Reference : The Civilized Pretence: Caryl Phillips and A Distant Shore
Parts of books : Contribution to collective works
Arts & humanities : Literature
The Civilized Pretence: Caryl Phillips and A Distant Shore
Gabrielle, Cindy[Université de Liège - ULg > Département des langues et littératures modernes > Littérature anglaise moderne et littérature américaine >]
Caryl Phillips: Writing in the Key of Life
Cross/Cultures: Readings in the Post/Colonial Literatures in English 146
Amsterdam & New York
The Netherlands & NY
[en] It is tempting to argue that, in A Distant Shore, Caryl Phillips entrusts a black gentleman with the mission to civilize uncouth English people. My contention, however, is to try and show the extent to which the text itself undermines the very idea that decency is a safeguard against savagery.
If immigration indeed reveals English people’s inner darkness, it is also the case that the mask of good manners worn by Solomon or Dorothy gradually falls apart. In the end, dignified behaviour, once defined by Dorothy as essential to the distinction between human beings and animals, is exposed as a mere civilized pretence.
CEREP (Centre d'Enseignement et de Recherche en Etudes Postcoloniales)