Between wilderness and number : on literature, colonialism and the will to power
Hugo, Pieter Hendrik
MetadataShow full item record
Please cite this item using this persistent URLhttp://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/1947
This item appears in the following collection/s
The eras of colonial expansion and the era designated the modern have been both chronologically and philosophically linked from the commencement of the Renaissance period and Enlightenment thought in the 15th century. The discovery of the New World in 1492 gave impetus to a new type of literature, the colonial novel. Throughout the development of this genre, in both its narrative strategies and the depiction of the colonist’s relationship with the foreign land he now inhabits, it has been both informed and formed by the prevailing philosophical atmosphere of the time. In the context of this discussion it is particularly interesting to note what might be termed the level of regression of the modern ideal, and how it is reflected in the colonial novels written at the time. Commencing with the essentially optimistic Robinson Crusoe and The Coral Island, and progressing through the far darker imaginings of Heart of Darkness, Lord of the Flies, and eventually Apocalypse Now and Blood Meridian, it is possible to trace the effects of the declining power of Enlightenment thought. Whereas earlier texts deal quite unambiguously with the issue of the Western subject’s subjugation of both the foreign environment and the foreign subjects he encounters there, and the relation between subject and object remains quite uncomplicated, in later, more self-reflexive texts the modern subject’s relationship with both the alien land and alien people becomes far more problematic. Later texts such as Heart of Darkness and Lord of the Flies depict a world where the self-assurance of early texts is strikingly absent. Increasingly, as the initial self-confidence of modernism is eroded, secular moral values, too, come to be questioned. It is here that the works of Nietzsche come to play a prominent role in the analysis of how such a decline in modern confidence is reflected in later colonial works. Even later works such as Apocalypse Now and Blood Meridian provide a view of the colonial enterprise that is in striking contrast to the optimism of early texts. The chronological progression of texts dealt with here, spanning an era of almost three hundred years prove to be reflective, to a large degree, of the decline of modernity and the effects of this on the colonial enterprise as depicted in the colonial genre.
The following license files are associated with this item:
Showing items related by title, author, creator and subject.
Representations of landscape and gender in Lady Anne Barnard's "Journal of a month's tour into the interior of Africa" Collins, Brenda (Stellenbosch : Stellenbosch University, 2007-12)ENGLISH ABSTRACT: This thesis will focus on Barnard’s representations of gender and landscape during her tour into the interior of the South of Africa. Barnard’s conscious representation of herself as a woman with many ...
White women writing the (post)colony : creolite, home and estrangement in novels by Rhys, Duras and Van Niekerk Van Houwelingen, Caren (Stellenbosch : Stellenbosch University, 2012-03)ENGLISH ABSTRACT: This thesis investigates the ways in which white subjectivity is shaped by colonial and imperial spaces. Jean Rhys’s Voyage in the Dark (1934), Marguerite Duras’s The Sea Wall (1952/1967) and Marlene van ...
Leeuwenburg, M (Stellenbosch : Stellenbosch University, 1938)
Welgevonden revisited : a new translation of Sewe Dae by die Silbersteins, and its literary-critical rationale Penfold, Gregory (Stellenbosch : Stellenbosch University, 2013-12)ENGLISH ABSTRACT: This thesis re-evaluates the writing of seminal Afrikaans modernist Etienne Leroux from a South African English perspective. The present author's new translation of Leroux's prizewinning novel Sewe Dae ...
Diasporic imaginaries : memory and negotiation of belonging in East African and South African Indian narratives Ocita, James (Stellenbosch : Stellenbosch University, 2013-03)ENGLISH ABSTRACT: This dissertation explores selected Indian narratives that emerge in South Africa and East Africa between 1960 and 2010, focusing on representations of migrations from the late 19th century, with the ...
Wakota, John (Stellenbosch : Stellenbosch University, 2014-04)ENGLISH ABSTRACT: This study examines the fictional representation of gender relations in novels set during five historical periods in Tanzania – the pre-colonial, colonial, nationalism, Ujamaa, and the current neoliberalism ...
Muchemwa, Kizito Zhiradzago (Stellenbosch : Stellenbosch University, 2013-12)ENGLISH ABSTRACT: My thesis is on the literary imagining of the city in Zimbabwean literature that emerges as a re-visioning and contestation of its colonial and postcolonial manifestations. Throughout the seven chapters ...
“The weight of my skeleton is my only honesty” : language and the speaking body in Marlene van Niekerk’s Agaat Levinrad, Ester (Stellenbosch : University of Stellenbosch, 2010-03)ENGLISH ABSTRACT: This thesis proposes a detailed study of the novel Agaat by South African author Marlene van Niekerk (first published 2004). A particular focus throughout is on constructions of identity and subjectivity, ...
Representations of women, identity and education in the novels of Tsitsi Dangarembga and Kopano Matlwa Rodgers, Randi Jean (Stellenbosch : Stellenbosch University, 2013-12)ENGLISH ABSTRACT: This thesis explores the representation of women, identity and education in the works of Tsitsi Dangarembga, Nervous Conditions (1989) and The Book of Not (2006), and Kopano Matlwa, Coconut (2007) and ...
Adriaanse, Jaco Hennig (Stellenbosch : Stellenbosch University, 2012-03)ENGLISH ABSTRACT: This thesis investigates texts which are argued to construct secular imaginings of the afterlife. As such my argument is built around the way in which these texts engage with death, while simultaneously ...