Abstract

ABSTRACT:

In his 1993 novel Crossing the River, Kittitian-British novelist Caryl Phillips both pays tribute to and displaces Conrad's work to create new and sometimes ironical perspectives. This palimpsestic writing often takes on a chiasmic dimension, blurring interpretative lines and entangling the positions of the same and the other. Like Conrad's famous novella, Crossing the River forbids any easy, univocal interpretation, and the echoes of Heart of Darkness participate in the many-tongued chorus created by Caryl Phillips around the trauma of slavery which, like the halo around the kernel of horror in Heart of Darkness, "is only made visible by the spectral illumination of moonshine." The complex narrative structures of both works call at once for empathetic listening and critical distance from the reader, creating, in Philippe Lacoue-Labarthe's words, "an emotion of thought."

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Additional Information

ISSN
1935-0252
Print ISSN
0010-6356
Pages
pp. 215-229
Launched on MUSE
2020-01-25
Open Access
No
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