Dasda Essay

10985 Words Oct 8th, 2014 44 Pages
This article was downloaded by: [University of Central Florida] On: 27 January 2014, At: 06:42 Publisher: Routledge Informa Ltd Registered in England and Wales Registered Number: 1072954 Registered office: Mortimer House, 37-41 Mortimer Street, London W1T 3JH, UK

Gender, Place & Culture: A Journal of Feminist Geography
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'A Choice of Nightmares': Narration and desire in Heart of Darkness
CLIVE BARNETT Published online: 14 Jul 2010.

To cite this article: CLIVE BARNETT (1996) 'A Choice of Nightmares': Narration and desire in Heart of Darkness, Gender, Place & Culture: A Journal of Feminist Geography, 3:3,
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3 , N o. 3 , p p. 2 7 7 ± 2 9 1 , 1 9 9 6

`A C hoice of N ightm ares’: narration and desire in H eart of D arkness
CLIVE BARN ETT, U niversity of R eading, U K

Downloaded by [University of Central Florida] at 06:42 27 January 2014

T his pap er considers the gendered organisation of narration in J oseph C onrad ’s Heart of D arkness. I t is argued that the text ® ctionalises its audience as an exclus ively m asculine com m unity of readers, b ounde d together b y shared interests and com m itm ents. T he discurs ive co nstruction of p referred reading positions is critically exam ined w ith reference to the m ob ilisation of disco urses of cannib alism and representations of fem ininity in the text. I t is argued that positive evaluations of the text, as a critique of im perialism or a com m entary on the hum an co ndition, are p rob lem atised b y consideration of the gender values inscrib ed in the texture of the narrative.

D isloca ting H ea rt o f D a rk n es s

Joseph Conrad’s H eart of D arkness is w idely acknow ledged to be a powerful m oral critique of imperialism. The stage upon which its universal themes are played out is King Leopold II’s Congo Free State at the end of the nineteenth century. Conrad had been to the Congo

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