By E. Mirmotahari
Islam and jap African Novel makes use of Islam as lens in which to check fiction produced in a specific a part of Africa, renewing conceptual and definitional conversations approximately race, country, coloniality, diaspora, and the unconventional shape itself in an African and postcolonial context.
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Additional info for Islam in the Eastern African Novel (Literatures and Cultures of the Islamic World)
The two Qur’anic elements in the novel simultaneously affirm the importance of Islam to this eastern African cultural sphere, and they are employed to indict its own colonial legacy there. indd 31 3/21/11 10:14 AM 32 ● Islam in the Eastern African Novel a world religion that can be claimed and indigenized, but one that, as some strands of African nationalist thought contend, was cultural Arabization disguised as a religion. The question of allegory is a difficult one in Paradise. The most precise and fluid way to think about the spirit of the novel is that it is something between translation and allegory.
Spencer Trimingham writes, “All the auxiliaries of the European penetration, pacification and government—guides, interpreters, soldiers, and servants—were Muslims. ”7 Muslims and Europeans entered a mutually beneficial relationship whereby each sought to expand their own cultural and economic sphere of influence through the resources and aptitudes of the other. If nothing else, the presence of the Zanzibaris in Conrad’s narrative suggests a much more complex mosaic of African peoples and social kinetics than it consciously acknowledges.
While it ultimately mounts a challenge to European colonial misrepresentations of Africa that operate in Conrad’s narrative, the novelty of the relationship of Paradise to Heart of Darkness stems from the fact that the former demonstrates that “precolonial” Africa was already colonial. Paradise shows how Muslim perceptions and discourses of the African “interior,” if anything, both resembled and preceded modern European colonial discourses. Paradise is not a rewriting of Heart of Darkness; it is in some ways an adaptation of it.