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The novelist as geographer : a comparison of the novels of Joseph Conrad and Jules Verne Huggan, Graham 1987

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THE NOVELIST AS GEOGRAPHER A COMPARISON OF THE NOVELS OF JOSEPH CONRAD AND JULES VERNE By GRAHAM HUGGAN B.A., Cambridge U n i v e r s i t y , 1981 A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF ARTS i n THE FACULTY OF GRADUATE STUDIES (Programme i n Comparative L i t e r a t u r e ) We a c c e p t t h i s t h e s i s as c o n f o r m i n g t o t h e r e q u i r e d s t a n d a r d THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA A u g u s t 1987 & Graham Huggan, 1987 In presenting this thesis in partial fulfilment of the requirements for an advanced degree at the University of British Columbia, I agree that the Library shall make it freely available for reference and study. I further agree that permission for extensive copying of this thesis for scholarly purposes may be granted by the head of my department or by his or her representatives. It is understood that copying or publication of this thesis for financial gain shall not be allowed without my written permission. Department of CoKPftRKtvuC iaTftA-rue.tr-The University of British Columbia 1956 Main Mall Vancouver, Canada V6T 1Y3 Date Oc-V. IK l l g ^ M.A. THESIS ABSTRACT The N o v e l i s t as Geographer: A Comparison of the Novels of Joseph Conrad and J u l e s Verne The works of Joseph Conrad and J u l e s Verne s h a r e a f a s c i n a t i o n with geography: concern with geographical i s s u e s made e x p l i c i t i n t h e i r n o n - f i c t i o n a l works i s a l s o i m p l i c i t i n t h e i r f i c t i o n . U n f o r t u n a t e l y , l i m i t e d knowledge of or i n t e r e s t i n g e o g r a p h i c t h e o r y on the p a r t of the l i t e r a r y c r i t i c has made the r e l a t i o n between l i t e r a t u r e and geography a r e l a t i v e l y unpopular focus; to redress the balance, i t i s n e c e s s a r y t o o u t l i n e b r i e f l y some of the ways i n which g e o g r a p h i c a l t h e o r y may u s e f u l l y i n f o r m the p r a c t i c e o f l i t e r a r y c r i t i c i s m . Areas to be introduced i n c l u d e geography and l i t e r a t u r e as s p a t i a l d i s t r i b u t i o n , as s p a t i a l p e r c e p t i o n , as i n s c r i p t i o n on and d e s c r i p t i o n of the environment, as t e x t , as c u l t u r a l matrix. The above areas s e r v e as a focus f o r the co m p a r a t i v e a n a l y s i s of a s e r i e s of n o v e l s by Joseph Conrad and J u l e s Verne i n which t h r e e i s s u e s are fo r e g r o u n d e d : f i r s t , the i n t e r r e l a t i o n s between c o n c e n t r a t e d p l a c e and s u r r o u n d i n g space i n the s e a - t a l e s The Nigger of the Narcissus and Vingt  m i l l e l i e u e s sous l e s mers; second, the reading and w r i t i n g of c u l t u r a l landscape i n Heart of Darkness and Voyage au centre  de l a t e r r e ; t h i r d , the g e o p o l i t i c s of t e r r i t o r y , boundary and l a n d c l a i m i n Lord Jim and L ' l l e mysterieuse. In each case, r e l e v a n t g e o g r a p h i c a l t h e o r y i s drawn upon: i n the f i r s t i n s t a n c e , the p h e n o m e n o l o g i c a l n o t i o n s of Y i - F u Tuan and Edward Relph; i n the second, the landscape e v a l u a t i o n s of C a r l Sauer and C o u r t i c e Rose; i n the t h i r d , the g e o p o l i t i c a l and p o l i t i c o - g e o g r a p h i c a l d e f i n i t i o n s of G l a s s n e r , De B l i j and Cohen. The f i r s t s e c t i o n (on The Nigger of the Narcissus and Vingt m i l l e l i e u e s sous l e s mers) explores the s p a t i a l notions of t o p o p h i l i a , p l a c e l e s s n e s s and g e o m e t r i c i t y inherent i n the r e l a t i o n between ship and sea. The second s e c t i o n (on Heart  of Darkness and Voyage au c e n t r e de l a t e r r e ) d i s c u s s e s the v a r i o u s c o n n o t a t i o n s of l a n d s c a p e : c u l t u r a l i m p r i n t ( r e -w r i t i n g ) , f a l s e p e r s p e c t i v e (mis-reading), t e x t u a l sign-system ( e n c o d i n g / d e c o d i n g ) , which suggest t h a t l a n d s c a p e can be i n t e r p r e t e d as a c o n t r o l l i n g mechanism of and means of access t o t h e t e x t . The t h i r d s e c t i o n (on L o r d Jim and L' 11e  myster i e u s e ) o u t l i n e s the g e o g r a p h i c a l m o t i f s of the two novels ( d i v i s i o n , ( d i s ) p o s s e s s i o n , ascent and descent, etc.) and i n f e r s p o s s i b l e motives behind these m o t i f s , r e l a t i n g t o p o g r a p h i c a l i s s u e s to personal and p o l i t i c a l ones and paying p a r t i c u l a r a t t e n t i o n t o t h e i m p l i c a t i o n s o f i s l a n d environments and communities and to the c o n n e c t i o n s between im p e r i a l i s m , c o l o n i a l i s m and n a r r a t i v e s t r a t e g y . F i n a l l y , the ' l i t e r a r y geography' of Conrad's and Verne's n o v e l s i s s i t u a t e d i n i t s h i s t o r i c a l c o n t e x t and r e l a t e d p a r t i c u l a r l y to the l a t e n i n e t e e n t h - c e n t u r y debate on the i v r e l a t i v e m e r i t s of p o s i t i v i s m and phenomenology. In Verne's work, the d o c t r i n e of p o s i t i v i s m , which has been c o n s t i t u t e d i n terms of an ideology of science, i s only c e l e b r a t e d i n so f a r as i t s l i m i t a t i o n s are r e c o g n i z e d . In Conrad's work, man's s t r u g g l e to conquer Nature through a p h y s i c a l and v e r b a l mastery of h i s environment i s r e i n t e r p r e t e d as an attempt to o v e r c o m e h i s own d u a l i t y . C o n r a d ' s p r e d o m i n a n t l y phenomenological geography of the mind serves as a c r i t i q u e of p o s i t i v i s t d o c t r i n e , but i t s f r a c t u r e d t o p o g r a p h y a l s o s u g g e s t s t h a t the attempt to s u b s t i t u t e 'more t r a d i t i o n a l views of the s o c i a l and moral order' (Watt, 163) i s , perhaps, l i t t l e more than a saving i l l u s i o n . V CONTENTS Page A b s t r a c t i i A b b r e v i a t i o n s v i I n t r o d u c t i o n : The n o v e l i s t as geographer: Joseph Conrad and J u l e s Verne 1 Chapter One: Narcissus and Nautilus: an i n q u i r y i n t o space and place i n Conrad's The Nigger of the Narcissus and Verne's Vingt m i l l e l i e u e s sous l e s mers 8 Chapter Two: Readings of the c u l t u r a l landscape i n Conrad's Heart of Darkness and Verne's Voyage au centre de l a t e r r e 29 Chapter Three: G e o p o l i t i c a l motifs and motives i n Conrad's Lord Jim and Verne's L ' l i e  mysterieuse 5 3 C o n c l u s i o n : The p o s i t i v i s t i c legacy, the phenomeno-l o g i c a l debate: epistemology and geographic thought i n the works of Joseph Conrad and J u l e s Verne 74 Notes 8 2 References 8 8 v i ABBREVIATIONS HOD Joseph Conrad, Youth, Heart of Darkness, The End of the Tether IM J u l e s Verne, L ' l i e mysterieuse LE Joseph Conrad, Last Essays LJ Joseph Conrad, Lord Jim NN Joseph Conrad, The Nigger of the Narcissus, Typhoon and Other S t o r i e s PP Edward Relph, Place and P l a c e l e s s n e s s SP Y i - F u Tuan, Space and P l a c e : The P e r s p e c t i v e of Experience TP Yi-Fu Tuan, T o p o p h i l i a VML J u l e s Verne, Vingt m i l l e l i e u e s sous l e s mers VCT J u l e s Verne, Voyage au centre de l a t e r r e 1 INTRODOCTION The n o v e l i s t as geographer: Joseph Conrad and J u l e s Verne To compare the novels of Joseph Conrad and J u l e s Verne might seem an u n l i k e l y p r o p o s i t i o n . A f t e r a l l , they a r e n e i t h e r immediate contemporaries nor, by any s t r e t c h of the i m a g i n a t i o n , s i m i l a r s t y l i s t s . The a b i d i n g tendency t o c o n s i d e r Conrad's work as ' c l a s s i c a l ' ( i n the highbrow sense of the term) and Verne's as 'popular' ( i n the m i d d l e - or lowbrow sense of the term) has a l s o prevented, or at l e a s t d i s s u a d e d , c r i t i c s from attempting a comparison of the two w r i t e r s . I would s u g g e s t , however, t h a t an a s s o c i a t i o n between Conrad and Verne i s by no means unwarranted: f i r s t , because there are areas of thematic commonality between t h e i r w o r k s , n o t a b l y i n t h e i r d e m o n s t r a t e d f a s c i n a t i o n w i t h geography; second, because i t i s p o s s i b l e to consid e r t h e i r n ovels as v a r i a t i o n s on a common genre, the adventure novel (roman d ' a v e n t u r e ) ; and t h i r d , because both w r i t e r s a r e c l e a r l y i n f l u e n c e d by the dominant i d e o l o g i e s o f l a t e r nineteenth-century Europe. Concern w i t h g e o g r a p h i c a l i s s u e s made e x p l i c i t i n the n o n - f i c t i o n a l works of Conrad and Verne i s a l s o i m p l i c i t i n t h e i r f i c t i o n . The t i t l e s of Verne's n o v e l s , and the sub-t i t l e s of Conrad's, are o f t e n g e o g r a p h i c a l l y s i t u a t e d . In Verne's case, h i g h l i g h t i n g of geography i n the t i t l e of the work announces the i d e o l o g i c a l programme implemented i n the 2 course of the work. Geography, i n t h i s sense, i n v o l v e s both a c l a s s i f i c a t i o n of the n a t u r a l environment (a s u b j e c t i o n to the r i g o u r s of science) and a conquest of the n a t u r a l environment (a s u b j e c t i o n to the w i l l of man). In Conrad's case, the secondary p o s i t i o n of geography i n the s u b - t i t l e of the work i l l u s t r a t e s the subordination of l o c a t i o n to a c t i o n , but a l s o s u g g e s t s the interdependence of l o c a t i o n and a c t i o n i n the work. 'The earth i s a stage', writes Conrad i n h i s l a t e essay 'Geography and Some E x p l o r e r s ' , 'and though i t may be an advantage, even to the r i g h t comprehension of the p l a y , to know i t s e x a c t c o n f i g u r a t i o n , i t i s the drama o f human endeavour that w i l l be the th i n g ' (Conrad, LE, 1). The drama of human endeavour corresponds i n Conrad's work to a geography of a c t i o n , on the one hand, and a geography of the mind, on the o t h e r . As i n Verne's work, geography enacts a combat between man and h i s n a t u r a l environment; t h i s combat, however, does not (as i t tends to for Verne) amount to a v i c t o r y and c o n s o l i d a t i o n of man's c o n t r o l over Nature but to a s k e p t i c a l i n q u i r y i n t o man's a b i l i t y to c o n t r o l h i s own d e s i r e s . The i s l a n d of Patusan, i n Conrad's novel Lord Jim, i s ' i n t e r n a l l y s i t u a t e d ' (Conrad, L J , 240): i n r e g i s t e r i n g the l i e of the land, geography may a l s o r e f l e c t the s t a t e of the mind. I t i s p o s s i b l e to l o c a t e the d i f f e r e n c e between Conrad's and V e r n e ' s l i t e r a r y g e o g r a p h i e s i n the c o n t e x t of l a t e n i n e t e e n t h - c e n t u r y E u r o p e a n t h o u g h t . C l e a r l y , V e r n e ' s p r o g r a m m a t i c ' g e o g r a p h y o f c o n q u e s t ' i s i n f o r m e d by 3 contemporary p o s i t i v i s t d o c t r i n e ; e q u a l l y c l e a r l y , Conrad's i n t r o s p e c t i v e 'geography of the mind' c o n s t i t u t e s a f i n - d e -s i e c l e c h a l l e n g e t o t h e s e l f - g l o r i f y i n g t e n d e n c i e s of p o s i t i v i s t d o c t r i n e by c o n d u c t i n g a p h e n o m e n o l o g i c a l l y -grounded i n q u i r y i n t o the s e l f which emphasizes i n s t a b i l i t y and fragmentation. A l t e r n a t i v e l y , i t i s p o s s i b l e to consider t h e i r r e s p e c t i v e geographies as r e f l e c t i o n s of or extensions of p o l i t i c a l d o c t r i n e . Verne's d e l i n e a t i o n of the conquest of Nature can be i n t e r p r e t e d i n t h i s context as a c e l e b r a t i o n of i m p e r i a l i s t expansionism, although, as I hope to show, i t i s more c l o s e l y a s s o c i a t e d w i t h the i m p e r i a l i s t t e n d e n c i e s inherent i n bourgeois l i b e r a l i s m ; s i m i l a r l y , Conrad's i m p l i c i t c r i t i q u e of the conquest of Nature can be i n t e r p r e t e d as an a n t i - i m p e r i a l i s t g e s t u r e , a l t h o u g h i t i s e q u a l l y p o s s i b l e (and, i n my o p i n i o n , more accurate) to i n t e r p r e t t h i s apparent a n t i - i m p e r i a 1 i s m as a d i s g u i s e which e n a b l e s Conrad t o c r i t i c i z e the means of i m p e r i a l i s t conquest w h i l s t t a c i t l y upholding the idea of imperialism. The e x t r a p o l a t i o n o f e p i s t e m o l o g i c a 1 and p o l i t i c a l t h e o r i e s from the l i t e r a r y geographies of Conrad and Verne can h a r d l y be t e n a b l e , however, u n l e s s i t i s based on a p r i o r u n d e r s t a n d i n g o f t h e c o n s t i t u e n t f e a t u r e s o f t h o s e g e o g r a p h i e s . I t i s here, I would argue, that s p e c i f i c a l l y g e o g r a p h i c a l t h e o r i e s , t h a t i s t o s a y , t h e o r i e s o f g e o g r a p h i c a l knowledge developed by p r o f e s s i o n a l geographers, may u s e f u l l y i n f o r m the p r a c t i c e of l i t e r a r y c r i t i c i s m . 4 U n f o r t u n a t e l y , a l t h o u g h some g e o g r a p h e r s ( n o t a b l y D a v i d L o w e n t h a l and D o u g l a s P o c o c k ) 1 have a c k n o w l e d g e d t h e u s e f u l n e s s of i m a g i n a t i v e l i t e r a t u r e to t h e i r g e o g r a p h i c a l s t u d i e s , l i t e r a r y c r i t i c s have shown r e l a t i v e l y l i t t l e i n t e r e s t i n geography. To redress the balance, I would l i k e to introduce b r i e f l y three areas of geographical i n q u i r y which are r e l e v a n t to Conrad's and Verne's f i c t i o n , namely those of s p a t i a l i t y , landscape and g e o p o l i t i c s . Geography, f i r s t and foremost, i s the study of s p a t i a l d i s t r i b u t i o n . The d i s t r i b u t i o n of space i s not c o n f i n e d to a s p e c t s of l o c a t i o n and quant i f i cat i o n , however; i t a l s o d e p e n d s on t h e ways i n w h i c h s p a c e i s p e r c e i v e d and e x p e r i e n c e d , the coordinates of what John P i c k l e s has c a l l e d 'human s p a t i a l i t y ' ( P i c k l e s , 154). Three as p e c t s of human s p a t i a l i t y which have been commented on by geographers are t o p o p h i l i a , p l a c e l e s s n e s s , and g e o m e t r i c i t y . T o p o p h i l i a , a c c o r d i n g to Y i - F u Tuan, corresponds 'to an a f f e c t i v e bond between peo p l e and p l a c e or s e t t i n g ' (Tuan, TP, 4) and i s demonstrated i n Western man's p r e d i l e c t i o n f o r p a r t i c u l a r e n v i r o n m e n t s ( i s l a n d s , t h e s e a - s h o r e , e t c . ) w h i c h he d e s i g n a t e s as ' p r i v i l e g e d p l a c e s ' . 