Issue Details: First known date: 2013 2013
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‘J.M. Coetzee’s early novels Dusklands (1974) and Waiting for the Barbarians (1980) outline the Western imperialist project to colonise and subjugate ‘other’ people, animals and the environment. The masculine colonising subject (in Cartesian terms, res inextensa) has separated itself from the world (res extensa) and seeks to conquer and subjugate in order to subsume it. Dusklands comprises two narratives: one, that of Jacobus Coetzee who hunts human and nonhuman animals and leaves a destructive trail behind him as he blazes a frontier in 1800s South Africa; and two, Eugene Dawn, an American mythographer, who advocates his ‘Vietnam Project’ to win the US war in Vietnam in the early 1970s by defoliating the environment and hunting the Vietcong ‘like animals’. In Waiting for the Barbarians, Colonel Joll deals with the Barbarian ‘threat’ to his Empire by similarly destroying the environment, hunting barbarians, and torturing woman and children. Each character is locked into a Cartesian ‘self’ consciousness that cannot interact with the ‘other’ (female, nonhuman animal, ‘indigenous’) except through violence and destruction. Hunting is a manifestation of this disease and the protagonists make no distinction between human, animal or vegetable in their path of destruction in the name of colonial expansion.' (Publication abstract)

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  • Appears in:
    y Social Alternatives vol. 32 no. 4 2013 7096609 2013 periodical issue 2013 pg. 15-20
Last amended 4 Mar 2014 11:24:35
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