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Intimate FrontiersA Literary Geography of the Amazon$
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Felipe Martínez-Pinzón and Javier Uriarte

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9781786941831

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: January 2020

DOI: 10.3828/liverpool/9781786941831.001.0001

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‘Splendid testemunhos’: Documenting Atrocities, Bodies, and Desire in Roger Casement’s Black Diaries

‘Splendid testemunhos’: Documenting Atrocities, Bodies, and Desire in Roger Casement’s Black Diaries

Chapter:
(p.88) ‘Splendid testemunhos’: Documenting Atrocities, Bodies, and Desire in Roger Casement’s Black Diaries
Source:
Intimate Frontiers
Author(s):

Javier Uriarte

Publisher:
Liverpool University Press
DOI:10.3828/liverpool/9781786941831.003.0005

This essay performs an analysis of the highly controversial and rarely studied personal diaries of this Irish diplomat and traveler. Within the Black Diaries it is possible to find the description of bodies in intense suffering, of dismemberments, torture, and death, alongside descriptions of beautiful near-perfect bodies that provide the narrator with moments of intense pleasure. These are, to a certain extent, the same bodies; bodies of indigenous peoples living in the Casa Arana’s reign of terror. Reconciling the simultaneity of bodily pain and pleasure in this writing is one of the centers of Uriarte’s analysis, which links the Black Diaries to the more traditional utopian discourse about Amazonia of which the myths of El Dorado ––and the violence the promise of untapped, virginal riches provoked––are a significant part.

Keywords:   Roger Casement (1864-1916), Black Diaries, Putumayo, Rubber Boom Genocide, Utopia, Bodily pain and pleasure

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