2 T h i s , I s h a l l agree, i s the s t a t u s g i v e n to the s h i p i n Conrad's The Nigger of the  Narcissus and Verne's V i n g t m i l l e l i e u e s sous l e s mers. On the o t h e r hand, the s h i p ' s r e l a t i o n to the sea, which i n Tuan's terms corresponds to that between c o n c e n t r a t e d p l a c e a n d s u r r o u n d i n g s p a c e , a l s o i n v o k e s t h e n o t i o n o f 5 p l a c e l e s s n e s s , which, according to Edward Relph: 'describes b o t h an e n v i r o n m e n t w i t h o u t s i g n i f i c a n t p l a c e s and the u n d e r l y i n g a t t i t u d e which does not acknowledge s i g n i f i c a n c e i n p l a c e s ' (Relph, PP, 143). In The Nigger of the Narcissus, the i n t e r r e l a t i o n between p l a c e , space and p l a c e l e s s n e s s i n d i c a t e s a c o n f l i c t between the d e s i r e to uphold a t r a d i t i o n a l moral and a e s t h e t i c o r d e r and the awareness of i t s f r a g i l i t y . A l l i s t o u n and S i n g l e t o n , p r i v i l e g e d i n t h i s order., uphold i t s a u t h o r i t y ; the u n d e r - p r i v i l e g e d Wait and Donkin negate i t . Although they are r e p r e s e n t a t i v e s of s u b - c u l t u r e s ( T h i r d World, p r o l e t a r i a n ) which have low ranking i n the h i e r a r c h y of the Narcissus, n e i t h e r Wait nor Donkin i s a c u l t u r a l r e b e l ( t h e i r main 'cause', a f t e r a l l , i s themselves); on the other h a n d , t h e i r d i s r e s p e c t f o r t h e a p p o i n t e d a u t h o r i t i e s emphasizes the i n s e c u r i t y of the h i e r a r c h y and i t s dependence on n e o - c l a s s i c a l values which are l o s i n g ground i n the new age. In V i n g t m i l l e l i e u e s sous l e s mers, the predominant s p a t i a l notion i s that of m o b i l i t y . The Nautilus, 'mobilis i n mobile', moves through space with a view towards e l i m i n a t i n g i t : t h e p r i n c i p l e o f m o b i l i t y ( t h e c h a r t i n g o f an e n v i r o n m e n t ) s e r v e s the f u n c t i o n o f i m m o b i l i z a t i o n ( t h e conquest and c a t e g o r i z a t i o n of an environment). Geography i s c o r r e s p o n d i n g l y reduced to geometry, and motion c o n f i n e d w i t h i n ( c o n ) f i g u r a t i o n . A s e c o n d a r e a o f g e o g r a p h i c a l i n q u i r y i s t h a t of 6 landscape. C a r l Sauer's notions of c u l t u r a l landscape (as a s t r u c t u r e o r s t r u c t u r e s s u p e r i m p o s e d on t h e n a t u r a l environment) and C o u r t i c e Rose's c o n s i d e r a t i o n of landscape as a t e x t u a l sign-system subject to complex processes of encoding and decoding 3 are relevant to the novels Heart of Darkness and Voyage au c e n t r e de l a t e r r e . In Conrad's n o v e l , Marlow's r e a d i n g of the landscape demonstrates a s e r i e s of c u l t u r a l p r e j u d i c e s which a r e undermined, however, by a l t e r n a t i v e readings which emerge from between the l i n e s , as i t were, of h i s own reading. In Verne's novel, the landscape i s misread r a t h e r than read, or r a t h e r i t i s read i n ways which are n e c e s s a r i l y l i m i t e d by t h e i r i d e o l o g i c a l p r e m i s e s . The g e o g r a p h i c a l ' c e n t r e ' ( d e s t i n a t i o n ) i s not r e a c h e d ; by analogy, the t e x t u a l sign-system does not r e v e a l i t s o r i g i n of s i g n i f i c a n c e , because i t s ideology, which, I s h a l l argue, i s u l t i m a t e l y r e a c t i o n a r y i n the sense of being r e s i s t a n t to although p a r a d o x i c a l l y a t t r a c t e d by ( r ) e v o l u t i o n , f o r b i d s i t . 4 Landscape, l i k e t e x t , i s both 'read' and 'wri t t e n ' : i n the case of Heart of Darkness and Voyage au centre de l a t e r r e , h o w e v e r , i t i s r e - r e a d and r _ e - w r i t t e n as a f o r m o f p r e s e r v a t i o n , or r e t e n t i o n , of the c u l t u r a l imperative. My t h i r d g e o g r a p h i c a l f o c u s i s on t h e n o t i o n s of p o l i t i c a l g e o g r a p h y and g e o p o l i t i c s as t h e y p e r t a i n t o Conrad's novel Lord Jim and Verne's novel L ' l l e mysterieuse. P o l i t i c a l geography (the i n t e r a c t i o n between geography and p o l i t i c s ) and g e o p o l i t i c s (the c o e r c i o n of geography by s t a t e 7 p o l i t i c s ) , c h a r t t h e use and a b u s e o f l a n d by r i v a l c o n t r o l l i n g i n t e r e s t s . W h i l s t n e i t h e r Lord Jim nor L' l i e m y s t e r i e u s e a r e , s t r i c t l y speaking, p o l i t i c a l n o v e l s , they both implement a s e r i e s of n a r r a t i v e s t r a t e g i e s which are i m p l i c i t l y , i f not e x p l i c i t l y , p o l i t i c a l i n n a t u r e . The s t a k i n g out of the p r i v a t e , and the a d m i n i s t r a t i o n of the p u b l i c t e r r i t o r i e s of Jim i n Conrad's novel and Cyrus Smith i n Verne's are symptomatic of the procedures of i m p e r i a l / c o l o n i a l expansion. I t w i l l be e v i d e n t from t h i s i n t r o d u c t i o n t h a t I am drawing on n o t i o n s rather than procedures of geography as a p o i n t o f departure f o r c r i t i c a l i n t e r p r e t a t i o n s which, q u i t e o b v i o u s l y , c a n n o t be c o n t a i n e d w i t h i n a s t r i c t l y ' g e o g r a p h i c a l ' framework. 'Space', ' p l a c e ' , ' l a n d s c a p e ' , ' g e o p o l i t i c s ' , and, u l t i m a t e l y , 'geography' i t s e l f , s h o u l d t h e r e f o r e be u n d e r s t o o d p r i m a r i l y , as t h e y have been understood by l i t e r a r y c r i t i c s such as Gaston Bachelard, 5 as metaphors. It i s not merely t h e i r f a s c i n a t i o n with geography (as a p h y s i c a l phenomenon) but a l s o t h e i r f i c t i o n a l a d a p t a t i o n of geography (as a m e t a p h o r i c a l phenomenon) which b r i n g s Conrad and Verne together i n a curious p a r t n e r s h i p . 8 1. Narcissus and Nautilus: an i n q u i r y i n t o space and p l a c e i n C o n r a d ' s The N i g g e r o f t h e  Narcissus and Verne's Vingt m i l l e l i e u e s sous  l e s mers. 'Space i s more a b s t r a c t than p l a c e ' claims the geographer Y i - F u Tuan: 'what begins as u n d i f f e r e n t i a t e d space becomes p l a c e as we get to know i t b e t t e r and endow i t with v a l u e ' (Tuan, SP, 6). The d i s t i n c t i o n i s balanced however by the r e c o g n i t i o n t hat ' i n experience, the meaning of space o f t e n merges with that of p l a c e ... the ideas of space and p l a c e r e q u i r e e a c h o t h e r f o r d e f i n i t i o n ' (Tuan, SP, 6 ) . The i n t e r d e p e n d e n c e of space and p l a c e i s s t r e s s e d by another geographer, Edward Relph: 'space p r o v i d e s the context f o r p l a c e s but d e r i v e s i t s meaning from p a r t i c u l a r p l a c e s ' (Relph, PP, 8 ) . T h i s does not mean that space and p l a c e cannot be d i f f e r e n t i a t e d ; as Relph puts i t : Those aspects of space that we d i s t i n g u i s h as places are d i f f e r e n t i a t e d because they h a v e a t t r a c t e d and c o n c e n t r a t e d our i n t e n t i o n s , and because of t h i s f o c u s i n g they are s e t a p a r t from the surrounding space while remaining a part of i t . (Relph, PP, 28) The c o n c e p t s of ' c o n c e n t r a t e d p l a c e ' and 'surrounding space' are p a r t i c u l a r l y relevant to two c e l e b r a t e d s e a - t a l e s of the l a t e nineteenth century, Joseph Conrad's The Nigger of  the Narcissus and J u l e s Verne's V i n g t m i l l e l i e u e s sous l e s  mers. In both works a t t e n t i o n i s focused on the s h i p as (to use Relph's phrase) 'a node or c e n t r e of s p e c i a l importance 9 and meaning which [ i s ] d i s t i n g u i s h e d by [ i t s ] q u a l i t y of i n s i d e n e s s ' (Relph, PP, 21). The s h i p i s , i n other words, a concentrated p l a c e , both a f o c a l point f o r the n a r r a t i v e and a l o c u s of a u t h o r i t y w i t h i n the n a r r a t i v e . I t i s impossible, h owever, t o c o n s i d e r t h e s h i p w i t h o u t c o n s i d e r i n g i t s environment: Conrad's Narcissus and Verne's Nautilus are dependent on and defined by the sea. The Nigger of the Narcissus i s an e a r l y e x p l o r a t i o n of what I s h a l l c a l l Conrad's 'moral topography', that i s to say, the s p a t i a l r e p r e s e n t a t i o n of a c e n t r a l moral dilemma which, at i t s s i m p l e s t l e v e l , c o n s i s t s i n a p e r c e i v e d d i s c r e p a n c y between f i x e d standards of conduct and a l t e r n a t i v e i n s i g h t s which d i s r u p t , erode or compromise those s t a n d a r d s . In s p a t i a l terms, t h i s d i s c r e p a n c y i s l o c a t e d i n the t e n s i o n between c l o s e l y d e f i n e d and d i s t r i b u t e d 'places' and l a r g e l y i n d e f i n i t e , extraneous 'spaces' which c o n t r a d i c t or at l e a s t counteract circumscribed d e f i n i t i o n . The n a r r a t o r ' s i n i t i a l d e s c r i p t i o n of the Narcissus immediately assigns a h i e r a r c h y of space to the v e s s e l : Mr. B a k e r , c h i e f mate o f t h e s h i p Narcissus, stepped i n one s t r i d e out of h i s l i g h t e d cabin i n t o the darkness of the quarterdeck. Above h i s head, on the break of the poop, the n i g h t watchman rang a double s t r o k e . (Conrad, NN, 15) Cabin, deck and f o r e c a s t l e are c a r e f u l l y d i f f e r e n t i a t e d and g i v e n dimensions of height and depth which correspond to the 10 h i e r a r c h y of the crew. Baker, as c h i e f mate, occupies a space which i s below the poop (Captain A l l i s t o u n ' s r i g h t f u l domain) but above the f o r e c a s t l e (the dwelling place of the crew). By d e s c r i b i n g the Narcissus at n i g h t , the n a r r a t o r i s a b l e t o exaggerate the d i f f e r e n c e between the ' l i g h t e d c a b i n ' and the 'dark q u a r t e r d e c k ' w h i l s t at the same time r e d u c i n g the reader's c a p a c i t y to p e r c e i v e and i d e n t i f y d e t a i l s of p l a c e and p h y s i o g n o m y , so t h a t a l l t h a t can be s e e n o f t h e f o r e c a s t l e are the ' s i l h o u e t t e s of moving men' which appear momentarily i n the b r i l l i a n t l y l i t doorways. From the o u t s e t , then, the n a r r a t o r i n v i t e s the reader to d i s t i n g u i s h between what he s a y s and what he sees (or does not s e e ) . 1 The d e l i b e r a t e a t t e n t i o n drawn to doors and doorways suggests that the n a r r a t i v e ' f i x t u r e ' of p l a c e i s l o c a t e d on a v i s u a l ' t h r e s h o l d ' of space: a d i a l e c t i c i s c o n s e q u e n t l y s et up between the r h e t o r i c of n a r r a t i v e e x p r e s s i o n which seeks to a s s e r t , confirm and preserve a s t a t i c moral h i e r a r c h y and the i m a g i s t i c language of v i s u a l impression which, although i t does not n e c e s s a r i l y c o n t r o v e r t t h a t h i e r a r c h y , at l e a s t s u g g e s t s t h a t i t i s based on a p p e a r a n c e s which may be dec e p t i v e . In t h i s c o n t e x t the i m p l i c a t i o n s of the word ' v i s i o n ' (which, a l o n g w i t h r e f e r e n c e s to 'eyes' and ' s i g h t ' r e c u r s throughout the t e x t ) a re of c r u c i a l importance. A l t h o u g h there are many d i f f e r e n t kinds of v i s i o n i n The Nigger of the  Narcissus, the most f r u i t f u l comparison i s that between the 11 pragmatic, ' s e l f - e f f a c i n g ' v i s i o n of A l l i s t o u n and S i n g l e t o n and the c y n i c a l , ' s e l f - i n d u l g e n t ' v i s i o n of Wait and Donkin. The f i r s t tends towards i d e a l i s m and i s consonant with the idea of moral c o n t r o l ; the second tends towards n i h i l i s m and i m p l i c i t l y c h a l l e n g e s moral a b s o l u t e s by emphasizing the e g o t i s t i c motives behind human behaviour. In s p a t i a l terms, the f i r s t i s a' n e g o t i a t i o n of space which aims at con f i r m i n g the e x i s t i n g order of place; the second i s an abandonment to space which d i s r u p t s order and tends towards p l a c e l e s s n e s s . 2 A l l i s t o u n i s the a p p o i n t e d g u a r d i a n of the e x i s t i n g o r d e r ; s i g n i f i c a n t l y he i s d e s c r i b e d as seldom d e s c e n d i n g 'from the Olympian heights of h i s poop. Below him - at h i s f e e t , so t o speak - common m o r t a l s l e d t h e i r busy and i n s i g n i f i c a n t i i v e s ' (Conrad, NN, 36). He has p r i d e of p l a c e , and, with i t , p r i v i l e g e of. v i s i o n . During the storm which threatens to overturn the Narcissus (a passage to which I w i l l r e t u r n l a t e r ) , A l l i s t o u n i s d e s c r i b e d i n t h e s e t e r m s : ' C a p t a i n A l l i s t o u n saw nothing; he seemed with h i s eyes t o hold the s h i p up with a superhuman c o n c e n t r a t i o n of e f f o r t ' ( Conrad, NN, 6 1 ) . H i s ' v i s i o n ' i s at once a g e s t u r e of supreme s e l f - d i s c i p l i n e and an a s s e r t i o n of s e l f l e s s duty which p r i v i l e g e s a c t i o n over speech and p r a c t i c a l i t y over w a s t e f u l s e l f - i n d u l g e n c e . Space, i n t h i s case the onrushing space o f the sea, must be c o n f r o n t e d and tamed, s i n c e i t cannot be allowed to impinge on and threaten the balance of order. 12 S i n g l e t o n , s i m i l a r l y , i s d e s c r i b e d as p o s s e s s i n g 'a s h a r p e r v i s i o n , a c l e a r e r k n o w l e d g e ... he had t h e u n i n t e r e s t e d appearance of one who had seen m u l t i t u d e s of s h i p s , had l i s t e n e d many times to voices such as t h e i r s , had a l r e a d y seen a l l that could happen on the wide seas' (Conrad, NN, 110). For S i n g l e t o n , then, ' v i s i o n ' i s a c o n f i r m a t i o n of e x p e r i e n c e , o f t h e ' a l r e a d y - s e e n ' : h i s e y e s , l i k e A l l i s t o u n ' s , 'hold up' the e x i s t i n g order. Despite the e f f o r t s of A l l i s t o u n and S i n g l e t o n , however, the community on board the Narcissus i s subjected to severe p r e s s u r e f r o m w i t h o u t and, p a r t i c u l a r l y , w i t h i n . The d i a l e c t i c between p l a c e and space, between s h i p and sea, i s n e c e s s a r y f o r t h e d e f i n i t i o n o f p l a c e and c o n t i n u e d a f f i r m a t i o n of that d e f i n i t i o n . The d i a l e c t i c between p l a c e and p l a c e l e s s n e s s , on the other hand, i s more d i s r u p t i v e b e c a u s e t h e n o t i o n o f p l a c e l e s s n e s s e s t a b l i s h e s a c o n f r o n t a t i o n w i t h , and tends towards the d i s s o l u t i o n o f , p r e v i o u s l y held b e l i e f s and b e l i e f - s t r u c t u r e s . Wait and Donkin react against t h e i r bottom ranking i n the h i e r a r c h y of the Narcissus by f o r c i n g themselves to the c e n t r e i n d e f i a n c e of t h e i r marginal s t a t u s . In doing t h i s , they negate the dominant disc o u r s e of the n a r r a t i v e which, charac-t e r i z e d by i t s a d o p t i o n of n e o - c l a s s i c a l v a l u e s , s e t s up o p p o s i t i o n s between i d e a l i s t ( l a r g e l y P l a t o n i c ) a e s t h e t i c s and p r i m i t i v e totemism, on one hand, and between 'unspeakable wisdom' (Conrad, NN, 111) and ' f i l t h y l o q u a c i t y ' (Conrad, NN, 13 88) on the o t h e r . In the f i r s t i n s t a n c e , S i n g l e t o n and A l l i s t o u n are valued to the detriment of Wait; i n the second, they are valued to the detriment of Donkin. The d e l i b e r a t e comparison between 'true' and ' f a l s e ' i d o l s (Singleton/Wait) and ' t r u e ' and ' f a l s e ' a r t i s t s (Allistoun/Donkin) i s compli-c a t e d however by the l a t t e r ' s i m p l i c i t q u e s t i o n i n g of the d i s t i n c t i o n between t r u e and f a l s e and of the c u l t u r a l p r e s u p p o s i t i o n s on which the d i s t i n c t i o n i s based. In t h i s c o n t e x t , Wait and Donkin are a c t i n g r e p r e s e n t a t i v e s of sub-c u l t u r e s ( T h i r d World, p r o l e t a r i a t ) ; i t must be s a i d , however, t h a t i n d e n y i n g t h e i r s u b o r d i n a t e s t a t u s t h e y promote t h e m s e l v e s r a t h e r t h a n t h e i r c u l t u r e g r o u p s . W a i t ' s n a r c i s s i s m and Donkin's s e l f - d i s g u s t (which masquerades as p r o l e t a r i a n r e v o l t ) are l i t t l e more than p a t h e t i c : on the o t h e r hand, t h e i r r e s i s t a n c e to a u t h o r i t y , and c y n i c a l awareness of egotism emphasize the f r a g i l i t y of the e x i s t i n g order and the u n c e r t a i n t y of i t s c u l t u r a l p r i v i l e g e s . The treatment of Donkin, i n p a r t i c u l a r , i l l u s t r a t e s t h i s u n c e r t a i n t y . In one s e n s e , o f c o u r s e , he i s w h o l l y c o n t e m p t i b l e i n h i s ' d e s i r e to a s s e r t h i s importance, to break, to crush; to be even with everybody for e v e r y t h i n g ; to t e a r the v e i l , unmask, expose, leave no refuge' (Conrad, NN, 125). On the other hand, however, h i s ' p e r f i d i o u s d e s i r e of t r u t h f u l n e s s ' (Conrad, NN, 15) c o n s t i t u t e s a challenge to the o u tlook of S i n g l e t o n and A l l i s t o u n by i l l u s t r a t i n g that i t s informing myths ( C l a s s i c i s m , Eurocentrism, p a t r i a r c h y ) can no 14 l o n g e r be c o n s i d e r e d s a c r o s a n c t : indeed, l i k e the s h i p on which they s a i l , both men belong i n a sense to a dying breed, to a C l a s s i c a l l y ordered and u n i f i e d world d i s