‘A story of a magnificent savage’: interrogating alterity in Joseph Conrad’s Karain: a memory

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Peer-Reviewed Research
  • SDG 4
  • Abstract:

    English: On 7 February 1897, Conrad wrote to Edward Garnett: “I am thinking of a short story. Something like the [sic] Lagoon but with less description. A Malay thing. It will be easy and may bring a few pence” (Karl & Davies 198 : 338). Despite some early criticism of its lush exotic evocations of the Malayan jungle, Karain: a memory occupies an important place in Conrad’s short fiction. In the twenty-first century, the story’s appeal lies in its anatomy of alterity, or otherness. This article seeks to explore the religious, cultural and gender dimensions of the story, which give it a postcolonial resonance. The story functions as a catalyst for the deconstruction of stereotypes and affirms the view that despite inherent differences, humankind shares basic goals and dreams.