Adventure in Malaya: Henri Fauconnier and French Orientalism

Srilata Ravi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


For the most part of the nineteenth century, the relation between romance and imperialism was symbiotic: imperial expansion provided new sites and material for literary romances. Nevertheless, as the rationalizing processes that eradicated adventure at home began reaching remote corners of the world, imperialism suddenly became the enemy of romance. This study attempts to reassess Henri Fauconnier's Malaisie (1930), a novel that was canonized at the time of its publication for its literary mission to re-evaluate colonial realities. To a certain extent Fauconnier's narrative does articulate a model of romance that exposed the absurdity and vanity of political engagement and the superiority of spiritual to imperial vocations. However, while Malaisie may have represented the Other space as testing ground for self-illumination and spiritual re-awakening my reading exposes the complexities and ambiguities that characterize literary geographies of adventure.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)419-432
JournalAsia Europe Journal
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2003


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