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The Broken VoiceReading Post-Holocaust Literature$
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Robert Eaglestone

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780198778363

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: June 2017

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198778363.001.0001

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Disorientalism

Disorientalism

Chapter:
(p.95) 4 Disorientalism
Source:
The Broken Voice
Author(s):

Robert Eaglestone

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/oso/9780198778363.003.0005

How far is it possible to bring together the scholarly insights of postcolonialism and Holocaust and genocide literature? The aim is not to subsume either but to place them together into a dialogue to explore the literary subjectivity of the ‘disoriented’. To explore this idea, the chapter reads Joseph Conrad’s canonical novella Heart of Darkness as a text by a low-level perpetrator of a colonial genocide, and argues that this illuminates some of its celebrated and famously obscure characteristics, especially those of complicity and secrecy, as well as making some very counter-intuitive suggestions about the role of Kurtz.

Keywords:   genocide, holocaust, Congo, Joseph Conrad, Heart of Darkness, complicity, secrecy, postcolonial studies, Holocaust studies

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