Abstract

This essay offers a Deleuzean reading of desire in the relationship between the eponymous protagonist of Zakes Mda’s The Whale Caller (2005) and a whale named Sharisha. In the setting of a highly stratified ecotourist village in South Africa where most characters relate to marine animals only through consumption and capitalization, the human-whale relationship between the protagonist and Sharisha offers a different mode of comportment. While some Animal Studies scholars read the novel as evidence of animal subjectivity and call for a recognition of animal rights in South African law, this essay contends that the novel’s more significant contribution to ecocritical thought is its insistence on positing nonhuman desire as a mode of resistance to neocolonial capitalist violence. The essay also engages this discussion of nonhuman desire as resistance with postcolonial critiques of both resistance literature and posthuman accounts of subjectivity.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1080-6520
Print ISSN
1063-1801
Pages
pp. 57-88
Launched on MUSE
2017-01-18
Open Access
No
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