There is little scribal literature in nineteenth-century Polynesia, since those societies were 'oral'. There were only a few literary travellers from the West to this part of the world, and few who attempted to record the literature. Virtually all that is 'literate' about the South Seas of that time are the visions by Europeans expressing their own ambiguous approaches to an Otherness which challenged Western life. This paper is a short study of two literary travellers who did observe the societies of the South Seas and recorded some of the literatures, but at the same time persisted in making these observations merely a reflection of their own interests.



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