British Colonial Realism in Africa

British Colonial Realism in Africa

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How are objects central to the formation of individuals, their communities, and their liberties? What role do objects play as they move between societies and their different systems of value as commodities, as charms, as gifts, as trophies, or as curses? Nineteenth-century British authors attempting to transport narrative realism to the colonies confronted such questions directly and indirectly as they struggled to represent competing forms of material investment that characterized colonial and postcolonial life in Africa. Reading works by authors from Joseph Conrad and Mary Kingsley to Anna Howarth and Olive Schreiner against nineteenth-century African essays, folklore, visual arts, and recorded testimonies, this new study considers how conflicts over the material world impacted literary realism in colonial Africa. These conflicts highlight tensions between Victorian and African perceptions of objects and practices of exchange, while directing our attention toward alternate histories and stories yet to be told.102 The story, along with this chain of exchanges, ends when the little girl demands that their dog return the milk that she ... arguably emerges within the context of an exchange system informed more by notions of the gift than the commodity.

Title:British Colonial Realism in Africa
Author:Deborah Shapple Spillman
Publisher:Palgrave Macmillan - 2012-05-04


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