On the Road to Hokitika: The Epics of a New Constellation

Maria Suárez Lafuente


This article aims to analyse Eleanor Catton’s novel The Luminaries mainly using Paul Carter’s theory of spatial history and Catton’s own notions of the influence of astronomy upon human behaviour. The novel portraits a number of individuals who get together in a sparsely populated spot in the South Island of New Zealand and develop a gold-rush town that will eventually become actual Hokitika. Turning a natural space into a "civilized" place requires much toiling and moiling, many personal clashes and the solving of a few mysteries —eventually Hokitika will have its own history grounded and The Luminaries can be concluded in a scene that rounds up the epic construction of the city and promises, at the same time, a consistent future.


Eleanor Catton, Paul Carter, New Zealand; Hokitika; The Luminaries; spatial history; gold-seekers.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.1344/co20172295-103


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