p l a c e d by new s o c i a l and economic r e a l i t i e s . P s y c h o l o g i c a l l y ' p l a c e l e s s ' i n so f a r as t h e i r i d e n t i t y and the power t o a s s e r t t h a t i d e n t i t y , depend on a r o o t l e s s environment, they can a l s o be c o n s i d e r e d w i t h i n t h e l a r g e r framework o f a c u l t u r a l p l a c e l e s s n e s s which f o r e s e e s the end of Empire and suggests f a l l a c i e s (which can be traced back to a dominant i m p e r i a l i s t ideology) underpinning such notions as 'place' and 'dominion 1. The d e s c r i p t i o n of the storm which a l l but s i n k s the Narcissus i l l u s t r a t e s t h i s i n s e c u r i t y by p l a c i n g i t i n a p h y s i c a l context: They [the crew] gripped r a i l s , they had wound ropes'-ends under t h e i r arms; they clutched r i n g b o l t s , they crawled i n heaps where t h e r e was foothold/ they held on with both arms, they hooked themselves to a n y t h i n g to windward with elbows, w i t h c h i n s , almost with t h e i r t e e t h : and some, unable to crawl away from where they had been f l u n g , f e l t the sea leap up, s t r i k i n g a g a i n s t t h e i r backs as they s t r u g g l e d upwards. S i n g l e t o n had stuck t o the wheel. His h a i r flew out i n the wind; the g a l e s e e m e d t o t a k e i t s l i f e - l o n g a dversary by the beard and shake h i s o l d head ... Donkin, caught by one foot i n a loop of some rope, hung, head down, below us, and y e l l e d , with h i s face to the deck: 'Cut! Cut! (Conrad, NN, 57-58. My i t a l i c s ) The h i n t o f f a r c e u n d e r l y i n g the crew's s t r u g g l e f o r s u r v i v a l suggests that the n a r r a t o r ' s d e s p e r a t e c e l e b r a t i o n 15 of human r e s i l i e n c e i s tempered by h i s awareness of human weakness. The s e a , i n t h i s c o n t e x t , i s a 'discomposing' element (Conrad, NN, 56): both p h y s i c a l t e n a c i t y and mental composure are c a l l e d f o r to ward o f f the thre a t of death ( i n t h e f i r s t i n s t a n c e ) or i n s a n i t y ( i n the s e c o n d ) . The n a r r a t o r ' s c o l l a b o r a t i o n i n t h i s l a s t - d i t c h d e f e n c e i s demonstrated i n a t h i r d category, that of t e x t u a l composition. Thus, a t the moment of g r e a t e s t danger, when a huge wave rushes i n to f l o o d the Narcissus, i t i s des c r i b e d as 'a w a l l o f g r e e n g l a s s t o p p e d w i t h snow'. The m e t a p h o r i s incongruous: the threat of discomposition i s counteracted by the d e l i b e r a t e a r t i f i c e of composition. The a e s t h e t i c s of the novel r e v e a l s i t s e l f i n these moments to be as compulsively d e f e n s i v e as i t s c u l t u r a l and moral imper a t i v e s . 3 The use of metaphor i s worthy of f u r t h e r c o n s i d e r a t i o n . The n a r r a t i v e o f t e n employs a me t a p h o r i z a t i o n of space as a means of r e l a t i n g a smal l e r system (or code of values) to a l a r g e r system (or code of v a l u e s ) . The most n o t i c e a b l e i n s t a n c e s of t h i s transference are the various r e f e r e n c e s to the Narcissus as 'minute world', 'small planet' and ' v i s i o n of i d e a l beauty' (Conrad, NN, 36, 35, 122). The Narcissus, i n other words, stands as a metaphor f o r , or to be more p r e c i s e , a synechdoche o f , an a b s o l u t e moral order. The r e l a t i o n of pla c e to space i s t r a n s f e r r e d from one of c o n f r o n t a t i o n to one of a s s i m i l a t i o n , i n which even the immensities of space have a place w i t h i n an a l l - e n v e l o p i n g cosmos. 16 Conrad's espousal i n The Nigger of the Narcissus of what might best be d e s c r i b e d as a form of pragmatic i d e a l i s m (a combination of p r a c t i c a l vigour and moral r i g o u r ) can only be accommodated, however, i n a p a r t i c u l a r environment, that of t h e s a i l s h i p , i n which the a s s u m p t i o n o f a ' p l a c e l e s s ' e x i s t e n c e p a r a d o x i c a l l y gives the s a i l o r a sense of pl a c e and, with i t , a sense of moral purpose. The Narcissus, i n t h i s sense, i s an i d e a l community which operates on the p r i n c i p l e o f c o l l a b o r a t i v e c r a f t s m a n s h i p ; t o use V.S. N a i p a u l ' s expression, i t embodies the philosophy of the ' S t y l i s t of the Sea' (Naipaul, 217). The s e l f - s e r v i n g m a c h i n a t i o n s o f Wait and D o n k i n , however, demonstrate the l i m i t a t i o n s of and c o n t r a d i c t i o n s w i t h i n the n o t i o n of pragmatic i d e a l i s m by d i s p l a c i n g the h i e r a r c h i e s i n s c r i b e d onto the Narcissus and b r i n g i n g to the sur f a c e the egotism which u n d e r l i e s i d e a l i s t i c conceptions of community and c o l l a b o r a t i o n . The t i t l e of The Nigger of the  Narcissus, (as are many of Conrad's t i t l e s ) i s oxymoronic; by ' b e l o n g i n g ' t o t h e Narcissus, W a i t d e m o n s t r a t e s t h e c o n t r a d i c t i o n s embodied i n a ship whose very name counteracts i t s p r o j e c t e d i d e a l i s m . The c h a l l e n g e posed by Wait and Donkin i s both n o t i o n a l and h i s t o r i c a l ; the Narcissus, i t i s suggested, i s one of the l a s t of i t s kind: the s a i l s h i p , and with i t the philosophy of the S t y l i s t of the Sea, i s already outdated by the p r o g r e s s i v e m a c h i n e r y and p o s i t i v i s t i c o u t l o o k o f t h e new Age o f 17 Technology. The i n d i v i d u a l i s m of Wait and, p a r t i c u l a r l y , the c y n i c a l m a t e r i a l i s m of Donkin, are suggested as being b e t t e r s u i t e d to (more e a s i l y a d a p t a b l e to) the new age than the pragmatic i d e a l i s m of Sin g l e t o n and A l l i s t o u n : s i g n i f i c a n t l y , the l a s t pages of the novel introduce a new c o n c e p t u a l i z a t i o n of space and place i n which moral and a e s t h e t i c c o n s i d e r a t i o n s are replaced by economic ones. Once docked, the s h i p 'ceases to l i v e ' : i t l o s e s i t s moral substance, i t s sense of p l a c e , and becomes merely an object to be possessed i n the name of a 'sordid e a r t h ' (Conrad, NN, 137). Reverence of the i d e a l s of T r u t h and B e a u t y , i m p e r i l l e d though t h e y were, i s now red e f i n e d as a perverse worship of the m a t e r i a l i n which 'the s t a i n e d f r o n t of the M i s t , cleansed by the f l o o d of l i g h t , stood out f o r a moment d a z z l i n g and white l i k e a marble palace i n a f a i r y t a l e 1 (Conrad, NN, 143). P l a c e has become a co n c e n t r a t i o n of m a t e r i a l value, and the space which surrounds i t a r e s e r v o i r o f m a t e r i a l p o s s i b i l i t y . With t h i s l a s t c o n f i g u r a t i o n we are a l r e a d y moving c l o s e to the c o l o n i a l world of Heart of Darkness. The i n t e r a c t i o n between space and place i n The Nigger of  the Narcissus i s a major f a c t o r i n what might be termed the ' r a d i c a l a m b i g u i t y ' of the n o v e l . The t e n s i o n between e x p r e s s i o n and impression, between the c a t e g o r i c a l l y s t a t e d (or d e s i g n a t e d ) and the i n t u i t i v e l y p e r c e i v e d , e n s u r e s a dynamic, o f t e n p a r a d o x i c a l , conception of space, i n which the same s p a c e may be e x p e r i e n c e d as t o p o p h i l i a ( d e s i r e , 18 a f f e c t i o n ) or as tophophobia ( f e a r , d i s a f f e c t i o n ) . An example i s the c a b i n , r e f u g e f o r the o f f i c e r s but t r a p , v i r t u a l c o f f i n , f o r Wait. S i m i l a r l y , the Narcissus e p i t o m i z e s both home and e x i l e , ' d e s i r e d e n c l o s u r e ' 5 and ' d e s i r e d u n r e s t * (Conrad, NN, 80); the sea as empty space may engender calm and reassurance, but the same empty space, when i t i s envisaged as ' n o n - p l a c e ' ( J a m e s o n , 2 1 3 ) , becomes c o n f r o n t a t i o n a l , d i s c o n c e r t i n g . The c o n t i n u a l f l u x which i s set up by these changing or simultaneously d i f f e r e n t perceptions of space i s i n d i c a t i v e of a continuum between 'order' and 'chaos' i n the novel: 'order' i s c o n t i n u a l l y r e i n s t a t e d but a l s o c o n t i n u a l l y c hallenged and threatened with d i s s o l u t i o n . In t h i s context, the f i n a l image of the ghost s h i p i s h i g h l y a p p r o p r i a t e : memory r e v i v e s a l o s t o r d e r w i t h o u t r e t r i e v i n g a l o s t s u b s t a n c e . The Narcissus i s ' r e p l a c e d 1 , but o n l y i n the s p a t i a l v o i d : A shadowy ship manned by a crew of Shades. They pass and make a s i g n , i n a shadowy h a i l . Haven't we, together and upon the immortal sea, wrung out a meaning from our s i n f u l l i v e s ? (Conrad, NN, 143) By c o n t r a s t , the treatment of space i n J u l e s Verne's n o v e l V i n g t m i l l e l i e u e s sous l e s mers does not appear at f i r s t s i g h t to be ambiguous. In one sense the Nautilus i s the epitome of ' d e s i r e d e n c l o s u r e ' (Tuan, SP, Ch. 8): not only does i t have i t s crew, p r o v i d i n g them with a secure, c l o s e t e d 19 environment, i t a l s o houses a treasury of a r t i f a c t s ; i t i s a mobile home, but a l s o a mobile l i b r a r y , a mobile museum. I t s q u a l i t y of ' i n s i d e n e s s ' (Relph, PP, 21) i s r e i n f o r c e d by i t s a b s o r p t i o n of the outside world, an absorption which i s a l s o disarmament, d i s s e c t i o n , i m m o b i l i z a t i o n . The dynamics of space are reduced to the s p e c i f i c i t y of pl a c e : the Nautilus tours the world, encloses i t with a view to e l i m i n a t i n g i t . S i m i l a r l y , knowledge of the n a t u r a l e n vironment i s reduced to a c q u i s i t i o n of the c o l l e c t o r ' s item. To 'see' i n the novel u s u a l l y means to 'take': the procedure may be one of capture (Nemo's hunt) or c l a s s i f i c a t i o n ( C o n s e i l ' s l i s t s ) but i n each case the p r i n c i p l e i s one of s e l f - a p p r o p r i a t i o n . The n a t u r a l environment i s confronted, conquered and d e f i n e d so as to confirm the supremacy of man. Nemo's p r o j e c t i s more r a d i c a l s t i l l , f or Nature i s robbed of i t s l i f e , i t s movement; the n a t u r a l world i s not an arena of disc o v e r y and experience but a museum re s o u r c e . Each new y i e l d , once recognized and c l a s s i f i e d , i s merely added to the e x i s t i n g c o l l e c t i o n . The obsession with nomenclature i s an i n d i c a t i o n of the d e s i r e to i m m o b i l i z e : to name i s to f i x , to d e s i g n a t e p l a c e ; once named, mobile Nature passes i n t o immobile N a t u r a l H i s t o r y . Hence Nemo's motto: ' M o b i l i s i n m o b i l e ' : c o n f i n e m e n t ( e l i m i n a t i o n ) of motion, a b s o r p t i o n of the o u t s i d e , d e l i g h t (as Roland Barthes has p o i n t e d out) i n the f i n i t e . 6 I f the Narcissus i s , to some extent, a m i r r o r of human psychology, the Nautilus i s a container of human knowledge. 20 I t i s a s p e c i a l k i n d of knowledge, however, t h a t i s c o n t a i n e d w i t h i n the i r o n w a l l s of the submarine. The knowledge embedded i n and embodied by the Nautilus i s a form of p r o t e c t i o n rather than enrichment. C u r i o s i t y to know has p r e v i o u s l y been s a t i a t e d : the Nautilus i s the r e p o s i t o r y of the already-known, a c l o s e l y - g u a r d e d v a u l t w i t h i n which the i n f i n i t e p o s s i b i l i t i e s of space have been reduced to the known q u a n t i t i e s of p l a c e . The known i s i n c l u d e d , the knowable excluded. A l l t h i s seems f a r removed from the d i a l e c t i c of space and p l a c e , p l a c e and p l a c e l e s s n e s s , i n The Nigger of the  Narcissus. The Narcissus, at the mercy of the elements, s t r u g g l e s to a s s e r t i t s place and to 'wring out meaning' f o r the l i v e s of i t s crew. The Nautilus, on the other hand, has no need f o r s t r u g g l e ; powering i t s way through the elements, c o n s o l i d a t i n g r a t h e r than d i s c o v e r i n g 'meaning', i t aims at n o t h i n g l e s s than a t o t a l containment, a t o t a l conquest of space. Nemo's circumnavigation of the globe corresponds to a d e s i r e f o r a l l - e m b r a c i n g , e n c y c l o p e d i c knowledge. The a u t h e n t i c i t y of t h i s knowledge i s l e s s important than i t s a c q u i s i t i o n ; i f A l l i s t o u n can be s a i d to symbolize the S t y l i s t of the Sea, Nemo's most appropriate f i g u r a l e q u i v a l e n t i s the T o u r i s t , t h e p e r s o n f o r whom (as Edward R e l p h p u t s i t ) ' i n d i v i d u a l and a u t h e n t i c judgement about p l a c e s i s n e a r l y always subsumed to expert or s o c i a l l y accepted o p i n i o n [such that] the act and means of tourism become more important than 21 the p l a c e s v i s i t e d ' (Relph, PP, 83). Verne's work takes t o u r i s m a s t a g e f u r t h e r : the Voyages e x t r a o r d i n a i r e s represent an 'imaginary tourism', which, t r a n s f e r r e d i n t o the e x o t i c i s m o f the a d v e n t u r e n o v e l , a l l o w s both reader and w r i t e r to enjoy the f r u i t s of t r a v e l without experiencing the discomforts of t r a v e l l i n g . Verne i s no mere 'armchair geographer', however; indeed, there i s an ambiguity b u i l t i n t o the mythology of the Voyages  e x t r a o r d i n a i r e s which renders h i s treatment of space i n some ways s u r p r i s i n g l y s i m i l a r to Conrad's. As Michel Serres has point e d out, Verne's world i s a c i r c l e of c i r c l e s , a tour of to u r s : i t s predominant s p a t i a l p a t t e r n i s c o n c e n t r i c . 7 T h i s c o n c e n t r i c i t y , however, i s r e v e r s i b l e ; the Nautilus, s e l f -e n c l o s i n g , s e l f - p r o t e c t i n g organism which, as i t s (mollusc) name s u g g e s t s , b u i l d s l a y e r s around i t s e l f t o guard i t s pre c i o u s i n t e r i o r , i s transformed by the end of the novel i n t o s e 1 f - i m m o l a t i n g m a e l s t r o m . The s p a c e w h i c h had been p r e v i o u s l y reduced to a s e r i e s of 'places' by a pro c e s s of e n c l o s u r e and o b j e c t i f i c a t i o n r e - e s t a b l i s h e s i t s e l f by a p p r o p r i a t i n g i n t u r n the ' p l a c e s ' which had d e f i n e d and c o n s t r i c t e d i t . The Nautilus, conqueror of space, i s i t s e l f conquered by space: openness i s rest o r e d d e s p i t e p e r s i s t e n t attempts at c l o s u r e . Conrad's l a t e essay 'Geography and Some E x p l o r e r s ' opens a f u r t h e r avenue of enquiry. D i s t i n g u i s h i n g between geometric c o n f i g u r a t i o n and geographic a c t i o n , Conrad c l a i m s : 22 The earth i s a stage, and though i t may be an a d v a n t a g e , e v e n t o t h e r i g h t comprehension of the p l a y , to know i t s exact c o n f i g u r a t i o n , i t i s the drama of human endeavour that w i l l be the t h i n g . (Conrad, LE, 1) The a l l e g e d s u p e r i o r i t y of geography over geometry i s borne out i n The Nigger of the Narcissus i n so f a r as the sea i s of l e s s i n t e r e s t f o r what i t represents or contains than as a s e t t i n g or stage f o r human a c t i v i t y and e x p e r i e n c e . In V i n g t m i l l e l i e u e s sous l e s mers, however, geometry i s at l e a s t as important i f not more important than geography. The n a r r a t o r ' s p a i n s t a k i n g d e s c r i p t i o n s of submarine f l o r a and f a u n a i n the n o v e l o f t e n borrow from the l a n g u a g e o f geometry: Les p o i s s o n s ... sont p r o t e g e s par une c u i r a s s e ... t a n t o t l a forme d'un s o l i d e q u a d r a n g u l a i r e ... je c i t e r a i a u s s i des o s t r a c i o n s quadrangulaires, surmontes sur l e dos de quatre gros tubercules ... puis des dromadaires a grosses bosses en forme de cone. (Verne, VML, 290) Now, i f we are to accept Tuan's argument that 'place i s a type of o b j e c t ; p l a c e s and o b j e c t s d e f i n e space, g i v i n g i t a ge o m e t r i c p e r s o n a l i t y ' (Tuan, SP, 17), i t f o l l o w s t h a t the minute a t t e n t i o n p a i d i n Verne's novel to o b j e c t s and t h e i r d e f i n i t i o n i s tantamount to a ' g e o m e t r i c i z a t i o n ' of space. The g e o m e t r i c concern of the t e x t i s a f u r t h e r g e s t u r e of c o n t r o l : the r e l e n t l e s s c h a r t i n g of space which i s found 23 t h r o u g h o u t V e r n e ' s work can be l i k e n e d to a p r o c e s s o f g e o m e t r i c c o o r d i n a t i o n , whose r e s u l t , the map or diagram, r e p r e s e n t s the triumph of Science (and, i n p a r t i c u l a r , the a r t i f i c e of S c i e n c e ) over Nature. I t i s a l s o , i n another sense, the apotheosis of S t r u c t u r e ; Verne's work, as Barthes and Serres, amongst others, have found, 8 i s i d e a l l y s u i t e d to the e n t e r p r i s e s of s t r u c t u r a l i s t c r i t i c i s m . To be s u r e , V e r n e ' s work i s a s t r u c t u r a l r a t h e r t h a n a m i m e t i c undertaking: space i s defined i n terms of the o b j e c t s which c o n s t i t u t e i t , not the ' r e a l i t y ' (human, g e o g r a p h i c a l , or otherwise) i t might represent. It i s , however, the act rather than the r e s u l t of d e f i n i t i o n which i n t e r e s t s Verne. The q u e s t i o n s 'what i s s p a c e ? ' and 'what i s p l a c e ? ' , h i g h l y r e l e v a n t t o Conrad, are l e s s a p p r o p r i a t e to Verne than the q u e s t i o n 'how i s space c o n s t i t u t e d ? ' and 'how, i n t h i s c o n s t i t u t i o n , are places connected?'