Cultural Studies

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A wide-ranging number of essays concentrated 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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Additional info for Bodies and Voices: The Force-Field of Representation and Discourse in Colonial and Postcolonial Studies (Cross/Cultures: Readings in the Post/Colonial Literatures in English, Volume 94)

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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’.

It is just another of those icy, exclusive, death-driven male constructions” (137). Further on in the novel, she still shrinks from extreme positions, reflecting, for instance, “Freedom or death! shout Bheki and his friends. Whose words? Not their own. ” (149), but concurrently, some of her reactions already point to a changing attitude. ” (102). M. Coetzee, Age of Iron (London: Secker & Warburg, 1990): 62. Further page references are in the main text. ” (138). But the greatest shock is her visit to Guguletu, during which she is confronted with the bodies of the five children killed by the police.

At the end of a week’s wrangling with the administration, the farmer has to acknowledge that the right body will never be found, so that, as a compensation, the farmer’s wife gives the old father one of her own father’s old suits “and he went back home rather better off, for the winter, than he had come” (188). Thus the story denounces both the authorities, for whom one body is as good as another, and the limited compassion of the whites. But it remains an anecdote, in the sense that, except for the clear allusions to the precarious situation of the labourers, it does not give rise to any wider echoes, unlike Gordimer’s later novel, The Conservationist, which will be analysed further on.

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