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 choice of essays targeted on readings of the physique in modern literary and socio-anthropological discourse, from slavery and rape to woman 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 resources for Bodies and Voices: The Force- Field of Representation and Discourse in Colonial and Postcolonial Studies (Cross Cultures)

Sample text

What seems to transpire is that Dulcie, another A N C cadre, was tortured as a potential traitor to the cause in the notorious A N C Quatro camp in Angola, and probably used for sexual purposes by male comrades. But the text is characterized by constant ambiguities and uncertainties. For instance, at one moment, the anguish of David reminiscing about Dulcie is so intense that it passes on to the narrator as an hallucination, and she stares at her “screen full-bleed with Dulcie. Who? Is it you put it in my head?

On the one hand, bodies do obey the laws of nature and die when they are killed, a constant occurrence which prompts the main character to create for himself the full-time job of professional mourner. Conversely, prodigies are recorded, as when Vera’s son is born twice, each time after a fifteen-month pregnancy, having gone through a resurrection that does not seem to surprise anyone. Similarly, the tones adopted to present the body in pain are greatly varied, ranging from sympathetic concern to total detachment, or even burlesque irony in the episodes when a fortune is made on collapsible coffins.

Sweat streamed down its bruised breasts, changed course at its navel, and dripped to the ground from its hips, or the stumps where its legs should have begun. No matter what they did, it kept to the same volume, the same pitch, and it remained a stranger to silence. 10 This moaning, breathing monotone of the human (or woman’s) body can only be mutated to understanding on the level of the fictional narrating voice of Shahrzad. 11 But one is also immediately reminded that, at least in the conventional optics of feminism and postcolonialism, the body of the woman and the subaltern are ‘always already’ sacrificed, though this may be one of 10 Gita Hariharan, When Dreams Travel, as quoted by Biscaia in her essay below.

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