chapter  9
21 Pages

Fantasy Islands: Popular Topographies of Marooned Masculinity

Ever since the eighteenth century, and throughout the era of Empire, Western culture has been imposing its values on tropical ‘desert islands’ while persuading itself it wants to throw off the trappings of ‘civilisation’. This trend continues in modern high and popular cultural forms. From UK radio’s Desert Island Discs to newspaper cartoons and from sentimental romance to gay soft porn, desert islands provide contemporary culture with fertile landscapes for fantasies of pre-industrial peacefulness and prelapsarian sexuality. It is here that the human body can resume its ‘natural’ condition.