. The answer to both of these questions would seem to l i e i n the s t r u c t u r a l framework of f i c t i o n : by rendering p o s s i b l e t h a t w h i c h i s i m p o s s i b l e , V e r n e ' s f i c t i o n e s t a b l i s h e s c o n n e c t i o n s between seemingly d i s p a r a t e p o e t i c spaces. Myth and s c i e n c e interweave; sea-monsters come to l i f e , underwater c i t i e s ( s u c h as A t l a n t i s ) a r e f o u n d and g i v e n p r e c i s e l o c a t i o n . The Nautilus i t s e l f represents a f u s i o n of man and machine (nameless commander, named c r a f t ) : the u l t i m a t e triumph of Science i s r e g i s t e r e d i n the c r e a t i o n of a s u p e r i o r organism - (Nautilus as 'cetace e x t r a o r d i n a i r e ' ) (Verne, ML, 24 25) - which i n t u r n r e f l e c t s a t o t a l o b j e c t i f i c a t i o n of the p e r c e i v e d n a t u r a l environment and a corresponding v i c t o r y of i t s c o n t r o l l i n g s u b j e c t . P l a c e , i n V i n g t m i l l e l i e u e s sous  l e s mers, i s p r i m a r i l y an o b j e c t among o b j e c t s : A t l a n t i s ( l i k e Nautilus) f u n c t i o n s l e s s as a symbol than as a p o i n t of r e f e r e n c e . To reduce the r e l a t i o n between space and p l a c e i n the novel to one of s e l f - r e f e r e n t i a l t e x t u a l i t y would be however to overlook the i d e o l o g i c a l i m p l i c a t i o n of Verne's work. In a v a l u a b l e study of Verne's novel L ' l l e m y s t e r i e u s e , P i e r r e Macherey claims that: J u l e s Verne p a r t d'une i d e o l o g i e de l a s c i e n c e : i l en f a i t une mythologie de l a science ... par l e passage d'un niveau de l a r e p r e s e n t a t i o n a c e l u i de l a f i g u r a t i o n , l ' i d e o l o g i e s u b i t une complete m o d i f i c a t i o n . (Macherey, 219) The ' i d e o l o g y of s c i e n c e ' , whose o u t l i n e s may a l s o be t r a c e d i n V i n g t m i l l e l i e u e s sous l e s mers, c o n s i s t s i n a w i l l e d subjugation of the n a t u r a l world. I t s m o d i f i c a t i o n (to use Macherey's term) c o n s i s t s however, i n the t r a n s f e r e n c e of i d e o l o g i c a l premise i n t o f i c t i o n a l ( m y t h o l o g i c a l ) p a t t e r n . The g e o g r a p h i c a l and b i o l o g i c a l f e a t u r e s of N a t u r e a r e c h a n n e l l e d i n t o the s t r u c t u r e d patterns of a d i s c o u r s e which draws a t t e n t i o n to i t s own a r t i f i c i a l i t y . In the process, the ' n a t u r a l ' i s rendered a r t i f i c i a l and v i c e v e r s a . The open s p a c e s of Nature ( h e r e , the sea) are reduced, c o n n e c t e d . 25 e n c l o s e d w i t h i n the a r t i f i c i a l framework of the t e x t . The passage from ideology to mythology i s f u r t h e r demonstrated i n the p r ocess of domestication; Nature i s a c r e a t i v e resource: once tamed, i t can be tapped f o r domestic use. The Nautilus ' l i v e s ' i n the sea, but a l s o o f f the sea, c h a n n e l l i n g the c r e a t i v e f o r c e s of i t s environment i n t o i t s own a r t i f i c i a l mechanism. The ideology of bourgeois comfort i s t r a n s f e r r e d t o a m y t h o l o g y o f ' p l a c e ' i n w h i c h ' p l a c e ' d e n o t e s d o m e s t i c i t y , order, s t a b i l i t y and i n which 'space' i s rendered, amenable i f not innocuous (for danger s t i l l l u r k s w i t h i n the depths of the open sea) but c e r t a i n l y not h o s t i l e . In C o n r a d ' s work, on t h e o t h e r h a n d , N a t u r e i s i n d i s p u t a b l y h o s t i l e : the sea i s i n i m i c a l , m i n d l e s s l y v i o l e n t . 'Place' i s a value to be fought f o r , a stronghold to p r o t e c t against marauding 'space'. The s e c u r i t y and s u s t a i n e d c o m f o r t of ' p l a c e ' depend on h a r d work and c o n t i n u e d v i g i l a n c e . In Verne's work, however, the achievement and t e n u r e of ' p l a c e ' e n a b l e a l i f e of l e i s u r e i n which the o v e r c o m i n g o f danger c o n s o l i d a t e s the power of the myth without apparent reference to the psychology of the i n d i v i d u a l (Nemo i s a f i g u r e , not a character) or the moral i m p l i c a t i o n s of the a c t i o n . The sudden disappearance of the Nautilus at the end of the novel suggests however that Verne's mythology i s not as s e l f - s u f f i c i e n t as i t seems. Indeed, there i s an i n d i c a t i o n t h a t Nemo, l i k e Wait, has been judged g u i l t y of p u n i s h a b l e 26 b e h a v i o u r , t h a t t h e r e may a f t e r a l l be an e x t e r n a l o r d e r p r e d e t e r m i n i n g a c e r t a i n code of conduct. In The Nigger of  the Narcissus, t h i s e t h i c p e r t a i n s to what F r e d e r i c Jameson has c a l l e d 'a containment s t r a t e g y ' (Jameson, 221): i t u l t i m a t e l y c a l l s i n t o q u e s t i o n r a t h e r t h a n a f f i r m s the v a l i d i t y of i t s provenance. In Vi n g t m i l l e l i e u e s sous l e s  mers, i t i s l e f t u n c e r t a i n whether Providence i s e x c l u s i v e or i n c l u s i v e of Verne's mythology; i t i s c l e a r , however, that the p o s s i b i l i t y of an informing moral order s e r i o u s l y undermines the v a l i d i t y of an id e o l o g y of s c i e n c e which claims i t s own a b s o l u t e power. In Verne's l a t e r work, the d i s c r e p a n c y between t e c h n o l o g i c a l advance and moral i n s u f f i c i e n c y becomes n o t i c e a b l y w i d e r : 9 i n V i n g t m i l l e l i e u e s sous l e s mers, however, he would already seem to be ques t i o n i n g the premises on which a p u t a t i v e conquest of space i s based. In h i s book Space and Place: the pe r s p e c t i v e of experience, Tuan argues: Human beings r e q u i r e both space and p l a c e . Human l i v e s are i n a d i a l e c t i c a l movement between s h e l t e r and v e n t u r e , attachment and freedom. In open space one can become i n t e n s e l y aware of p l a c e ; and i n t h e s o l i t u d e of s h e l t e r e d p l a c e the vastness o f s p a c e b e y o n d a c q u i r e s a h a u n t i n g presence. (Tuan, SP, 54) The d i a l e c t i c a l movement between s h e l t e r and venture which Tuan d e s c r i b e s i s a dominant f e a t u r e of both Conrad's and Verne's work. In The Nigger of the Narcissus and Vingt m i l l e  l i e u e s sous l e s mers, the d i a l e c t i c i s focused on the r e l a t i o n 27 between s h i p and sea. The s h i p ' s a u t h o r i t y and v a l u e as d i f f e r e n t i a t e d place are undermined i n both works, though with f a r g r e a t e r depth and range of i m p l i c a t i o n i n Conrad's, i n which values a t t r i b u t e d to place are set i n o p p o s i t i o n to and undermined by those which are symptomatic of p l a c e l e s s n e s s . 'Place' c l e a r l y has a wide range of connotations: i n Verne's work, p l a c e may be seen as o b j e c t , as p o i n t of r e f e r e n c e w i t h i n t h e s t r u c t u r e of the t e x t , or as s t a b i l i t y , the confinement and containment of m o b i l i t y ( m o b i l i s i n mobile) or again as d o m e s t i c i t y , the c o n t r o l and absorption of an o u t s i d e e n v i r o n m e n t , the d e l i g h t s of a world p l a c e d w i t h i n one's reach. In Conrad's work, on the other hand, place i n q u i r e s i n t o i t s own p s y c h o l o g i c a l , moral and a e s t h e t i c r a m i f i c a t i o n s . Space becomes not merely t h a t which 'surrounds' p l a c e and g i v e s i t d e f i n i t i o n but a l s o that which m i r r o r s p l a c e l e s s n e s s and t h e i n d e f i n i t e . P l a c e i s b r o k e n up, t o r n a p a r t : c o n n e c t i n g doors are f l u n g open and w a l l s smashed, the sea looms up l i k e a madman with an axe, the crew plans mutiny, the s h i p i s r o b b e d o f ' l i f e ' a nd s u b s t a n c e . C u l t u r a l p r e s u p p o s i t i o n s are unmasked i n ways explored i n more depth i n the l a t e r works. Yet, f o r a l l t h e i r d i v e r s i t y , The Nigger of  the Narcissus and Vingt m i l l e l i e u e s sous l e s mers have more than a c o i n c i d e n t a l thematic s i m i l a r i t y . In demonstrating the interdependence of space and p l a c e , both Conrad and Verne question the v a l i d i t y of an ideology i n w h i c h the o u t s i d e w o r l d i s o b j e c t i f i e d and c o n s e q u e n t l y 28 c o n t r o l l e d by a s e l f - p r i v i l e g i n g s u b j e c t or agency o f a u t h o r i t y . In C o n r a d ' s c a s e , t h i s a u t h o r i t y i s u p h e l d a l t h o u g h i t i s r e c o g n i z e d as i n s u b s t a n t i a l and, perhaps, i l l u s o r y ; i n Verne's, the informing i d e o l o g y of s c i e n c e i s c e l e b r a t e d although i t i s recognized as l i m i t e d and, perhaps, c o n t r a d i c t o r y . 29 2. Readings of the c u l t u r a l landscape i n Conrad's Heart of Darkness and Verne's Voyage au centre de l a t e r r e . The moral topography of The N i g g e r of the Narcissus (examined i n the p r e v i o u s c h a p t e r ) i s adapted i n Heart of  Darkness to the c o m p o s i t i o n and e v a l u a t i o n of a c u l t u r a l landscape i n which the balance between man and h i s environment i s d i s r u p t e d by the d e t e r m i n a t i o n to e x p l o i t , subjugate and r e s t r u c t u r e N a t u r e i n the name of an imposed, dominant c u l t u r e . C a r l Sauer's d i s t i n c t i o n between ' n a t u r a l ' and ' c u l t u r a l ' landscapes sheds l i g h t on the i m p e r i a l i s t i c p r o j e c t being undertaken (and c r i t i q u e d ) i n Conrad's novel: The c u l t u r a l landscape (claims Sauer) i s f a s h i o n e d from a n a t u r a l landscape by a c u l t u r e group. Culture i s the agent, the n a t u r a l area i s the medium, the c u l t u r a l l a n d s c a p e i s the r e s u l t ... w i t h the i n t r o d u c t i o n of a d i f f e r e n t - that i s , an a l i e n - c u l t u r e , a r e j u v e n a t i o n of the c u l t u r a l l a n d s c a p e s e t s i n , or a new landscape i s superimposed on remnants of an older one. (Sauer, 343) The shaping f o r c e of an a l i e n c u l t u r e can be t r a c e d i n H e a r t of Darkness i n the i m p r i n t s of Western (European) ' c i v i l i z a t i o n ' on an environment which i t , i n i t s t u r n , i d e n t i f i e s as a l i e n , c r e a t i n g , as Sauer p u t s i t , t h e s u p e r i m p o s i t i o n of a new landscape on remnants of an o l d e r one. The a u t h o r i t y c l a i m e d by the imposed c u l t u r e i s c h a l l e n g e d , however, by v a r i o u s 'readings' of the c u l t u r a l 30 l a n d s c a p e w h i c h r e f l e c t a t e n s i o n between t h e n a t u r a l e n v i r o n m e n t a n d t h e p e r c e p t i o n s , i n s c r i p t i o n s a n d transformations of the c u l t u r a l agent. Yi-Fu Tuan has r e i n s c r i b e d t h i s tension w i t h i n an ' a x i a l t r a n s f o r m a t i o n i n word view from cosmos to landscape' (Tuan, TP, 122-3) which, tending towards the semantic convergence of the terms nature, landscape and scenery, has c o r r e s p o n d i n g l y demoted Nature as ( v e r t i c a l l y arranged, transcendental) cosmos to n a t u r e as ( h o r i z o n t a l l y a l i g n e d , c u l t u r a l l y determined) l a n d s c a p e . Combining S a u e r ' s and Tuan's t h e s e s , i t i s p o s s i b l e to chart i n Heart of, Darkness the a b o r t i v e attempts of an imposed c u l t u r e to convert Nature i n t o landscape and, to s u p p r e s s a l t e r n a t i v e ' r e a d i n g s ' which might c a l l t h a t p r o j e c t e d conversion i n t o question. I m p l i c i t i n t h i s attempt i s a d e t e r m i n i s t i c a t t i t u d e towards the environment which, according to Lewontin, Rose and Kamin, conceives of nature as 'a source of raw m a t e r i a l s to be e x t r a c t e d , an a l i e n f o r c e to be c o n t r o l l e d , tamed and e x p l o i t e d i n the i n t e r e s t s of the newly dominant c l a s s ( L e w o n t i n et a l . , 45). The newly dominant c l a s s i s i d e n t i f i e d by Lewontin et a l . as the r a p i d l y developing bourgeois s o c i e t y of l a t e nineteenth-century Europe whose conception of science as a path to i n e v i t a b l e progress, b o l s t e r e d by the d i s c o v e r i e s of the T e c h n o l o g i c a l R e v o l u t i o n , s o l i c i t s a c o n f i r m a t i o n of man's supremacy over h i s p h y s i c a l environment. M a r s h ' s work Man and N a t u r e (1864) t y p i f i e s t h i s 31 ideology: Man cannot s u b s i s t and r i s e to the f u l l development of [ h i s ] h i g h e r p r o p e r t i e s , u n l e s s b r u t e and u n c o n s c i o u s nature be e f f e c t i v e l y combatted and, i n a g r e a t e r degree, vanquished by human a r t . (Marsh, 38) The c o n n e c t i o n i s c l e a r between t h i s e x t r e m e f o r m o f g e o g r a p h i c a l determinism and the e x p a n s i o n i s t p o l i c i e s of i m p e r i a l i s m , informed by notions of inherent s u p e r i o r i t y and p r o p e l l e d by a ' c i v i l i z i n g ' mission. The landscapes of Heart  o f D a r k n e s s i m p l y a r e l a t i o n b e t w e e n t o p o g r a p h y and p e r s o n a l / c u l t u r a l i d e n t i t y which i s i n d i s s o c i a b l e from the i m p e r i a l i s t i c d i s c o u r s e which g i v e s i t e x p r e s s i o n and the t e c h n o l o g i c a l resources which lend i t power; 1 f o r an intended c o n v e r s i o n o f N a t u r e i n t o l a n d s c a p e a c t i v a t e s b o t h the p h y s i c a l c o n q u e s t o f t h e n a t u r a l e n v i r o n m e n t and t h e d i s c u r s i v e p r a c t i c e s which j u s t i f y that conquest. Landscape, i n t h i s sense, denotes a r e i n s c r i p t i o n of the t r a n s c e n d e n t a l s i g n i f i e d ('Nature's laws') w i t h i n the context of a r h e t o r i c of a u t h o r i t y ( ' c u l t u r a l i m p e r a t i v e ' ) . The main f i g u r e s of t h i s imperative may be i d e n t i f i e d as the steamboat, l i t e r a l l y and f i g u r a t i v e l y f o r c i n g i t s way i n t o the i n t e r i o r , and, from the 'heart' of the i n t e r i o r , Kurtz's disembodied Voice, which s u b s t i t u t e s p r o p a g a n d i s t i c monologue for personal dialogue and c o n s t i t u t e s a s e l f - p r i v i l e g i n g d i s c o u r s e of the other. The c o n n e c t i o n of Marlow wi t h these p r i m a r y c u l t u r a l 32 a g e n c i e s i s c r u c i a l , f o r Marlow i s the t e x t ' s i n s c r i b e d r e a d e r ; h i s i n t e r p r e t a t i o n of (and n a v i g a t i o n through) the landscape brings us i n t o contact with the text but a l s o allows us to i n f e r other 'readings' which comment on and u l t i m a t e l y undermine h i s own. As Co u r t i c e Rose has suggested, there i s a c o r r e l a t i o n between the p r a x i s of geography and the procedure of t e x t i n t e r p r e t a t i o n . 