The tender cabin boy cannibalism and the subject /

Cannibalism is a narrative of the self and ofthe other. Dramatising as it does the fear that the body’s boundaries are unstable and can be breached, it remains the representative barbarism, yet it also lies at the center of Western culture, in the form of the Catholic Mass, for example. From Othello...

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Bibliographic Details
Main Author: Porter Gerald
Corporate Author: International Ballad Conference (31.) (2001) (Budapest)
Format: Book part
Published: 2002
Series:Szegedi vallási néprajzi könyvtár 10
Folk ballads, ethics, moral issues : [a Magyar Tudományos Akadémia Néprajzi Intézete és az Európai Folklór Intézet által Budapesten, 2001. ápr. 21-23. között rendezett konferencia anyaga] 10
Kulcsszavak:Népballada, Kannibalizmus
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Online Access:http://acta.bibl.u-szeged.hu/70284
Description
Summary:Cannibalism is a narrative of the self and ofthe other. Dramatising as it does the fear that the body’s boundaries are unstable and can be breached, it remains the representative barbarism, yet it also lies at the center of Western culture, in the form of the Catholic Mass, for example. From Othello’s ‘anthropophagi’ to the racist jokes of the 1950s, the theme of cannibalism in popular discourse has coincided with periods of high colonialism when relations with the other are at their most sharp. As The Silence of the Lambs showed it is also a popular contemporary narrative of alienation. This paper examines the topos of cannibalism in nineteenth century popular songs relating to the sea. Given the horror with which the practice was condemned in the nineteenth century, particularly by the proselytising churches, it is paradoxical that it became central to popular representations of contemporary capitalism as a metaphor of the colonial project. Bloodsucking and dismembering became regular features of popular legend. In these songs the victims are not the colonial other but usually disempowered members of the ship’s crew such as cabin boys. They exist against a background of several documented cases of actual cannibalism. The song representations became so widely known that they attracted parody and burlesque in light opera and the music hall.
Physical Description:69-77
ISBN:963 05 7989 8
ISSN:1419-1288