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Imagined StatesLaw and Literature in Nigeria, 1900-66$
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Katherine Isobel Baxter

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9781474420839

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: May 2020

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9781474420839.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM EDINBURGH SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.edinburgh.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Edinburgh University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in ESO for personal use.date: 28 September 2021

‘I Am the Law’: District Commissioner Fiction and the State of Exception

‘I Am the Law’: District Commissioner Fiction and the State of Exception

Chapter:
(p.26) 2 ‘I Am the Law’: District Commissioner Fiction and the State of Exception
Source:
Imagined States
Author(s):

Katherine Isobel Baxter

Publisher:
Edinburgh University Press
DOI:10.3366/edinburgh/9781474420839.003.0003

Chapter Two identifies and anatomizes an important subgenre in the adventure tradition in literature: District Commissioner fiction. This subgenre is significant because, while in the nineteenth century the colonial hero was typically represented as a buccaneer outside the law, District Commissioner fiction repositions the hero within and as the law. Edgar Wallace’s Sanders of the River series is read alongside works by Arthur E. Southon in relation to theories of the state of exception, to demonstrate how the District Commissioner and the policy of indirect rule that he represents are figured exceptionally, standing outside the law as the force of law.

Keywords:   Edgar Wallace, Sanders of the River, District Commissioner, State of Exception, Adventure fiction, Law, Nigeria, Colonialism

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