3 A landscape can be c o n s i d e r e d i n these terms as a c o d i f i e d text which i s encoded by those who a c t on i t and decoded by those who a s s e s s i t . As t e x t , landscape i s both w r i t t e n and read; s i n c e reading i s i t s e l f a form of w r i t i n g , as much an encoding as a decoding process, t h e g e o g r a p h e r becomes b o t h r e a d e r and w r i t e r o f t h e l a n d s c a p e s he p e r c e i v e s . The p e r c i p i e n t does not merely d e c i p h e r : he a l t e r s what i s p e r c e i v e d , imposing on i t the weight of h i s personal and c u l t u r a l preference. It i s c l e a r , then, that Marlow's 'reading' of the landscape i s only one of many p o s s i b l e r e a d i n g s ; i t i s our task as readers to read between the l i n e s of Marlow's reading, thereby producing our own r e v i s i o n s and m o d i f i c a t i o n s . Marlow's reading, impelled i n s p i t e o f i t s e l f by what Edward S a i d has c a l l e d an ' i m p e r i a l i s t d i s c o u r s e ' 4 i s i n e f f e c t a m i s r e a d i n g , o r , at l e a s t , a p a r t i a l reading which, i n attempting to c r i t i c i z e the ve r y i d e o l o g y which informs and d e l i m i t s i t , a l l o w s us to correspondingly c r i t i c i z e , r e v i s e and r e i n t e r p r e t the text i n our t u r n . 5 Evidence i s not hard to f i n d of the ' p a r t i a l i t y ' ( i n both 33 s e n s e s ) o f Marlow's r e a d i n g . At the Outer S t a t i o n the negative e f f e c t s of a conversion from Nature to landscape are d e l i n e a t e d : At l a s t we opened a reach. A rocky c l i f f appeared, mounds of turned-up earth by the shore, houses on a h i l l , others with i r o n r o o f s , amongst a waste of excavations, or hanging to the d e c l i v i t y . A continuous n o i s e o f the r a p i d s above hovered over t h i s scene of in h a b i t e d d e v a s t a t i o n . (Conrad, HOD, 63) Nature has been t r a n s f o r m e d i n t o a wasteland i n which the 'ca r c a s s ' of 'an undersized railway-truck l y i n g there on i t s back w i t h i t s wheels i n the a i r ' s i g n i f i e s a p e r v e r s e anthropomorphism, a s u b s t i t u t i o n of decadent ( t e c h n o - ) c u l t u r e fo r nature. S i m i l a r l y , l e a r n i n g the immediate environs of the s t a t i o n , Marlow encounters: p a t h s , p a t h s everywhere; a stamped-in network of paths spreading over the empty l a n d , through long g r a s s , through burnt g r a s s , t h r o u g h t h i c k e t s , down and up c h i l l y r a v i n e s , up and down stony h i l l s a b l a z e w i t h h a t ; and a s o l i t u d e , a s o l i t u d e , nobody, not a hut. (Conrad, HOD, 70) The mapping out of the land suggests an a p p r o p r i a t i o n of space which, a l t h o u g h u n i n h a b i t e d , bears the mark of an absent 'owner'. Nature's laws are subsumed i n p r o p e r t y law: the emptiness o f the l a n d i s a f i t t i n g symbol of and i m p l i c i t c r i t i q u e o f t h e w a s t e f u l n e s s o f i n d i s c r i m i n a t e i m p e r i a l expansion. 34 A c l o s e r l o o k a t Marlow's r e a d i n g of the l a n d s c a p e suggests, however, that what appears to be a c r i t i q u e of an i m p e r i a l i s t a t t i t u d e towards nature i s a c t u a l l y i n s c r i b e d w i t h i n the r h e t o r i c of an i m p e r i a l i s t d i s c o u r s e . Symptomatic of t h i s r h e t o r i c i s a suppression of, or at l e a s t a f a i l u r e to a c c o u n t f o r , a l t e r n a t i v e modes of e x p r e s s i o n which might challenge i t s a u t h o r i t y . The most obvious example of t h i s , of c o u r s e , i s Marlow's i n a b i l i t y to understand the languages which render n a t i v e r i t e s 'unspeakable' and the h a r l e q u i n ' s notes 'unreadable'. F o r e i g n ( i . e . , non-European) languages are c o n s t i t u t e d as 'other': Marlow's Eurocentrism r e i n f o r c e s h i s monologism. It i s worth remembering that Marlow's t a l e i s r a r e l y i n t e r r u p t e d ; l i k e K u r t z ' s , h i s i s a s i n g l e v o i c e speaking from the darkness. The s i m i l a r i t y between Kurtz's d i s c o u r s e and Marlow's i s not t o t a l l y l o s t on Marlow h i m s e l f , but i t i s obvious throughout the text that Marlow i s , to some extent, suspending h i s ( s e l f ) c r i t i c a l f a c u l t i e s . One example of t h i s i s the sudden s h i f t from a c r i t i c a l to a n o n - c r i t i c a l f o c u s : d e s c e n d i n g the h i l l at the Outer S t a t i o n , Marlow d i s c o v e r s : a vast a r t i f i c i a l h o l e somebody had been digging on the slope, the purpose of which I f o u n d i t i m p o s s i b l e t o d i v i n e . I t wasn't a quarry or a sandpit, anyhow. I t was j u s t a hole. (Conrad, HOD, 65) 'J u s t a h o l e ' : yet i t i s these h o l e s , c r a c k s and g u l l i e s 35 which, i n t e r s p e r s e d throughout the t e x t u a l landscape of Heart  of Darkness, suggest not only that what i s not being d e s c r i b e d (or e xplained) i s worthy of c o n s i d e r a t i o n , but that the gaps and a b s e n c e s i n the t e x t may be f i l l e d by r e a d i n g s which u n d e r m i n e o r i n v a l i d a t e the dominant d i s c o u r s e o f t h e n a r r a t i v e . Two f u r t h e r examples underscore the notion of a ' p a r t i a l reading' of the landscape which e i t h e r f a i l s to account f o r or a c t i v e l y suppresses other 'readings'. In the f i r s t , Marlow, u p - r i v e r , sketches out t h i s i m p r e s s i o n i s t i c landscape: The high s t i l l n e s s of primeval f o r e s t was before my eyes; there were shiny patches on the black creek. The moon had spread over e v e r y t h i n g a t h i n l a y e r of s i l v e r -over the rank g r a s s , over the mud, upon the w a l l o f matted v e g e t a t i o n s t a n d i n g higher than the wa l l of a temple, over the great r i v e r I would see through a sombre gap g l i t t e r i n g , g l i t t e r i n g , as i t flowed broadly by without a murmur .... (Conrad, HOD, 81) It seems on f i r s t reading as i f Nature has decided to c l o s e i t s e l f o f f a g a i n s t i t s p e r c i p i e n t by b u i l d i n g w a l l s and b a r r i e r s to p r o t e c t a mysterious i n t e r i o r . Yet we should not be deceived by Marlow's d e s c r i p t i o n ; on r e f l e c t i o n , the w a l l s a r e l e s s t h e p r o d u c t o f n a t u r a l laws than o f n a r r a t i v e s t r a t e g i e s : i t i s not so much that Marlow does not see, but tha t he does not wish to see. 'The inner t r u t h i s hidden-l u c k i l y , l u c k i l y ' , claims Marlow (Conrad, HOD, 93) but i s i t r e a l l y as 'hidden' as he claims? A f t e r a l l , Conrad informs us 36 i n h i s p r e f a c e t h a t 'Heart of Darkness ... i s e x p e r i e n c e pushed a l i t t l e (and only very l i t t l e ) beyond the a c t u a l f a c t s o f t h e c a s e ' ( C o n r a d , HOD, x x x v ) . Marlow's use o f the i n d e t e r m i n a t e a d j e c t i v e , s p e c i f i c a l l y , and of the r h e t o r i c a l d e v i c e s of l i t e r a r y i m p r e s s i o n i s m , g e n e r a l l y , b l u r the n a r r a t i v e p e r s p e c t i v e by c o n c e a l i n g t r u t h s which a r e not hidden i n the nebulous realms of a 'heart of darkness' but at the very s u r f a c e of the t e x t . 7 One of these t r u t h s i s that Marlow i s not merely a c r i t i c of but a p a r t i c i p a n t i n the i m p e r i a l i s t mission. He i s not unaware of t h i s , of course; as he admits s e l f - i r o n i c a l l y at one p o i n t : 'I a l s o was a part of the g r e a t cause of these high and j u s t proceedings' (Conrad, HOD, 65). For the major p a r t of the n a r r a t i v e , however, he d i v e r t s our a t t e n t i o n from h i s own c o m p l i c i t y by c o n c e n t r a t i n g on a p a r o d i c c r i t i q u e of others (Kurtz, the s t a t i o n manager, the h a r l e q u i n , etc.) and, above a l l , by w i l l f u l l y l i m i t i n g and o b s c u r i n g h i s n a r r a t i o n . His reading of the landscape i s a c a s e i n p o i n t : i n t h e p a s s a g e q u o t e d a b o v e , t h e ' i m p e n e t r a b i l i t y ' of the f o r e s t i s , i n one sense, an accurate d e s c r i p t i o n of the environment, but, i n another sense, an i n c o m p l e t e d e s c r i p t i o n which eschews f u r t h e r commentary by framing a landscape and obscuring what l i e s o utside the frame. The frame i s flawed, however; the existence of a g e o g r a p h i c a l gap s u g g e s t s i n t u r n a t e x t u a l absence which i m p l i e s t h a t Marlow's i m m o b i l i z a t i o n of the environment, on one hand, and h i s o b f u s c a t i o n of the environment, on the other, are t a c t i c s 37 of an unwarranted n a r r a t i v e p r e s e r v a t i o n . Marlow's d e s c r i p t i o n of Kurtz's hut at the Inner S t a t i o n i s more s p e c i f i c : A long decaying b u i l d i n g on the summit was h a l f buried i n high grass; the l a r g e holes i n the peaked roof gaped black from a f a r ... there was no enclosure or fence of any kind; but there had been one apparently. (Conrad, HOD, 121) H e r e t h e g a p s loom l a r g e r , and t h e p r o t e c t i v e enclosures/fences have been broken down; the n a r r a t o r chooses to c o n c e n t r a t e , however, on what had once been t h e r e : the d e f i n i n g c o n t o u r s of the landscape are r e i n s t a t e d (brought back from the r e c e s s e s of memory) by the n a r r a t i v e . The acknowledgement and p a r a d o x i c a l encroachment of 'absence' on t h e ' p r e s e n c e ' o f t h e n a r r a t i v e , t o g e t h e r w i t h t h e i n c r e a s i n g l y b l u r r e d o u t l i n e s of i t s p r e s e n t a t i o n , a r e nonetheless i n d i c a t i v e of the i n s e c u r i t y of Marlow's n a r r a t i o n and imply the need for a c o n t r o l l i n g mechanism of l i n g u i s t i c i n t e n t i o n : landscape provides t h i s ' i n t e n t i o n a l ' c o n s t r u c t i n such a way that i t s p r e s e n t a t i o n becomes (despite the negative f a c t o r s i t r e v e a l s ) a l a s t b a s t i o n of d e f e n c e , a f i n a l f r o n t i e r beyond which the n a r r a t i v e refuses to venture. The c o n v e r s i o n of Nature i n t o l a n d s c a p e assumes the a b s o l u t e a u t h o r i t y of a t r a n s c e n d e n t a l s i g n i f i e d i n the posture of an i m p e r i a l i s t r h e t o r i c . Our r e v i s i o n of Marlow's r e a d i n g of the landscape does not r e l o c a t e t h i s s i g n i f i e d , 38 however, b u t r a t h e r s w i t c h e s t h e r e l a t i o n s h i p between s i g n i f i e r s from one code to another, or, more s p e c i f i c a l l y , from an i n c l u d e d code to an excluded one. In d e c i p h e r i n g what Marlow chooses not to d e c i p h e r , our own r e a d i n g e f f e c t s a t r a n s f e r e n c e of c i p h e r s . To i l l u s t r a t e more f u l l y what I mean, I w i l l r e f e r to two f u r t h e r types of cipher which e l i c i t s i m i l a r kinds of 'readings': the map and the manual. The map i n Heart of Darkness i s a graphic r e p r e s e n t a t i o n o f t h e c u l t u r a l l a n d s c a p e : as a p r o d u c t o f c u l t u r a l i m p o s i t i o n , i t tends to r e g i s t e r a narrowly propagandis t i c , r a t h e r than a b r o a d l y communicative, i n t e n t . 9 For Marlow, r e t r a c i n g the route already set out f o r him, the map r e v e a l s nothing: i t r e g i s t e r s a transference not from blank space to known ( c h a r t e d ) space but from blank space t o d a r k n e s s . ' [ A f r i c a ] had ceased to be a blank space of d e l i g h t f u l mystery - a white patch f o r a boy to dream g l o r i o u s l y over. I t had become a place of darkness' (Conrad, HOD, 52). S i m i l a r l y , the notes to Towson's n a v i g a t i o n manual, in d e c i p h e r a b l e to Marlow, t u r n out to be w r i t t e n i n Russian, a language (ve r b a l code) Marlow cannot understand. The code i s not broken: i t i s merely switched; the manual, l i k e the-map, a c t s as a metaphor f o r the reading process which i n v o l v e s exchange r a t h e r than e x p l a n a t i o n , renewed e n c o d i n g r a t h e r t h a n d e c o d i n g . S i g n i f i c a n t l y , the h a r l e q u i n turns out to have w r i t t e n the notes i n Towson's manual (h a r l e q u i n : man of many i d e n t i t i e s , s w i t c h e r / j u g g l e r of 'codes'). 39 There i s a sense, too, i n which our own readings of the landscape, paradigmatic of our readings of the t e x t , are a l s o m i s - r e a d i n g s i n t h a t , d e s p i t e our a b i l i t y to see through Marlow's s e l f - d e c e p t i o n , to i s o l a t e and explore the absences of h i s n a r r a t i v e , we are caught i n the same web of l i e s , the same d e s i r e to p r o t e c t the notions of l i n g u i s t i c s o l i d a r i t y on which (our) Western c i v i l i z a t i o n i s based. As Ian Watt puts i t : 'Marlow e n j o i n f s ] us t o d e f e n d o u r s e l v e s i n f u l l knowledge of the d i f f i c u l t i e s to which we have been b l i n d e d by the i l l u s i o n s of c i v i l i z a t i o n (Watt, 253). In witnessing the c o n v e r s i o n from Nature to l a n d s c a p e , from t r a n s c e n d e n t a l s i g n i f i e d to c u l t u r a l s i g n i f i e r , we are i n v i t e d not only to d e f e n d o u r s e l v e s b u t t o d e f e n d t h e v e r y n o t i o n o f s i g n i f i c a t i o n on which Western d i s c o u r s e , and the i d e a of ' c i v i l i z a t i o n ' enshrined i n i t , depends. 