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n Journal of Literary Studies - Cannibalism in the colonial imaginary : a reading of Joseph Conrad's "Falk"

Volume 22, Issue 1_2
  • ISSN : 0256-4718
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Abstract

Terme soos "barbaar", "kind" en "swaap" het saam met die woord "kannibaal" 'n beduidende rol gespeel in die leksikon van koloniale diskoers as 'n aanwyser van alteriteit. Deur Peter Hulme se tesis oor die oorsprong van die term "kannibaal" as steun te gebruik, ondersoek hierdie essay die beswaarde verhouding tussen antropofagie en die diskoerse rondom die onderwerp kannibalisme. As 'n toeligtingspunt ondersoek ek die kortverhaal "Falk" van Joseph Conrad, waarin die Europese protagonis 'n daad van kannibalisme <i>in extremis&lt;/i&gt; erken. Deur die verhaal kontrapuntaal te lees ondervra hierdie essay die omstandighede rondom Falk se "misdaad" en ontrafel die verteller se persoonlike vooropgesette menings en vooroordele wat die samelewing se fiksasie op etikette en stereotipes soos "barbare" en "kannibale" onderskryf.

Together with terms such as "savage", "child" and "simpleton", the word "cannibal" has played a significant role in the lexicon of colonial discourse as a signifier of alterity. Using Peter Hulme's thesis on the origin of the term "cannibal" as an anchor, this essay explores the fraught relationship between anthropophagy and the discourses surrounding the topic of cannibalism. As a point of articulation, I shall examine the short story "Falk" by Joseph Conrad in which a European protagonist confesses to the act of cannibalism <i>in extremis.&lt;/i&gt; Reading the story contrapuntally, this essay interrogates the circumstances around Falk's "crime", unravelling the narrator's own preconceptions and prejudices which feed into society's fixation with labels and stereotypes such as "savages" and "cannibals".

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/content/litstud/22/1_2/EJC62402
2006-06-01
2016-12-10

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