Bodies and Voices: The Force- Field of Representation and by Mereta Falck Borch, Eva Rask Knudsen, Martin Leer

By Mereta Falck Borch, Eva Rask Knudsen, Martin Leer

A wide-ranging number of essays targeted on readings of the physique in modern literary and socio-anthropological discourse, from slavery and rape to girl genital mutilation, from garments, ocular pornography, voice, deformation and transmutation to the imprisoned, dismembered, remembered, kidnapped or ghostly physique, in Africa, Australasia and the Pacific, Canada, the Caribbean, nice Britain and ireland

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Coetzee’s Waiting for the Barbarians (1980), the magistrate’s deafness to the voice of the land no doubt represents only one aspect of this extremely rich novel, although it is a meaningful one. When he finds himself confronted with the body of the maimed barbarian girl, he experiences a double reaction of pity and lust. Out of pity he washes her, and strokes and oils her feet and legs again and again. ] a dummy of straw and leather” (47). The fact that he often goes to sleep before achieving complete sexual union with her clearly signifies that he cannot enter into real communication with her, as the tortuous dialogue testifies.

159–60) The irrepressible surfacing of an obsessive body is also the main leitmotif in Nadine Gordimer’s The Conservationist. An unknown African, found on a white man’s land, has been hastily buried by the police. From then on, the owner of the land, Mehring, is repeatedly plagued by nightmarish visions of the decaying corpse, until it is unearthed by torrential rains, a symbolic sur- 15 At one moment when she phones Mr. Thabane, he tells her: “Your voice is very tiny, very tiny and very far away” (136).

The section on Britain and Eire begins with Susanne Pichler’s “Between Aphasia and Articulateness: Alien-Nation and Belonging,” which writes itself into the growing awareness of boundaries between cultures, which work both to include and exclude. Diasporas and migrancy disrupt central themes of modernity like the nation and cultural homogeneity, leading to both greater awareness of cultural identity and difference and to greater insecurity about them. Drawing on a wide range of theory about culture and nation, the essay places the writings of Sam Selvon and Caryl Phillips in the cultural borderlands, where their immigrant characters from the Caribbean struggle both with what they must forget and with what they can articulate in terms of xxxviii BODIES AND VOICES ½Š¾ (un)belonging to a nation that still sees itself as ‘British’ and thus ‘White’.

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