1 0 I would l i k e to develop the argument by comparing Heart  of Darkness with J u l e s Verne's e a r l y novel Voyage au centre  de l a t e r r e . I t i s s t r i k i n g that neither Marlow i n the former nor Lidenbrock i n the l a t t e r reach the 'centre': indeed, i t i s p r e c i s e l y t h e i r f a i l u r e to do so which guarantees t h e i r s a f e r e t u r n and enables the p r e s e r v a t i o n (and reproduction) of t h e i r n a r r a t i v e . The journey to the centre i s downward, and a l s o backward ( b o t h n o v e l s i m p l i c i t l y comment on t h e c o n t e m p o r a r y e v o l u t i o n a r y t h e o r i e s of Darwin and Spencer 1 1) but the paradox holds f o r both Conrad and Verne that a journey which a s p i r e s 40 to the source never leaves the s u r f a c e . In Heart of Darkness, Marlow's n a r r a t i o n conceals rather than rev e a l s by c l a i m i n g to look towards a mysterious centre w h i l s t b l u r r i n g the o u t l i n e s of ( d i s g u i s i n g ) i t s surface appearance. In Voyage au centre  de l a t e r r e , the n a r r a t o r ' s journey does not lead him to any k i n d of 'deeper' knowledge or u n d e r s t a n d i n g but through a s u c c e s s i o n of i n c i d e n t s which, l i k e the g e o l o g i c a l s t r a t a through which he moves, proceed from one surface to the next. L i d e n b r o c k , l i k e Marlow, i s a ' p a r t i a l ' reader of the landscape: a r t i c u l a t e , e r u d i t e , he i s a b l e to i d e n t i f y and c a t e g o r i z e t h e r o c k - f o r m s of the v o l c a n o but u n a b l e t o navigate a path through i t s l a b y r i n t h i n e underground passages. L i d e n b r o c k ' s e x p l a n a t i o n s are homilies on the already-known, the p r a c t i s e d speeches of the dry a c a d e m i c i a n ; a t y p i c a l address i s h i s eulogy of the human sk e l e t o n he d i s c o v e r s i n the bone-beds: J ' a i l'honneur de vous presenter un homme de l ' e p o q u e q u a t e r n a i r e . De g r a n d s s a v a n t s ont n i e son e x i s t e n c e , d'autres non moins grands l ' o n t a f f i r m e e ... vous pouvez l e v o i r , l e toucher. Ce n'est pas un s q u e l e t t e , c ' e s t un c o r p s i n t a c t , c o n s e r v e d a n s un b u t u n i q u e m e n t anthropologique! (Verne, VCT, 310-311) For L i d e n b r o c k , speech i s the d e m o n s t r a t i o n of s e e m i n g l y i n c o n t e s t i b l e knowledge; i t i s s i g n i f i c a n t , however, that i t i s h i s o p p o s i t e , the i n a r t i c u l a t e , i n c r e a s i n g l y s i l e n t Hans, who i s c h i e f l y r e s p o n s i b l e f o r guiding the party towards the 41 centre of the ear t h . Hans has no need for words: he i s able to n e g o t i a t e h i s environment because i t i s f a m i l i a r to him, but a l s o because he does not d i s t a n c e h i m s e l f from i t (ex-p l a i n i t ) through the act of v e r b a l i z a t i o n . As i n Heart of  D a r k n e s s , t h e r e i s the s u g g e s t i o n t h a t , a l t h o u g h v e r b a l language m i s l e a d s , m i s d i r e c t s , d i s t o r t s , i t must nonetheless be defended against the twin t h r e a t s of s i l e n c e and madness. In a t e l l i n g passage, Axel e x p l a i n s : Son [Hans'] mutisme s'augmentait de jour en j o u r . Je c r o i s meme q u i ' i l nous g a g n a i t . Les o b j e t s e x t e r i e u r s ont une a c t i o n r e e l l e s u r l e c e r v e a u . Q u i s'enferme e n t r e q u a t r e murs f i n i t par perdre l a f a c u l t e d'associer l e s idees et l e s mots. Que de p r i s o n n i e r s c e l l u l a i r e s devenus i m b e c i l e s , s i n o n f o u s , par l e defaut d'exercice des f a c u l t e s pensantes! (Verne, VCT, 208) Speech, f o r A x e l and L i d e n b r o c k , i s the t o o l of reasoned thought; i t s d i s u s e l e a d s to d i s o r i e n t a t i o n and p o t e n t i a l madness. As Hans l o s e s the f a c u l t y of speech, he changes g r a d u a l l y i n t o P r i m i t i v e (pre-verbal) Man i n a tra n s f o r m a t i o n which, f o l l o w i n g the l o g i c o f the n a r r a t i v e , amounts t o debasement: 'son masque e f f r a y a n t e s t c e l u i d'un homme a n t e d i 1 u v i e n , c o n t e m p o r a i n d e s i c h t y o s a u r e s e t d e s megatheriums' (Verne, VCT, 284). Hans' ' r e g r e s s i o n ' i s symptomatic of the d e c r e a s i n g power of v e r b a l language to c l a s s i f y , e x p l a i n and o r g a n i z e e x p e r i e n c e as the p h y s i c a l / t e x t u a l journey proceeds towards 42 i t s i n t a n g i b l e / n o n - v e r b a l centre. At the deepest l e v e l they r e a c h , L i d e n b r o c k and h i s company f i n d t h e m s e l v e s i n a subterranean f o r e s t i n which the v a r i e t y and i n t e r m i x t u r e of f l o r a ' e t a i t a confondre l a r a i s o n des c l a s s i f i c a t e u r s l e s p l u s ingenieux de l a botanique t e r r e s t r e ' (Verne, VCT, 317). The p rocedure of a s c i e n c e of o b j e c t s which had p r e v i o u s l y l i s t e d i t s f i n d i n g s s e c u r e l y i n a d i a c h r o n i c s u c c e s s i o n of l a n d s c a p e s , g i v e s way i n c r e a s i n g l y t o a s y n c h r o n i c a l l y c o n c e i v e d , d i m l y i n t u i t e d phenomenology of the s u b j e c t i n which, as Axel puts i t i n h i s dream, 'toute l a v i e de l a t e r r e se resume en moi ' ( V e r n e , VCT, 261). The s w i t c h from e m p i r i c a l e v i d e n c e to s u b j e c t i v e c o n j e c t u r e i s , i n another sense, the r e s u l t of a f a i l u r e of w r i t i n g : Saknussemm's r u n i c manuscript i s u l t i m a t e l y i n d e c i p h e r a b l e , l e a d i n g i t s f o l l o w e r s i n t o the heart of the maze, then abandoning them there. The u n r e l i a b i l i t y of v e r b a l language (manifested i n both speech and w r i t i n g ) i s complemented by the geographical motif of the unfound centre. Lidenbrock and h i s company are able to f o l l o w Saknussemm's route so f a r , but no f u r t h e r : they are n e i t h e r a b l e to a t t a i n t h e i r o b j e c t i v e nor to r e s o l v e i t s 'meaning'. In Heart of Darkness, Marlow pursues a s i m i l a r journey which takes him to the f u r t h e s t p o i n t of n a v i g a t i o n (the Inner S t a t i o n ) but not to the 'centre'. I t i s worth c o n s i d e r i n g i n more d e t a i l why the e x p e r i e n c e s of b o t h Lidenbrock and Marlow are ' i n c o n c l u s i v e ' (HOD, 51). In Heart of Darkness, g e o g r a p h i c a l r e t u r n i s consonant 43 w i t h n a r r a t i v e p r e s e r v a t i o n ; i t i s e s s e n t i a l t h a t Marlow r e t u r n s from h i s journey, because otherwise no t a l e can be t o l d . L i k e w i s e i n Voyage au c e n t r e de l a t e r r e , the s a f e r e t u r n of the group i s a p r e r e q u i s i t e f o r the t e l l i n g of the t a l e , a c o n d i t i o n o f p o s s i b i l i t y f o r t h e n a r r a t i v e . Saknussemm, i t i s suggested, may i n f a c t have reached the 'centre', but the p r i c e he pays for h i s achievement i s to be b r anded a h e r e t i c , and t o have h i s work s u p p r e s s e d by a c u l t u r e which, i n t e n t on the p r e s e r v a t i o n of i t s e x i s t i n g v a l u e s t r u c t u r e s , does not wish to hear of o r i g i n s . The ' t r u t h ' at the centre of Verne's novel i s suggested as being the descent of man from h i s c i v i l i z e d present to h i s b a r b a r i c past; i n t h i s sense, Voyage au centre de l a t e r r e , l i k e Heart  of D a r k n e s s , d e m o n s t r a t e s an a t t r a c t i o n towards Darwin's contemporary t h e s i s but a f i n a l r e c o i l from i t s i m p l i c a t i o n t h a t a r e t u r n t o t h e o r i g i n r e v e r s e s t h e p r o c e s s o f c i v i l i z a t i o n to reveal the e s s e n t i a l b e s t i a l i t y of man. The safe r e t u r n of the p r o t a g o n i s t s ensures the ( r e p r o d u c t i o n of t h e n a r r a t i v e and the p e r p e t u a t i o n of the dominant but t h r e a t e n e d i d e o l o g y ( e x p r e s s e d , i n Conrad's n o v e l , i n the d i s c o u r s e of imperialism and, i n Verne's, i n the d i s c o u r s e of s c i e n t i f i c r a t i o n a l i s m ) . Thus, although, at a general l e v e l , v e r b a l language seems u n r e l i a b l e and, at a s p e c i f i c l e v e l , the d o minant n a r r a t i v e d i s c o u r s e seems i n v a l i d or a t l e a s t q u e s t i o n a b l e , t h e r e i s , by t h e end o f b o t h n o v e l s , a c o r r o b o r a t i o n of b o t h . In Conrad's c a s e , the f i g u r e o f 44 K u r t z ' s I n t e n d e d r e g i s t e r s a c o n t i n u a t i o n of t h e w i l l ( ' i n t e n t i o n ' ) of i m p e r i a l i s m ; 1 4 i n Verne's, the l a s t word i s given to Lidenbrock, whose i n f l u e n c e has now spread to 'toutes l e s s o c i e t e s s c i e n t i f i q u e s , geographiques et m i n e r a l o g i q u e s des c i n q p a r t i e s du monde' (Verne, VCT, 372). The r e t e n t i o n and v a l i d a t i o n of the ' p r o t a g o n i s t ' (Marlow/Lidenbrock) i s measured a g a i n s t the e x c l u s i o n and/or e l i m i n a t i o n of the ' a n t a g o n i s t ' (Kurtz/Saknussemm) whose d i s c o v e r i e s might explode the myths of s a n i t y , reason and order on which Western c i v i l i z a t i o n and i t s s i g n i f y i n g p r a c t i c e s are founded. The reading and w r i t i n g of landscape, I have argued, i s one such p r a c t i c e . In r e c o g n i z i n g attempted c l a r i f i c a t i o n ( d e c i p h e r i n g ) as a form of o b f u s c a t i o n or e v a s i o n (Marlow's reading) and attempted o b j e c t i f i c a t i o n as a p r i v i l e g i n g of the s u b j e c t (Lidenbrock's reading), our own readings i s o l a t e the p a r a d o x i c a l , or even c o n t r a d i c t o r y , a s p e c t s of n a r r a t i v e p r e s e n t a t i o n . Focus i s t h e r e f o r e s h i f t e d from s t r a t e g i e s of c o n t r o l or domination i n the n a r r a t i v e to the gaps opened up by a d i s c r e p a n c y between supposedly s e l f - e v i d e n t f a c t s (the ' o b j e c t i v e ' markers of a landscape) and u n c e r t a i n s u p p o s i t i o n s (the s u b j e c t i v e claims p r o j e c t e d onto a landscape). A case i n p o i n t i s C o n r a d ' s use of i m p r e s s i o n i s m : i n one s e n s e , i m p r e s s i o n i s t i c r e a d i n g s of the landscape enable Marlow to hide from what he claims he cannot see, but a c t u a l l y does not w i s h t o d i s c l o s e , b u t i n a n o t h e r s e n s e t h e s h i f t i n g p e r c e p t i o n s of impressionism q u e s t i o n the a u t h o r i t y of even 45 Marlow's most e x p l i c i t readings to suggest that the 'evidence' o f o u r e y e s may be no more t h a n t h e e x e r c i s e o f our v o l i t i o n . 1 5 In Voyage au centre de l a t e r r e , v i s i o n does not appear at f i r s t to be c o n s c i o u s l y or unconsciously o b s t r u c t e d . There i s no impressionism or b l u r r e d p e r s p e c t i v e i n Verne's novel: l a n d s c a p e i s s t r i c t l y d e f i n e d , hard-edged, a n g u l a r . As i n V i n g t m i l l e l i e u e s sous l e s mers, geography conforms to the r u l e s of geometry: Nous m a r c h i o n s s u r c e s r o c h e s p e s a n t e s d ' u n g r i s f o n c e q u e l e r e f r o i d i s s e m e n t a v a i t moulees en prismes a base hexagone. Au l o i n se voyaient un grand nombre de cones a p l a t i s , qui furent j a d i s autant de bouches ignivomes. (Verne, VCT, 129-30) The landscape reads as a h i s t o r y of form: Nature as t i m e l e s s cosmogony i s reduced to nature as h i s t o r i c a l l y - d e t e r m i n e d c o m p o s i t i o n . M a r l o w ' s ' i m p r e s s i o n i s t i c ' r e a d i n g and L i d e n b r o c k ' s ' e x p l i c a t i v e ' reading can both be t r a c e d back, however, to an i d e o l o g y of conquest: the former i n v o k e s 'mystery' to d i s t r a c t a t t e n t i o n from the m a t e r i a l debauchery o f i m p e r i a l i s t c u l t u r e ; the l a t t e r i n v o k e s ' s c i e n c e ' t o j u s t i f y the conquest of Nature by the i n t e l l i g e n c e and to d i s g u i s e the true place of man w i t h i n the e v o l u t i o n a r y process of Nature by p l a c i n g him above and against i t . In both Conrad's and Verne's n o v e l s , the conquest of Nature c o n s t i t u t e s a f o r m a t i v e a c t of the i n t e l l i g e n c e t o 46 which the c u l t u r a l / t e x t u a l phenomenon of landscape lends i t s 'shaping f o r c e ' (Sauer, 343): both novels n a r r a t e journeys e x p l o r i n g the p a t t e r n s and processes of b i o l o g i c a l , c u l t u r a l and l i n g u i s t i c formation. J u l i a K r i s t e v a ' s general remarks on form are u s e f u l here: The h i s t o r y of human forming i s rooted i n language as a system of p r o p o s i t i o n s . No forming can transcend i t s origin-meaning, as i t i s p o s i t e d by t h a t p r e d i c a t i o n p e c u l i a r to language. I f the metaphysical s o l i d a r i t y of 'meaning', ' o r i g i n ' and 'forming' i s thus p o s i t e d as the l i m i t of any attempt at c l a r i f i c a t i o n ... i t s t i l l s e e m s c l e a r t h a t a n y s p a t i a l r e p r e s e n t a t i o n p r o v i d e d f o r w i t h i n a u n i v e r s a l language i s n e c e s s a r i l y subject to t e l e o l o g i c a l reason. ( K r i s t e v a , 280-1) Yet, i n t h e i r e n q u i r i e s i n t o form and formation, n e i t h e r Heart  of Darkness nor Voyage au c e n t r e de l a t e r r e seem able to v i n d i c a t e t h e ' m e t a p h y s i c a l s o l i d a r i t y ' on which t h e i r dominant d i s c o u r s e ( i n each case m a n i f e s t e d as a form of ' p r o p o s i t i o n a l ' language) i s p r e d i c a t e d . Let me introduce the problem another way by r e f e r r i n g to Wilson H a r r i s ' essay 'The F r o n t i e r on which H e a r t o f D a r k n e s s s t a n d s ' . H e a r t o f  Darkness i s a f r o n t i e r n o v e l , c l a i m s H a r r i s , i n t h a t ' i t stands upon a t h r e s h o l d of c a p a c i t y to which Conrad p o i n t e d though he never a t t a i n e d that c a p a c i t y h i m s e l f ( H a r r i s , 135). Overstepping that t h r e s h o l d r e s u l t s i n the l o s s of 'reason' ( K u r t z ) and, c o r r e s p o n d i n g l y , the l o s s of a p r o p o s i t i o n a l language which has been taken to the absurd c o n c l u s i o n s of i t s 47 r a t i o n a l premises (Kurtz's m a n i f e s t o ) . 1 6 The m o t i f of the t h r e s h o l d i n d i c a t e s t h e r e f o r e an attempted p r e s e r v a t i o n of form a t the f r o n t i e r s of f o r m l e s s n e s s which combats the awareness t h a t the s o l i d a r i t y of 'meaning-origin' on which form/formation i s p r e d i c a t e d may only be a saving i l l u s i o n . I t i s p o s s i b l e i n t h i s context to see Conrad's 'heart' and Verne's 'centre' as f i g u r e s of a n o n - p r o p o s i t i o n a l (non-e x p l i c a t i v e ) d i s c o u r s e . Hence, although they may be i m p l i e d i n t h e t e x t , t h e y a r e a c t u a l l y e x c l u d e d from i t . T h i s p a r a d o x i c a l l y p r o v i d e s both a means and a d e n i a l of access: on one hand, i t i s p o s s i b l e to reach the centre by a 'leap of the i m a g i n a t i o n 1 , as i t were, which can o n l y be s a n c t i o n e d w i t h i n the context of f i c t i o n a l n a r r a t i v e (Kurtz's v i s i o n i n Heart of Darkness, A x e l ' s dream i n Voyage au c e n t r e de l a  t e r r e ) ; on the other hand, the i m p l i c a t i o n of a 'mysterious' c e n t r e or o r i g i n of s i g n i f i c a n c e a c t u a l l y denies the reader a c c e s s t o t h a t c e n t r e / o r i g i n , or a t l e a s t t r a n s f e r s i t s p o t e n t i a l s i g n i f i c a n c e t o a p l a n e of d i s c o u r s e which i s excluded from the n a r r a t i v e . The centre i s h e r e t i c a l , taboo: I t must remain f i g u r a l because were i t to m a t e r i a l i z e or i d e n t i f y i t s e l f i t would destroy the ' f i c t i o n - e f f e c t ' of the n a r r a t i v e . 1 7 The avoidance of a t e x t u a l 'centre' turns our a t t e n t i o n back t o t h e s u r f a c e s t r u c t u r e s of t h e n a r r a t i v e . The d e s c r i p t i o n and i n s c r i p t i o n of landscape take p l a c e at t h i s s u r f a c e l e v e l , y e t the s t r a t e g i e s adopted ( d e v a s t a t i o n , 4 8 o b f u s c a t i o n , c l a s s i f i c a t i o n , e t c . ) b e t r a y an u n d e r l y i n g p r i n c i p l e of c o n t r o l which p o s i t s landscape as not j u s t 'text' but the d i r e c t e d reading of t e x t . Marlow's landscapes are the products of h i s reading and of h i s attempted concealment of other readings; we are asked to consider other p o s s i b i l i t i e s , to r e a d f o r o u r s e l v e s , a l t h o u g h any r e a d i n g we make i s , perhaps, e q u a l l y f i c t i v e , e q u a l l y ( m i s ) d i r e c t e d . 1 8 In Voyage au c e n t r e de l a t e r r e , reading a l s o i m p l i e s l o o k i n g c r i t i c a l l y at the landscape, probing i n t o the cracks of the s t r a t i f i e d n a r r a t i v e . A ' c r i t i c a l ' r eading of t h i s k i n d r e v e a l s t h a t n e i t h e r Axel's t a l e (the e l a b o r a t i o n of a day-dream) nor Lidenbrock's commentary (the t r a n s f o r m a t i o n of n a t u r a l phenomena i n t o s c i e n t i f i c evidence) i s to be t r u s t e d : they manipulate our response as readers without b l i n d i n g us to t h e i r s t r a t e g i e s of d i r e c t e d reading. It remains to be considered why two w r i t e r s as d i s p a r a t e as Joseph Conrad and J u l e s Verne should share an i n t e r e s t i n the i n t a n g i b l e centre and i n the i m p l i c a t i o n s of a reading of landscape which r e s t r i c t s i t s e l f to s u r f a c e s , perpetuating a c i r c u l a r i t y o f n a r r a t i v e w i t h o u t l o c a t i n g a c e n t r e o f s i g n i f i c a n c e . Michel Butor has suggested that the p o e t i c s of c i r c u l a r i t y which u n d e r p i n s Verne's work has a t h r e e f o l d h i s t o r i c a l b a s i s : i n nineteenth-century e v o l u t i o n a r y theory, w i t h i t s i n t e r e s t i n the r e t r a c i n g of o r i g i n s ; p o s i t i v i s m , with i t s a s p i r a t i o n s towards ' t o t a l ' , all-embracing knowledge; and g e o g r a p h i c a l e x p l o r a t i o n , with i t s compulsion towards 49 m a n i f e s t a t i o n s of the s u p e r l a t i v e : c e n t r e s , p o l e s , peaks, e t c . (Butor, 130-1). Conrad's work i s a l s o c l e a r l y i n f l u e n c e d by t h e s e h i s t o r i c a l phenomena i n i t s c e l e b r a t i o n o f g e o g r a p h i c a l e x p l o r a t i o n ( t o g e t h e r w i t h a c r i t i q u e of i t s commercial backlash), i t s r e a c t i o n against p o s i t i v i s t d o c t r i n e and i t s s k e p t i c a l i n q u i r y i n t o evolutionism. Of t h e t h r e e a r e a s , g e o g r a p h y has won t h e l e a s t a t t e n t i o n . T h i s i s unfortunate, p a r t i c u l a r l y i n view of the f a c t t hat, as I have suggested, a strong case may be made out f o r both Conrad and Verne as p r a c t i t i o n e r s of the roman d'aventure, a g e n r e which e x p l i c i t l y u ses g e o g r a p h i c a l p r i n c i p l e s to underpin i t s f i c t i o n a l p r a c t i c e s . Voyage au  centre de l a t e r r e i s w r i t t e n i n the hey-day of, and Heart of  D arkness at the t a i l - e n d of the Age of E x p l o r a t i o n whose unde r l y i n g geographical p r i n c i p l e , the conquest of space, can a l s o be traced i n the d i s c o v e r i e s of the new technology, the e x p a n s i o n i s t p o l i c i e s of i m p e r i a l i s m , and the d e t e r m i n i s t i c c h a i n s of the human s c i e n c e s . 