Postcolonial Pacific Writing: Representations of the Body

By Michelle Keown | Go to book overview

Notes

Introduction

1
Hau'ofa was born in Papua New Guinea to Tongan missionary parents.
2
As Viktor Krupa notes, Polynesia itself has also been divided into two distinct categories on the basis of archaeological and lexostatistical data. The dividing line passes between Samoa and Tonga in the west, and between the Cook archipelago and New Zealand in the east (1982:7).
3
I.C. Campbell (1980) points out that although certain of Bougainville's descriptions of Tahitians in Voyage Round the World (1772) suggest that he was indeed influenced by the 'current Arcadian vogue', these alternate with observations on 'cruel warfare, human sacrifice, polygamy, and fickleness' (1980:49), invoking the 'ignoble savage' trope which will be discussed later in this chapter. Campbell argues that the reality of European encounters with Pacific Islanders often jarred with the preconceptions of the 'armchair philosophers', and he criticizes the tendency among some historians to represent figures such as Bougainville, Banks and Forster as uncritical purveyors of the myth of the South Seas paradise (ibid.: 47-8).
4
See Rod Edmond (1997a) and W.H. Pearson (1984) in particular for a detailed analysis of European literary and artistic representations of indigenous Pacific cultures since the 1760s. Many of these European artists and writers are discussed elsewhere in this book.
5
As Ranginui Walker notes, Dutch explorer Abel Tasman was given a 'hostile reception' by South Island Māori, who killed four of his crew members during Tasman's visit to New Zealand in 1642, and it was over a century before another European, James Cook, was to visit the country (1990:78). Cook's impression of the indigenous culture was more favourable in spite of some violent conflict between Māori and his crew, but Cook's contemporary, Marion du Fresne, was killed by Bay of Islands Māori after a series of misunderstandings, and Julien Crozet, his second-in-command, massacred around 250 Māori in retaliation, concluding that 'there is amongst all the animals of the creation none more ferocious and dangerous for human beings than the primitive and savage man' (Crozet 1891; quoted in Owens 1992:30).
6
Horrified by the 'savagery' of inter-tribal warfare, for example, the Reverend Henry Williams described the Māori as governed by 'the Prince of Darkness' (Walker 1990:85). Artist Augustus Earle expressed similar sentiments after allegedly witnessing Māori cannibalism; as Alex Calder points out, Earle arrived in New Zealand in 1827 'to find heroes Homer might have written about, true noble savages who, much to Earle's dismay, also approximate that other European invention, the cannibal' (1993:11).
7
Initially, these deaths came about largely as a result of lack of immunity to

-199-

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Postcolonial Pacific Writing: Representations of the Body
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page v
  • Contents ix
  • Figures xi
  • Acknowledgements xiii
  • Introduction 1
  • 1 - Postcolonial Dystopias 16
  • 2 - 'Gauguin is Dead' 38
  • 3 - Purifying the Abject Body 61
  • 4 - Alistair Te Ariki Campbell 84
  • 5 - Remoulding the Body Politic 102
  • 6 - Disease, Colonialism and the National 'Body' 127
  • 7 - Language and the Corporeal 149
  • 8 - The Narcissistic Body: 170
  • Conclusion 191
  • Notes 199
  • Bibliography 213
  • Index 229
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