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ERIC Number: EJ776847
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2007-Nov
Pages: 21
Abstractor: Author
Reference Count: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-0033-5630
Of Madness and Empire: The Rhetor as "Fool" in the Khartoum Siege Journals of Charles Gordon, 1884
Bass, Jeff D.
Quarterly Journal of Speech, v93 n4 p449-469 Nov 2007
This essay examines the rhetorical persona of the "Fool" as employed by General Charles Gordon in six volumes of journals recorded during the siege of Khartoum by Mahdist forces from September to December, 1884. After identifying the particular rhetorical aspects of the "Fool" as social critic/site of ideological contestation, I argue that Gordon utilized this persona to undermine the Gladstonian opposition of an imperial morality based upon economic frugality and foreign non-involvement versus the immorality of imperial expansion. To accomplish this purpose, Gordon appropriated a textual location of social exteriority, employed ridicule of superiors as a form of "hidden transcript" made public, and subverted Gladstone's moral imperialism as a grotesque hybridization of moral ends mandating the use of immoral means by means of conditional reasoning. Finally, Gordon proposed an alternative meaning of moral imperialism as loyalty to indigenous allies. (Contains 62 notes.)
Routledge. Available from: Taylor & Francis, Ltd. 325 Chestnut Street Suite 800, Philadelphia, PA 19106. Tel: 800-354-1420; Fax: 215-625-2940; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Sudan; United Kingdom