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Postcolonial BorgesArgument and Artistry$
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Robin Fiddian

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780198794714

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: July 2017

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198794714.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 08 December 2021

Europe in the Dock

Europe in the Dock

An Intertextual Reading of ‘Brodie’s Report’

(p.131) Chapter Six Europe in the Dock
Postcolonial Borges

Robin Fiddian

Oxford University Press

The chapter provides an in-depth analysis of the title story of Brodie’s Report (1970), reading it intertextually through Gulliver’s Travels (Swift), Plain Tales from the Hills (Kipling), A Short Account of the Destruction of the Indies (Bartolomé de Las Casas), and Tristes tropiques (Claude Lévi-Strauss). The main thrust is a critique of the missionary figure, David Brodie, who is read as serving the interests of nineteenth-century European imperialism as exemplified by the administration of Queen Victoria; she is the addressee of the Scottish Presbyterian’s report. The target of Borges’s criticism is Occidentalism as embodied in the emblematic figure of the missionary—also found in Kipling and elsewhere. The story is symptomatic of mid-twentieth-century geopolitical concerns, felt especially acutely at that time in the West.

Keywords:   Brodie’s Report, missionaries, Queen Victoria, Europe, Occidentalism, Christianity, Swift, Kipling, Las Casas, Lévi-Strauss

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