Reversing the imperial gaze, affirming possibility: Conrad and Fanon in Amma Darko's beyond the horizon
Keywords:Amma Darko, Beyond the Horizon, dialogism, imperial gaze, postcolonial
Drawing on Bakhtin’s notion of the dialogism of the word, especially double-voiced discourse, this paper examines Darko’s subtle inscription of Conrad's Heart of Darkness and Fanon’s The Wretched of the Earth in her novel Beyond the Horizon (1995). Specifically, the paper examines "horror" and the novel’s title as double-voiced discourse or dialogical sites of contestation and affirmation, respectively. It argues that while the Conradian subtext can be understood in the context of Darko’s reversal of Marlow’s imperial gaze in Heart of Darkness, the Fanonian subtext revolves around Darko’s politics of “beyond the horizon” which is contingent on decentering Europe as the location of hope for postcolonial people. By focusing on Darko’s subtle dialogue with Conrad and Fanon, the paper shows that Darko strategically frames Mara’s encounter with Europe as a journey into the “heart of darkness” and also foregrounds delinking from the West as an emancipatory ethic and thought for postcolonial transformation.