1 9 The dominant i n t e l l e c t u a l development of the nineteenth century, however, according to Michel Foucault, i s the emergence of the f i g u r e of Man, which g i v e s r i s e to an a n a l y s i s of the nature of human knowledge 'qui en d e t e r m i n a i t l e s formes et q u i pouvait en meme temps l u i e t r e m a n i f e s t e e dans ses p r o p r e s contenus e m p i r i q u e s ' (Foucault, 330) and, c o n c u r r e n t l y , an a n a l y s i s of the h i s t o r y of human knowledge 'qui p o u v a i t a l a f o i s e t r e donnee au s a v o i r empirique et l u i p r e s c r i r e ses formes' (Foucault, 330). 50 The geography of Voyage au centre de l a t e r r e and Heart  of Darkness mediates between these two a n a l y s e s : f i r s t , by imp l y i n g that Nature pre-dates/pre-determines the forms of a h i s t o r y of human knowledge by f u n c t i o n i n g as a non-verbal, 'unconscious' o r i g i n of human knowledge (a phenomenology of the s u b j e c t ) and, second, by i n d i c a t i n g t h a t , i n c o n v e r t i n g Nature i n t o landscape, man has a p p l i e d h i s knowledge to the promotion or expansion of a c u l t u r e which seeks e m p i r i c a l evidence of i t s v a l i d i t y (a science of the o b j e c t ) . The co-e x i s t e n c e of these two tendencies i n the work of Conrad and Verne, which a l s o c o n s t i t u t e s a tension between them, leads to a q u e s t i o n i n g not only of the v a l i d i t y of e m p i r i c a l procedures which l a y c l a i m to be d i s c o v e r e d or uncovered ' t r u t h s ' but a l s o of the existence of an o r i g i n or centre of s i g n i f i c a n c e to which such 'truths' might r e f e r f o r t h e i r v e r i f i c a t i o n . T h i s c r i t i q u e may be a l t e r n a t i v e l y l o c a t e d i n three areas which p e r t a i n to the c o n v e r s i o n of Nature i n t o l a n d s c a p e : f i r s t , i n the p h y s i c a l superimposition of the c u l t u r a l agent onto the n a t u r a l environment; second, i n the t r a n s f e r of the l i n g u i s t i c value of the transcendental s i g n i f i e d to the l e v e l of the c u l t u r a l s i g n i f i e r ; and t h i r d , i n the e p i s t e m o l o g i c a l r e d u c t i o n o f a ' n a t u r e ' o f human k n o w l e d g e t o an 'archaeology', or c u l t u r a l h i s t o r y , of human knowledge. Such conversions i m p l i c i t i n our r e v i s e d readings of the c u l t u r a l landscape i n Voyage au centre de l a t e r r e and Heart  of Darkness r e v e a l an e p i s t e m o l o g i c a l i n s e c u r i t y at the b a s i s 51 of each work which expresses i t s e l f i n the d e s i r e to p r o t e c t , p r e s e r v e and p e r p e t u a t e a s y s t e m o f v a l u e s w h i c h i s s i m u l t a n e o u s l y c o n s i d e r e d as, at best, q u e s t i o n a b l e and, at worst, untenable. S i m i l a r l y , the e x c l u s i v i t y of the c u l t u r a l i m p e r a t i v e which, pr o c e e d i n g from a r a t i o n a l i z a t i o n of the o b j e c t produces a r a d i c a l s p l i t between ( p e r c e i v i n g / ' c o n t r o l -l i n g ' ) s u b j e c t and ( p e r c e i v e d / 1 c o n t r o l l e d ' ) o b j e c t i s r e d e f i n e d as a s p l i t w i t h i n the subject i t s e l f : the d i s c o u r s e of the other which might be construed as a p r i v i l e g i n g of the s e l f (Kurtz, Lidenbrock) i s traced back to nothing l e s s than a d u p l i c i t y of s e l f . 2 0 In t h i s context, our r e v i s i o n of the primary readings of l a n d s c a p e undertaken i n the n o v e l s e n a b l e s us to i d e n t i f y 'landscape' as a f a l s e , or at l e a s t tenuous, t e x t u a l / c u l t u r a l c o n s t r u c t i o n which, t e s t e d f o r c r a c k s and c r e v i c e s , r e v e a l s the shaky foundations on which i t i s b u i l t . The suggestion of a b a r b a r i t y u n d e r l y i n g the veneer of c i v i l i z a t i o n and of an u n c o n s c i o u s , n o n - v e r b a l chaos u n d e r l y i n g the c o n s c i o u s l y ordered p a t t e r n s of a language of p r o p o s i t i o n counters Marsh's contemporary c l a i m that 'man cannot s u b s i s t and r i s e to the f u l l development of [ h i s ] higher p r i o r i t i e s unless brute and unconscious nature be e f f e c t i v e l y combatted and, i n a greater measure, vanquished by human a r t ' (Marsh, 38) by e n t e r t a i n i n g the p o s s i b i l i t y that the brute e x i s t s not o u t s i d e , but i n s i d e man. To read the landscape t h e r e f o r e u l t i m a t e l y e n t a i l s a 52 r e c o g n i t i o n of i t s misconceived a u t h o r i t y and, perhaps, of the i n e v i t a b l y misconceived a u t h o r i t y of our own readings. 53 3. G e o p o l i t i c a l m o t i f s and motives i n Conrad's Lord Jim and Verne's L ' l l e mysterieuse. In a n a l y z i n g the g e o g r a p h i c a l i m p l i c a t i o n s of Conrad's and V e r n e ' s work, I have so f a r c o n c e n t r a t e d on t h e e x p e r i e n t i a l and a e s t h e t i c p r o p e r t i e s of s p a c e . I have suggested throughout, however, that the n o v e l i s t ' s treatment of space i s underpinned by i d e o l o g i c a l p r e s u p p o s i t i o n s which gi v e r i s e to a s e r i e s of s p e c i f i c p o l i t i c a l s t r a t e g i e s . The focus of t h i s chapter i s on such l i n k s between geography and p o l i t i c s , with p a r t i c u l a r reference to the novels Lord Jim and L ' l l e mysterieuse. I t i s n e c e s s a r y , f i r s t of a l l , to make a d i s t i n c t i o n between p o l i t i c a l geography and g e o p o l i t i c s . I s h a l l adopt Gla s s n e r and De B l i j ' s d e f i n i t i o n : ' p o l i t i c a l geography i s t h e s t u d y o f t h e i n t e r a c t i o n o f g e o g r a p h i c a l a r e a and p o l i t i c a l p r o c e s s ' (Glassner, 1) and compare i t with t h e i r d e f i n i t i o n of g e o p o l i t i c s , which ' i s concerned b a s i c a l l y with the a p p l i c a t i o n of g e o g r a p h i c i n f o r m a t i o n and g e o g r a p h i c p e r s p e c t i v e s to the development of a s t a t e ' s f o r e i g n p o l i c i e s ' ( G l a s s n e r , 263). The d i s t i n c t i o n needs to be borne i n mind when d e a l i n g w i t h the ( l i t e r a r y ) t e x t s ; b r o a d l y s p e a k i n g , h owever, b o t h p o l i t i c a l g e o g r a p h y and g e o p o l i t i c s a r e concerned with the use and abuse of land by r i v a l c o n t r o l l i n g i n t e r e s t s . I t becomes c l e a r that when the work of Conrad and Verne i s considered i n t h i s context, the l i n k between geography and 54 p o l i t i c s i s of some importance. I have already suggested that one p o s s i b l e area of overlap between Conrad's and Verne's work i s t he i n t e r r e l a t i o n between topography and p e r s o n a l i t y , between t h e l i e of the l a n d and the s t a t e o f the mind. Experience of environment i n The Nigger of the Narcissus and V i n g t m i l l e l i e u e s sous l e s mers, f o r example, n e c e s s a r i l y i n v o l v e s experience of s e l f ; geography i s a 'drama of human e n d e a v o u r ' ( C o n r a d , L E , 1) i n w h i c h t h e g e o g r a p h e r p a r t i c i p a t e s as both a c t o r and s p e c t a t o r , both 'writer* and 'reader* o f the. l a n d s c a p e s t h r o u g h which he moves. The i n t e r p l a y between n a r r a t o r and r e a d e r , p a r t i c u l a r l y w e l l i l l u s t r a t e d i n Heart of Darkness and Voyage au centre de l a  t e r r e , may be seen as a g e o g r a p h i c a l paradigm i n which both operate as geographers n e g o t i a t i n g a t e x t u a l environment. 2 In each of the f o u r n o v e l s , however, the g e o g r a p h i c paradigm has p o l i t i c a l i m p l i c a t i o n s : the a t t i t u d e towards nature found i n Verne's work r e f l e c t s an ideology of s c i e n c e which, i n t u r n , i m p l i e s a c e r t a i n concept of man as s o c i a l b e i n g , w h i l s t i n Conrad's work the c h o i c e of g e o g r a p h i c l o c a t i o n and d i s t r i b u t i o n of space w i t h i n t h a t l o c a t i o n suggest a h i e r a r c h y of values and a p r i v i l e g i n g of c e r t a i n s o c i a l types ( c l a s s e s ) . On f i r s t r e a d i n g L o r d J i m would seem t o be one o f Conrad's l e a s t ' p o l i t i c a l ' novels. I t u s u a l l y draws c r i t i c a l a t t e n t i o n to the complexity of i t s p s y c h o l o g i c a l and n a r r a t i v e p a t t e r n s : l o c a t i o n duly becomes a question of mental spaces 55 (of Patusan's ' i n t e r n a l s i t u a t i o n ' (Conrad, L J , 240)) or of v e r b a l displacements (of fragmented, 'incomplete' n a r r a t i v e ) . B o t h a p p r o a c h e s , however, r e i n f o r c e the i r o n i c mode o f n a r r a t i o n , an i r o n y which, i n m a x i m i z i n g the d i f f e r e n c e between o r d e r s o f 'appearance' and o r d e r s of ' r e a l i t y ' , i n d i c a t e s the strong m a t e r i a l base which u n d e r l i e s the novel's thematic and s t r u c t u r a l concerns. Lord Jim i s both an adventure novel and a c r i t i q u e (or r e v i s i o n ) o f t h e a d v e n t u r e n o v e l : i t u n d e r m i n e s , t h e n p a r a d o x i c a l l y r e i n s t a t e s , the Romantic g o a l s i t has s e t i t s e l f . C e n t r a l to the notion of Romance i s the f i g u r e of the i s l a n d . 'Tout u n i v e r s s'enferme dans des c o u r b e s ; t o u t u n i v e r s se c o n c e n t r e en un noyau, en un germe, un c e n t r e dynamise. Et l e centre est puissant puisque c'est un centre imagine' (Bachelard, 148). S i m i l a r l y , the Romantic v i s i o n of the i s l a n d paradise which f i n d s i t s most widespread expression i n n i n e t e e n t h century Europe (Stevenson, B a l l a n t y n e , Verne, L o t i , etc.) heralds an i d e a l world encapsulated i n mi n i a t u r e , an imaginary c e n t r e . For Conrad, however, Patusan i s no p a r a d i s e : i t i s , r a t h e r , the headquarters of an unstable n a t i v e S t a t e which, beneath the Romantic r h e t o r i c of Marlow's d e s c r i p t i o n s , has a m a t e r i a l b a s i s i n t h e movement o f g o o d s a n d t h e e c o n o m i c / p o l i t i c a l r i v a l r i e s of the market s o c i e t y . I t i s p o s s i b l e , o f c o u r s e , t o see P a t u s a n , l i k e t h e j u n g l e landscapes of Heart of Darkness, as a 'country of the mind' 56 where 'the haggard u t i l i t a r i a n l i e s of our c i v i l i z a t i o n wither and d i e , t o be r e p l a c e d by pure e x e r c i s e s of i m a g i n a t i o n ' (Conrad, L J , 282). On the other hand, i t i s e q u a l l y p o s s i b l e to consider i t as a v e s t i g e of the t o t t e r i n g Empire, the l a s t outpost of a moribund imperialism which i s r e s u s c i t a t e d by Jim only to re-emphasize the egotism and e x p l o i t a t i o n u n d e r l y i n g i t s l o f t y p r i n c i p l e s and standards of conduct. Patusan i s medium f o r and witness to human e x p l o i t a t i o n ; i t i s w i t h i n t h i s framework t h a t the e x p l o i t a t i v e s t r a t e g i e s undertaken w i t h i n and by the work may be examined. Lo r d Jim i s t y p i c a l of Conrad's work i n being f r a u g h t with paradox and c o n t r a d i c t i o n . Patusan, l i k e w i s e , c o n t a i n s w i t h i n i t s e v e r a l p a r a d o x i c a l notions; i t i s both refuge and grave, a p o s s i b i l i t y of escape and an opportunity to ( r e ) b u i l d p e r s o n a l and p o l i t i c a l power. Patusan's d i v i d e d communities and r i v a l 'masters' c o n s t i t u t e a nexus of power r e l a t i o n s i n which the g e o p o l i t i c a l motif of s e g r e g a t i o n (demarcation of separate t e r r i t o r i e s ) plays a s i g n i f i c a n t r o l e . The t o p o g r a p h y of P a t u s a n c l e a r l y i l l u s t r a t e s i t s p o l i t i c a l s i t u a t i o n : There can be seen r i s i n g above the l e v e l of the f o r e s t s the summits of two steep h i l l s very c l o s e together, and separated by what l o o k s l i k e a deep f i s s u r e , the c l e a v a g e o f some mighty s t r o k e . As a m a t t e r of f a c t , the v a l l e y between i s n o t h i n g b u t a n a r r o w r a v i n e ; t h e appearance from the settlement i s of one i r r e g u l a r l y c o n i c a l h i l l s p l i t i n two, and w i t h t h e two h a l v e s l e a n i n g s l i g h t l y a p art. (Conrad, L J , 220) 57 The d i v i d e d t e r r i t o r i e s of Patusan are s i m i l a r to those on the Pa t n a , where the o f f i c e r s on the c o n t r o l l i n g b r i d g e a r e p h y s i c a l l y s e p a r a t e d from, but a l s o p o l i t i c a l l y segregated from, the p i l g r i m s below. There i s then both a h o r i z o n t a l a x i s of s e p a r a t i o n , best exemplified i n Jim's two ( p a r a l l e l ) leaps to s a f e t y , and a v e r t i c a l a x i s which r e l a t e s the motif of s e p a r a t i o n to a p o l i t i c a l syndrome of d o m i n a t i o n and s u b j e c t i o n . The h i l l s of Patusan, l i k e the bridge of the Patna, are a p l a c e of command, housing the r e b e l f o r c e s of f i r s t S h e r i f A l i , then Jim, then Brown, a l l of whom are pretenders to the 'sovereign power' (Conrad, L J , 50) of the i s l a n d . The a b i l i t y to command depends however on an a b i l i t y to p r o t e c t o n e s e l f a g a i n s t one's enemies. Brown's men, e s t a b l i s h i n g themselves on the h i l l , put themselves i n a commanding p o s i t i o n but a l s o a safe one: They e s t a b l i s h e d t h e m s e l v e s on a l i t t l e k n o l l about 900 y a r d s from the stoc k a d e , which i n f a c t , they commanded from that p o s i t i o n . . . They went to work c u t t i n g [ t r e e s ] down f o r a breastwork, and were f a i r l y entrenched before dark. (Conrad, L J , 359, my i t a l i c s ) The g e o g r a p h i c a l c o m b i n a t i o n o f h i l l and t r e n c h may be compared with the entomological combination of b u t t e r f l y and b e e t l e . Tony Tanner has drawn an analogy between S t e i n ' s c o l l e c t i o n s and Conrad's c h a r a c t e r s : C o r n e l i u s , creeping i n the mud, i n v e r t s the image of Jim's b u t t e r f l y - l i k e i d e a l i s m 58 ( T a n n e r , 5 3 - 6 7 ) . By f o c u s s i n g on the a n a l o g y between topography and p o l i t i c s , however, i t i s p o s s i b l e to adapt Tanner's t h e s i s to the circumstances i n which the c h a r a c t e r s f i n d t hemselves, and to suggest a d i f f e r e n t c o n n o t a t i o n of S t e i n ' s c o l l e c t i o n s . The i s l a n d i s i t s e l f a c o l l e c t i o n of s m a l l communities w i t h i n a c i r c u m s c r i b e d environment; the n o t i o n o f c o l l e c t i v i t y , however, i s j e o p a r d i z e d by the r i v a l r i e s between i t s communities and, i n p a r t i c u l a r , by the o u t s i d e r - f i g u r e s who draw a t t e n t i o n to and exacerbate t h e i r s t a t e of d i v i s i o n . Jim's p o s i t i o n w i t h i n the community i s an ambivalent one: i