Publication Details

Turcotte, G, Re-Marking on History, or, Playing Basketball with Godzilla: Thomas King’s Monstrous Post-colonial Gesture, in Lutz, H and Vevaina, C (eds), Connections: Non-Native Responses to native Canadian Literature, Creative Books, New Delhi, 2003, 205–235. This copy is a late draft and might contain inconsistencies with the published version.


[Extract] The act of colonisation is articulated through the language of Western epistemology: through “scientific” discourses and reasonings — such as cartography, historiography, law and taxonomy — and through the language and practices of Christianity: collectively what Stephen Slemon has termed the “cognitive legacies of imperialism”. The inevitability and rightness of this on-going act — this “false totalization” — have been recorded, perpetuated and naturalised through a series of Master Narratives which organise and police the boundaries of the tale. Those who seek to resist being interpellated into such narratives frequently find that they are called upon to engage in a counter-discursive battle whose terms and conditions — even the language of the battle — have been predetermined by the very structures they seek to oppose. Like all sophisticated and organic structures, after all, imperialism has known how to bend and incorporate that which opposes it — to mask, absorb, transform or elide contradictory accounts — so that not all counter-discursive gestures against it are successful.