Examining Dambudzo Marechera's “House of Hunger,” this article follows the visceral fate of what Frantz Fanon has called the “racialization of thought.” Evoking the alimentary tract, especially the gut but also the various processes that take place within it, Marechera posits the visceral as a site of ambivalence that registers the collusive and resistant attitudes of bodies under colonialism and postcolonialism. While firmly linked to materiality, the visceral is also an index to mental conditions that it both conveys and reveals. Marechera's visceral is what foregrounds the body as the primary site of (post)colonial intervention, understood as both a replication and a critique of colonial violence. Placing the visceral so firmly within the alimentary tract allows Marechera to bring out the literal and metaphorical properties of consuming that, on the one hand, foreground the power inflections of eating and, on the other, intimate what can tentatively be called the homoerotics of colonialism.
1 January 2015