences with more than a passing interest in surf culture, this collection emphasizes the durability of surfing, and how it will continue to prosper in the future. Annotation ©2008 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (

Publisher: Honolulu : University of Hawai°i Press, Ă2008
ISBN: 9781441619693
Characteristics: 1 online resource (xii, 338 pages)
Additional Contributors: Moser, Patrick (Patrick J.), 1963-


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