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Behind the Masks of ModernismGlobal and Transnational Perspectives$
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Andrew Reynolds and Bonnie Roos

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780813061641

Published to Florida Scholarship Online: September 2016

DOI: 10.5744/florida/9780813061641.001.0001

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New Zealand’s Modernization and the Postcolonial Trickster of Keri Hulme’s The Bone People

(p.158) 7 Complicity
Behind the Masks of Modernism

Bonnie Roos

University Press of Florida

The duplicitous potential of masks and modernism uncover fissures in global settings as well as local populations. The common tensions between tradition and market become evident in Bonnie Roos’s chapter on Keri Hulme’s The Bone People, in which the characters—especially the trickster figures—must maintain or drop their cultural masks for strategic purposes in a global world. Roos touches on the role of “mask”-wearing as ambivalently healing and threatening, an embrace of Maori cannibal traditions as resistance against Pakeha globalization even as the Maori are called upon to reject a violent past that has made them complicit in crippling their prospective future. She suggests that part of what makes Hulme’s novel modernist is the author’s role as trickster figure, performing a masked narrative.

Keywords:   Keri Hulme, Trickster, The Bone People, Maori

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