Advertisement

“I Wanna Love Something Wild”: A Reading of Suzan-Lori Parks’s Venus

Chapter

Abstract

The story of Sarah Baartman, a Khoisan woman brought to Europe in 1810 to confirm the racial inferiority of her people,1 is emblematic of how colonial relations of dominance can be reproduced independently of contexts of political and territorial occupation. Within the very heart of Western civilization, her body became the equivalent of a far away land to conquer and rule, conveniently transformed by the “cartographers” of the race into a morbidly detailed “map” of otherness. Being reduced to a mere assembly of parts, Baartman’s body was transformed into a site of inscription for the values of the dominating culture. The colonization of her body naturally resulted in the creation of a colonized corpus, “body” of literature, which ranged from caricatures, to scientific writings, to ballads and vaudevilles. It is through this heterogeneous ensemble of texts that the image of the “Hottentot Venus” was cemented in the European collective imagination, in a way that made her “other” and yet “entirely knowable and visible” (Bhabha 1994, 71).

Keywords

Black Woman Sexual Desire Mere Assembly Colonial Relation Heterogeneous Ensemble 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Copyright information

© Natasha Gordon-Chipembere 2011

Authors and Affiliations

There are no affiliations available

Personalised recommendations