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Subversion of the empire and colonial spatial narratives in Joseph Conrad's heart of darkness and almayer's folly

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2019
Vargün, Ahmet Can
This thesis analyses narrative spaces of Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness (1899) and Almayer’s Folly (1895) to better situate him within the discussions of whether his works strengthen the colonial discourse or disturb it. In the light of the postcolonial spatiality Sara Upstone, Bill Ashcroft, and John Noyes develop, which discuss colonization spatially via the concepts of rewriting, negation, and forcing newness, this thesis argues that Joseph Conrad problematizes colonial spatial absolutism. Colonial discourse manifests mathematical, static, and taken-for-granted narrative spaces. Conrad’s works disrupt the imperial spatial rhetoric by rendering subjective, incomprehensible, unmappable, and impenetrable narrative spaces. These characteristics are explorable by the tenets of modernism and impressionism. Foregrounding the narrative spaces of the texts under study not only reveals a critical attitude against colonial spatial rhetoric but also demonstrates the importance and the potential of the study of narrative space against time in narratology. Therefore, suppression of space as a secondary constituent of narratives manifests ramifications of a colonial narratology in which temporality is prioritized and the violence done to space is silenced. Heart of Darkness weakens imperial spatial narratives with modernism and the subjective narrative point of view and Almayer’s Folly modifies colonial narrative conventions of describing static spaces and develops a narrative spatiality which can deliver diversity and impairs the totalizations of space in imperial narratives.