1887

n Journal of Literary Studies - The postcolonial space in Joseph Conrad : a consideration of two early novels

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Abstract

That Conrad continues to exert considerable influence on postcolonial discourse is unreservedly acknowledged today. Positing the notion of a "postcolonial space", this article proposes to explore the problematic of racial, cultural and sexual identity in Conrad's first two novels, <I>Almayer's Folly: A Story of an Eastern River&lt;/I&gt; (1895) and <I>An Outcast of the Islands&lt;/I&gt; (1896), treated dismissively by early critics of Conrad's work. The concept of a postcolonial space functions on at least three levels in this project. Firstly, it denotes the literal and metaphoric odyssey of the author who writes back from the periphery to the centre, deconstructing empire in the process of representation. Secondly, it acts as a "space-clearing gesture" (Appiah), or theoretical space to interrogate Conrad in the light of some of the most pertinent concerns of modern literary discourse, namely, issues of racial, ethnic and gender subjectivity. Lastly, it postulates an indeterminate, interstitial "third space" (Homi Bhabha) of intervention between the overdetermined formulations of the East/West binary, and the traditional humanistic readings of the writer's work inaugurated by F.R. Leavis in 1948.

Dat Conrad se invloed op postkoloniale redevoering steeds voortgaan, word sonder twyfel erken. Deur die idee van 'n "postkoloniale ruimte" voort te bring, ondersoek hierdie artikel die probleem van ras, kulturele en seksuele identiteit in Conrad se eerste twee romans, <I>Almayer's Folly: A Story of an Eastern River&lt;/I&gt; (1895) en <I>An Outcast of the Islands&lt;/I&gt; (1896), wat deur vroeë kritici van Conrad se werk gering geskat is. Die konsep van 'n postkoloniale ruimte funksioneer op ten minste drie vlakke in hierdie projek. Eerstens wys dit op die letterlike en metaforiese reis van die outeur wat skryf vanaf die grense na die kern en daardeur die ryk dekonstrueer in die representasieproses. Tweedens tree dit op as 'n "ruimte opruimingsgebaar" (Appiah), of teoretiese spasie om Conrad te ondersoek in die lig van sommige van die mees pertinente vraagstukke van moderne literêre debat, naamlik die onderliggende kwessies oor ras, etnisiteit en geslag. Laastens dui dit op 'n vae, tussen-in "derde spasie" (Homi Bhabha) of ingryping tussen die oordrywende formulasies van die Oos/Wes skeur, en die tradisionele humanistiese vertolking van die skrywer se werk, wat begin is deur F.R. Leavis in 1948.

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/content/litstud/19/1/EJC62347
2003-03-01
2016-12-07
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