This book analyses black Atlantic studies, colonial discourse analysis and postcolonial theory, providing paradigms for understanding imperial literature, Englishness and black transnationalism. Its concerns range from the metropolitan centre of Conrad's Heart of Darkness to fatherhood in Du Bois's The Souls of Black Folk; from the marketing of South African literature to cosmopolitanism in Achebe; and from utopian discourse in Parry to Jameson's theorisation of empire.
’, in Bunce ,
M. , Franks ,
S. and Paterson ,
C. (eds), Africa’s Media
Image in the 21st Century: From the ‘HeartofDarkness’ to ‘Africa
Rising’ ( London :
Routledge ), pp.
129 – 31 .
R. ( 1977 ),
Image/Music/Text ( New York :
Hill and Wang ).
Bunce , M. ,
Scott , M. and
K. ( forthcoming ),
‘ Humanitarian Journalism ’, Oxford Research
Encyclopedia of Journalism Studies ( Oxford :
Oxford University Press
Tale of the city: the imperial metropolis
Many decades ago, in Discourse on Colonialism, Aimé Césaire drew attention to the ‘boomerang effect’ of imperialism. His account suggests that
the boomerang operates at two speeds. The fast boomerang returns as
soon as it is dispatched: the brutal dehumanisation to which the
colonised are subjected is immediately visited upon the coloniser, leading Césaire to the conclusion that ‘colonization … dehumanizes even
the most civilized man: that the colonizer, who
‘the ordinary and particular to that which lets the ordinary and particular have their
peculiar shape and meaning’: the world.21 There is no ‘content’ in a simple sense: truth
reveals a world into which ‘content’ is put. This world, unveiled in an artwork, will
vary from work to work: the world of a Greek temple is not the world of a Van Gogh
painting nor the world of Ulysses, Midnight’s Children or HeartofDarkness. Yet, this
understanding of truth as unveiling a world cannot be reduced to truth as correspondence, but opens and shapes a
Postcolonial women writers in a transnational frame
Ayemenem’s own ‘Kurtz’ and called the ‘HeartofDarkness’, is said to signify ‘history’ (that is, ‘important’ European history) to
the children precisely because they are locked out of it (GST 52–3).33 It is the
same building that, in the novel’s present, has been converted into a ﬁve-star
hotel with, on display, the restored house of Kerala’s ﬁrst Marxist Chief
Minister (GST 67, 125–7). Here, too, abbreviated Kathakali performances are
held for tourists – performances which do, however, help the traditional
players to make ends meet. Inadvertent and/or forced complicity
The bodyand counter-revolutionary warfare inapartheid South Africa
, vol. 2, pp. 257–67, vol. 6, pp. 198–203.
Sean Callaghan, TRC Health Sector Hearing, available at www.justice.
gov.za/trc/special/health/health01.htm (accessed 1 December 2012).
John Liebenberg & Patricia Hayes, Bush of Ghosts: Life and War in
Namibia, 1986–1990 (Fernwood: Umuzi/Random House, 2010), p. 247.
Etienne van Heerden, ‘My Cuban’, in Mad Dog and Other Stories (Cape
Town: New Africa Books, 1992), p. 74.
Jacque Pauw, Into the HeartofDarkness: Confessions of Apartheid’s
Assassins (Johannesburg: Jonathan Ball, 1997), p. 82; SWAPO,
‘SWATF/Koevoets not war
T.S. Eliot and Gothic hauntings in Waugh’s A Handful of Dust and Barnes’s Nightwood
Modernist fascination with the formal studies of
urban life . . . can be seen at its two extremes of ‘concept’ city, the radiant
Utopia and the degenerate wasteland’.6 Furthermore, the location of these
texts within Modernism is clearly signalled by their intertextual resonances. Waugh’s borrowing of his title from Eliot is echoed by further
allusion in the text but the inﬂuence of Conrad’s HeartofDarkness is also
clearly evident. In the words of Jeﬀrey Heath:
Tony’s relationship with Todd resembles that of Marlow and Kurtz in HeartofDarkness. But unlike Tony, Marlow
Ford Madox Ford in a letter to J. B. Pinker, 17 March 1913, in Richard
Ludwig (ed.), Letters of Ford Madox Ford (Princeton, Princeton University
Press, 1965), p. 56.
In psychoanalytic terms, it is as though Lovell’s superego and id have been
externalised and realised in appropriate surroundings.
Crucial here are my earlier discussions of the fragmentation of
modernism, and of the more common experience of the unresolved dissolutions of the self in modernist fiction (think of HeartofDarkness, say, or
Prufrock, or Mansfield’s Bertha
”’ (p. 432), in an act which, tragically, has the greatest
sexual potential of any yet witnessed.75 The final image of the book,
caught up as it is with female symbolism, thus envelops it, becoming
bigger than it, evoking Marlow’s interpretation of the ‘meaning of an
episode’ in Conrad’s appropriately titled HeartofDarkness. Such
meaning ‘was not inside like a kernel but outside, enveloping the tale
which brought it out only as a glow brings out a haze’.76 The incident
elicits a complete understanding, to which Ford’s tale has brought the
reader, of the containing
notion that this unit has
a unitary consciousness. And, on occasion, this analysis creates an
aestheticisation of space that obscures as much as it illuminates the operations of imperial cultures.
That there were many material and figurative spaces within the imperial metropole needs further attention, and so does analysis of the features
that different European metropoles shared and did not share.22 In this
light I foreground here the metropolitan narrative given by Conrad’s HeartofDarkness. Critical