THE CONSTRUCTION OF THE CULTURAL OTHER IN JOSEPH CONRAD’S STORY «KARAIN: A MEMORY»

in English

  • Iryna Senchuk Ivan Franko National University of Lviv
Keywords: cultural Other, national stereotypes, cultural identity, colonial discourse, Joseph Conrad

Abstract

Aim. The article aims at examining Joseph Conrad’s vision of the Malay region and its image building forces in his story «Karain: A Memory» (1897), which articulates the representation of some late 19th-century social and cultural constructs of the Other and becomes a part of literary dialogue between East and West. Methods. An imagological approach and the strategies of cultural studies are applied in the article to highlight how Conrad’s story «Karain: A Memory» is used to assert the Other’s cultural identity, constructing and deconstructing some national stereotypes and cultural prejudices of the period. Results. The idea is that the fictional world of the Malayan Archipelago as reconstructed by Conrad through the narrative of «Karain: A Memory» contributes to the meanings attached to the image of the Malays (that is national characterisation) and serves as a medium in the accumulative Western construction of the East and the cultural Other. Scientific novelty. There has been made an attempt to prove that Conrad’s works demonstrate the complex manner of textual representations in which nineteenth-century cultural assumptions, concerning European civilization and colonial periphery, are simultaneously revived and challenged. The practical significance. The article may serve for the further research of the cultural Other and its representation in the English literature.

Key words: cultural Other, national stereotypes, cultural identity, colonial discourse, Joseph Conrad.

Published
2019-06-21
Section
Comparative literature