By Mereta Falck Borch, Eva Rask Knudsen, Martin Leer
A wide-ranging selection of essays focused on readings of the physique in modern literary and socio-anthropological discourse, from slavery and rape to lady 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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Extra resources for Bodies and Voices: The Force- Field of Representation and Discourse in Colonial and Postcolonial Studies (Cross Cultures)
An unknown dead African has been found on a farm and he proves to be the brother of one of the farm labourers, Petrus. 2 His comment on the outcome betrays, beneath his alleged concern, his total lack of feeling: “Unfortunately, it was not impossible to get the body back” (184). At one moment during the funeral procession, the old father comes to suspect that the too-heavy corpse cannot be his son’s, a feeling that is corroborated when they open the coffin. 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).
Carole Ferrier’s essay “Never Forget that the Kanakas Are Men” places itself in the Australian context, where the hidden shame of the exploitation of land and bodies has emerged into public consciousness in recent years. The “Stolen Children” and white men’s sexual relationships with black women have been relatively well documented. Not so the forty-year history of indentured labour of Kanakas (1860s–1900s), where most Australians seem unaware that slave labour was used to develop the Queensland sugar industry, nor, indeed, white women’s sexual relationships with black men.
Similarly, Bev Shaw tells David: “Lucy is adaptable. And she is young. She lives closer to the ground than you” (210). All these characteristics are not abstract ones, as, very early in the book, Lucy has been associated with the land by her father, who notices: “Lucy’s bare toes grip the red earth, leaving clear prints. A solid woman, embedded in her new life” (62). Yet for Lucy the land is no longer the object of a mystique, as in the traditional plaasroman, but is considered in a matter-of-fact way: “This is not a farm, it’s just a piece of land where I grow things” (200).
Bodies and Voices: The Force- Field of Representation and Discourse in Colonial and Postcolonial Studies (Cross Cultures) by Mereta Falck Borch, Eva Rask Knudsen, Martin Leer