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Title: Underworlds Down Under: Under the Mountain and The Navigator
Contributor(s): Hale, Elizabeth (author)orcid 
Publication Date: 2006
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Abstract: "They reckon there's a hole up there so deep that if you dropped a stone in it, it would come out on the other side of the world." --'The Navigator: A Mediaeval Odyssey'. Vincent Ward's 1988 fantasy epic 'The Navigator: A Mediaeval Odyssey' envisions New Zealand as a place where the sins of the world can be expiated and evil can be purged. A group of mediaeval pilgrims tunnel to the other side of the world from their remote mining village in Cumbria, in the far north of England. They believe that they are travelling to 'God's City', which one of them has seen in a dream vision; their task is to place a cross, forged from Cumbrian copper, on the steeple of the great church. They make this sacrificial offering in order to cleanse their village of the plague, the Black Death that has laid waste to Europe. As they tunnel through the earth, they also tunnel through time, to modern-day Auckland. When they reach Auckland they find that despite the bright lights of its buildings, God's City is an underworld down under: its people are isolated from one another, loomed over by soulless buildings and machines, lacking in community and faith. Unlike the upper world, where a literal plague encroaches upon the survival of a tight-knit village community, Auckland is under threat from diseases of the soul and of society. The pilgrims are successful in raising the cross; in so doing, they purify their own village of the plague, and restore faith and communal values to Auckland.
Publication Type: Book Chapter
Source of Publication: Gothic NZ: The Darker Side of Kiwi Culture, p. 95-104
Publisher: University of Otago Press
Place of Publication: Dunedin, New Zealand
ISBN: 1877372234
Field of Research (FOR): 200502 Australian Literature (excl Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Literature)
HERDC Category Description: B1 Chapter in a Scholarly Book
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Appears in Collections:Book Chapter
School of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences

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