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Matt Kish’s Illustration: A Nuanced Remapping of Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness

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image of Transcultural Studies

This paper is to conduct a cross-medium study by introducing a newly published illustrated Heart of Darkness. I argue that the reciprocal cross-medium fertilization between Matt Kish’s visualized project and Conrad’s verbal story proffers an alternative nuanced way to investigate Conrad’s stance in the colonial exploitation. In Matt Kish’s illustrations, Conrad concedes that there exist differences between the blacks and the whites in physicality and cultures, but he never attempts to “dehumanize” and demonize the blacks. On the contrary, the blacks in the illustrated Heart of Darkness are capable to self-defend themselves and are endowed with the subversive power to return their gaze back to the viewers.

Affiliations: 1: Nanyang Technological University, Singapore,


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