n one s e n s e he b e l o n g s and c o n t r i b u t e s t o D o r a m i n ' s encampment, but i n another sense h i s r i s e t o, and r e t e n t i o n o f , p e r s o n a l power emp h a s i z e s h i s d i f f e r e n c e from (and e x p l o i t a t i o n o f h i s d i f f e r e n c e from) t h e r e s t o f t h e community. The t i t l e 'Tuan Jim' i t s e l f suggests an oxymoronic combination of separate, and perhaps i r r e c o n c i l a b l e , elements. For Jim's approach to l i f e i s , as Marlow suggests, 'a network of paths separated by chasms' (Conrad, LJ, 120): although he a c h i e v e s the Romantic g o a l s he has s e t h i m s e l f , he cannot shake o f f the memory of h i s previous cowardice. Jim's 'doubleness' p o i n t s to a l a r g e r d u p l i c i t y i n s c r i b e d w i t h i n the t e x t : the yoking of Romantic i d e a l s with p o l i t i c a l ( m a t e r i a l i s t i c ) expediency. Patusan i s a run-down t r a d i n g p o s t which f u n c t i o n s on the exchange of p o s s e s s i o n s : the s u p p o r t of Doramin and D a i n W a r i s i s s y m b o l i z e d i n the 59 exchange of a r i n g w h i l s t Jim chooses fo r the woman he loves the name of J e w e l . Communication between Patusan and the o u t s i d e world i s l e s s i n terms of language than of goods: i t i s n o t i c e a b l e how l i t t l e r i g h t of speech i s g i v e n to the n a t i v e s o f P a t u s a n S t a t e ( t h e i r ' l e a d e r s ' , the Rajah and Doramin, remain v i r t u a l l y s i l e n t throughout) and how much to the f o r e i g n e x p l o i t e r s who come i n to take t h e i r possessions and, at the l i m i t , t h e i r very language, away from them. Hence, a motif which runs through Lord Jim i s that of p r o f i t e e r i n g : i t s most b l a t a n t proponent i s the out-and-out p i r a t e Brown, but there i s a l s o a p r o f i t - m o t i v e behind Jim's o p p o r t u n i s m and, more s u b t l y , b e h i n d S t e i n ' s attempt t o transform Nature i n t o h i s p r i v a t e sanctuary. I m p l i c i t i n the m a t e r i a l i s m of Brown, the romantic i d e a l i s m of Jim and the p e r f e c t i o n i s t a e s t h e t i c s of S t e i n are a s e r i e s of claims which connect the motives of commercial, i d e a l and a e s t h e t i c p r o f i t to the g e o p o l i t i c a l motifs of landclaim and annexation. Lord  J i m i s a n o v e l of c l a i m s and c l a i m a n t s at many d i f f e r e n t l e v e l s : the d i s c u r s i v e (Marlow's claims to a d i s c o u r s e of the other - '[Dain Waris] was s t i l l one of them, while Jim was one of us') (Conrad, L J , 361), the economic (the t r a d e c l a i m s of S t e i n and Company), the emotional (the r i v a l claims of Jim and C o r n e l i u s on Jewel), the p o l i t i c a l (the various pretenders to the s o v e r e i g n power of Patusan) and the g e o g r a p h i c a l (the l a n d c l a i m s o f J i m and Brown). Jim's l a n d c l a i m i s b e s t e x e m p l i f i e d i n the s t a k i n g out of h i s p r i v a t e t e r r i t o r y ; 'The 60 F o r t ' i s 'a place of defence ... a deep d i t c h , an earth w a l l topped by a p a l i s a d e , and a t the a n g l e s guns mounted on p l a t f o r m s to sweep each s i d e of the s q u a r e ' 3 (Conrad, L J , 3 4 0 ) . Yet J i m ' s s t r o n g h o l d i s a l s o h i s p r i s o n : he i s 'imprisoned w i t h i n the very freedom of h i s power' (Conrad, L J , 283), claimed by h i s own t e r r i t o r y . S i m i l a r l y , S t e i n , c u r a t o r of h i s museum-like home and enchanted garden, i s f i n a l l y as trapped as the b e e t l e s and b u t t e r f l i e s 'he never f a i l [ s ] to annex on h i s own account' (Conrad, L J , 206). S t e i n ' s house and grounds c o n s t i t u t e an a r t i f i c i a l i s l a n d , a sanctuary i n which the wilds of Nature have been a e s t h e t i c i z e d and domesticated: I wandered o u t , pursued by d i s t r e s s f u l thoughts, i n t o the gardens, those famous gardens of S t e i n , i n which you can f i n d every plan t and tree of t r o p i c a l lowlands. I f o l l o w e d the course of the canalized s t r e a m , and s a t f o r a l o n g time, on a s h a d e d b e n c h n e a r t h e ornamental pond,where some w a t e r f o w l w i t h clipped wings were d i v i n g and s p l a s h i n g n o i s i l y . The branches of casuarina trees behind me swayed l i g h t l y , i n c e s s a n t l y , reminding me of the soughing of f i r - t r e e s at home. (Conrad, L J , 349, my i t a l i c s ) Yet S t e i n ' s annex i s u l t i m a t e l y u n i n h a b i t a b l e : l i k e the i s l a n d which nurtures Jim's dreams, i t f i n a l l y c l o s e s i n and entraps the dreamer. S t e i n ' s enchanted (Prosperan) ward, which had t u r n e d h i s g r o u n d s , l i k e Marlow's p r i v i l e g e d v i s i o n of P a t u s a n , i n t o 'a p i c t u r e c r e a t e d by f a n c y on a c a n v a s ' (Conrad, L J , 330) turns against i t s owner, r e v e a l i n g a e s t h e t i c 61 fancy as a r t i s t i c impotence and p e t r i f i c a t i o n ( S t e i n = s t o n e ) . S t e i n ' s world-weariness and Jim's death f i n a l l y uphold the Romantic dream w h i l s t c o n f i r m i n g i t s i m p o s s i b i l i t y . On the o t h e r hand, the s t o r y of both men i s underscored by a Jamesonian ' p o l i t i c a l unconscious' 4 which p r e f i g u r e s the end of Empire and emphasizes the moral bankruptcy of i m p e r i a l i s m . As i n Heart of Darkness, t o p o g r a p h i c a l f i s s u r e s , gaps and underground spaces i n d i c a t e the shaky foundations on which the ' s t a b i l i t y of e a r t h l y i n s t i t u t i o n s ' (Conrad, LJ, 387) i s e s t a b l i s h e d . Thus, the Malay p i l g r i m s on the Patna ( r e f e r r e d to as ' c a t t l e ' , ' r e p t i l e s ' , 'pink toads') (Conrad, LJ, chs. 2-5) who are consigned to a double darkness (enclosure i n the h o l d , death by drowning) f u n c t i o n throughout the t e x t as a reminder of a personal conscience which a l s o acts as p o l i t i c a l unconscious. S i m i l a r l y , there i s something r o t t e n i n the s t a t e of Patusan. The Rajah A l l a n g ' s addresses are given on 'a s o r t of narrow stage erected i n a h a l l l i k e a ruinous barn with a rotten bamboo f l o o r , through the cracks of which you could see twelve or f i f t e e n feet below the heaps of refuse and garbage of a l l k i n d s l y i n g under the house' (Conrad, LJ, 228, my i t a l i c s ) . The Patusan Trading Company b u i l d i n g , l i k e Kurtz's outpost, i s i n a s t a t e of r u i n : A l l i t s fences had f a l l e n i n a long time ago; the neighbours' b u f f a l o e s would pace i n t h e morning a c r o s s the open s p a c e , s n o r t i n g p r o f o u n d l y , without haste; the very jungle was invading i t already. (Conrad, LJ, 298, my i t a l i c s ) 62 The geography of Patusan and i t s neighbouring i s l a n d s : 'dark, crumbling shapes ... i n the e v e r l a s t i n g s u n l i t haze l i k e the remnants of a w a l l breached by the sea' (Conrad, L J , 242, my i t a l i c s ) e n a c t s the g e o p o l i t i c s of a moribund i m p e r i a l i s m . Jim's attempt to f i n d an a l t e r n a t i v e to the ' v i l e scramble f o r l o o t ' 6 (Conrad, LE, 17) i s to l i v e out a boy's adventure s t o r y w h i c h i s i t s e l f i m p l i c i t l y i m p e r i a l i s t i c . B e h i n d J i m ' s Romantic a s p i r a t i o n s a r e m o t i v e s of p o l i t i c a l g a i n which c o n c u r w i t h S a u l C o h e n ' s d e f i n i t i o n o f ( g e o g r a p h i c ) i m p e r i a l i s m as ' r u l e over indigenous peoples, t r a n s f o r m i n g t h e i r i d e a s , i n s t i t u t i o n s and goods' (Cohen, 204). The attempt at a ' f i c t i o n a l ' transformation of Patusan w i t h i n the terms of an a e s t h e t i c creed (Jim's 'immaculate' appearance, S t e i n ' s 'enchanted' garden) becomes an a c t u a l t r a n s f o r m a t i o n of Patusan w i t h i n the terms of a p o l i t i c a l creed. As i n Heart  of Darkness, a conscious c r i t i q u e of the observable e f f e c t s of i m p e r i a l i s m d i s g u i s e s a deeper p o l i t i c a l unconscious i n which the d i s c u r s i v e p r a c t i c e s of imperialism are upheld. Thus, the p r i v i l e g e d reader who, l i k e a 'lighthouse-keeper above the sea ... t u r n [ s ] to the pages of the s t o r y ' (Conrad, L J , 351) may turn back to the c o n s o l i n g f i c t i o n of Jim on the bridge of the Patna, 'penetrated by the great c e r t i t u d e of unbounded s a f e t y and peace that could be read on the s i l e n t aspect of nature' (Conrad, L J , 17). In these f i c t i o n a l terms, Jim a c h i e v e s 'greatness', but u n d e r l y i n g the 'charms' and 'mysteries' of the Romantic v i s i o n , n e g o t i a t i n g the backwaters of the t e x t , 63 a r e Brown and h i s men, whose c y n i c a l a c t i o n s e f f e c t i v e l y d i s p e l the myth of 'a s o v e r e i g n power enthroned i n a f i x e d standard of conduct' (Conrad, L J , 50). If Lord Jim provides us with a c r i t i q u e of the m a t e r i a l r e a l i t i e s u n derlying i m p e r i a l i s t i d e a l s ( w h i l s t p a r a d o x i c a l l y s u s t a i n i n g the di s c o u r s e of im p e r i a l i s m ) , J u l e s Verne's novel L ' l l e m y s t e r i e u s e c o n c e r n s i t s e l f more w i t h the b a s i s , procedures and consequences of c o l o n i z a t i o n . U n l i k e Patusan, L ' l l e L i n c o l n i s an empty, v i r g i n l a n d which i s s e t t l e d , c u l t i v a t e d and c o l o n i z e d by i t s American v i s i t o r s . The development of the novel follows the c o l o n i a l p a t t e r n sketched out by Cohen which i n v o l v e s the 's e t t l e m e n t from another country, g e n e r a l l y i n t o empty lands and b r i n g i n g i n t o these l a n d s the p r e c i o u s c u l t u r e and o r g a n i z a t i o n of the pa r e n t s o c i e t y ' (Cohen, 204). Cyrus Smith and h i s company, ca s t by a ' p r o v i d e n t i a l ' storm onto an unknown d e s e r t i s l a n d , immediately c l a i m the i s l a n d f o r t h e i r own and proceed to transform i t i n the name of Western ('American') c u l t u r e . There i s no need on L ' l l e L i n c o l n f o r the p o l i t i c a l m a c h i n a t i o n s which p r e v a i l on Patusan: on the contrary, few ob s t a c l e s are put i n the path of pr o g r e s s and, f o r much of the novel, neither man nor Nature poses any c h a l l e n g e to the castaways. The gradual domesti-c a t i o n of the i s l a n d i s a matter of c o u r s e : nowhere i n evidence i s that myth of Nature 'red i n tooth and claw' which, as I d e m o n s t r a t e d i n an e a r l i e r c h a p t e r , i s t y p i c a l o f 64 contemporary works such as Marsh's Man and Nature. Nature a i d s and abets the inventions of Science; one of the f e a t u r e s of the i s l a n d i s i t s amenability to i t s i n h a b i t a n t s : n a t u r a l r e s o u r c e s are r e a d i l y at hand, and the i s l a n d almost i n v i t e s the c o l o n i z a t i o n i t r e c e i v e s . 7 From the o u t s e t , however, i t i s made c l e a r t h a t L ' l l e L i n c o l n i s no o r d i n a r y i s l a n d . I t i s , f i r s t of a l l , 'un resume de tous l e s aspects que presente un c o n t i n e n t ' (Verne, IM, 273), i t has sprung from continent, and to continent (the American mainland) i t w i l l e v e n t u a l l y r e t u r n . T h i s p l a c e s the novel w i t h i n an h i s t o r i c a l context which, as P i e r r e Macherey has p o i n t e d out, p r o j e c t s i t s p r o t a g o n i s t s i n t o an imaginary p a s t , not (as the m i s l e a d i n g l a b e l of s c i e n c e - f i c t i o n might suggest) i n t o an a n t i c i p a t o r y f u t u r e (Macherey, op. c i t . ) . The p r o c e s s of c o l o n i z a t i o n i n v o l v e s c a t c h i n g up w i t h the p r e s e n t through the recuperation of Western h i s t o r y from i t s humblest o r i g i n s , a nominal degree zero of ' c i v i l i z a t i o n ' . W i t h i n t h i s c o n t e x t , i t becomes p o s s i b l e to c o n s i d e r Cyrus Smith's i n v e n t i o n s as a p p l i c a t i o n s (adaptations) of an age-old wisdom, an i n i t i a l , rudimentary technology. L i k e the i s l a n d which f u n c t i o n s as h i s l a b o r a t o r y , Smith i s himself a m i c r o c o s m : 'un compose de t o u t e l a s c i e n c e et de t o u t e 1 ' i n t e l l i g e n c e humaine' (Verne, IM, 102). As I s u g g e s t e d e a r l i e r , V e r n e p o p u l a t e s h i s n o v e l s w i t h f i g u r e s , not c h a r a c t e r s . S m i t h i s S c i e n t i f i c Man, N a t u r e i s h i s e x p e r i m e n t . U n l i k e Conrad, Verne i s o n l y s u p e r f i c i a l l y 65 i n t e r e s t e d i n the p s y c h o l o g i c a l make-up of h i s c h a r a c t e r s : the environment i s not a r e f l e c t i o n of p s y c h o l o g i c a l warfare (as i n Lord Jim) but a b a s i s f o r g e o p o l i t i c a l s t r a t e g y . G e o p o l i t i c s has been d e f i n e d as a p p l y i n g g e o g r a p h i c i n f o r m a t i o n to the development of s t a t e p o l i c y . I s h a l l argue t h a t t h i s i s a p a r t i c u l a r l y r e l e v a n t p a r a d i g m f o r L' l i e m y s t e r i e u s e , w h i c h , b e g i n n i n g w i t h the c o l l e c t i o n and c o l l a t i o n o f i n f o r m a t i o n about the n a t u r a l e n v i r o n m e n t , proceeds to use that information to transform the environment i n t o a m i n i - s t a t e which de r i v e s i t s power, and the s t r u c t u r e s of i t s power, from the g r e a t e r United S t a t e s . The model i s sketched out n e a t l y by Pencroff: Nous f e r o n s de c e t t e i l e une p e t i t e Amerique! Nous y b a t i r o n s des v i l l a s , nous y e t a b l i r o n s des chemins de f e r , nous y i n s t a l l e r o n s des telegraphes, et un beau j o u r , quand e l l e s e r a b i e n transformed, bien amenagee, bien c i v i l i s e e , nous i r o n s l ' o f f r i r au gouvernement de l'Union ... (Verne, IM, 139-40) The ' a d j e c t i v a l i n s i s t e n c y ' a s c r i b e d to Conrad by L e a v i s ( L e a v i s , 177) c o r r e s p o n d s to Verne's ' v e r b a l i n s i s t e n c y ' . L ' l l e m y s t e r i e u s e b u c k l e s under the weight of i t s v e r b s : t h i n g s - d o n e and t h i n g s - d o n e - t o p r e v a i l o v e r t h e t h i n g s t h e m s e l v e s . Here, f o r example, i s a t y p i c a l v e r b a l c h a i n : 'regarder l a s i t u a t i o n en face - a n a l y s e r l e s chances - se preparer a tout evenement - se poser fermes et d r o i t s devant l ' a v e n i r ' (Verne, IM, 700). The phrases are Cyrus Smith's, 66 b u t t h e y m i g h t e q u a l l y be t h e s l o g a n s o f a p o l i t i c a l m a n i f e s t o . The n a r r a t i v e c a r r i e s out the manifesto to the l e t t e r , from i n i t i a l o bservation and a n a l y s i s of L ' l l e L i n c o l n ( t o p o g r a p h i c l a y - o u t , g e o g r a p h i c s i t u a t i o n , e t c . ) t o c o n s i d e r e d p r e p a r a t i o n s and p r e c a u t i o n s ( a g a i n s t the c o l d , a g a i n s t attack) to f i n a l , j u s t i f i e d p r i d e i n achievement. The verb, however, which encompasses a l l other verbs, the c o r n e r s t o n e as i t were of the manifesto, i s transform. The o r i g i n a l f o r m s o f t h e i s l a n d a r e a l t e r e d t o s u i t i t s i n h a b i t a n t s : raw m a t e r i a l s are fashioned i n t o c l o t h e s , t o o l s and d w e l l i n g s , w i l d Nature i s reduced to the manageable p r o p o r t i o n s of the domestic farmyard: Grace au s a v o i r de leur chef, grace a l e u r p r o p r e i n t e l l i g e n c e , c ' e t a i e n t de v e r i t a b l e s c o l o n s , m u n i s d ' a r m e s , d ' o u t i l s , d ' i n s t r u m e n t s q u i a v a i e n t su transformer a leur p r o f i t l e s animaux, l e s p l a n t e s , et l e s mineraux de l ' l l e , c ' e s t -a - d i r e l e s t r o i s regnes de l a Nature! (Verne, IM, 413) As the novel develops, the i s l a n d assumes more and more the t r a p p i n g s of a s t a t e : i t i s named and charted, given a h i e r a r c h y o f g o v e r n m e n t , an i n t e r n a l n e t w o r k o f c o m m u n i c a t i o n s , a h e a d q u a r t e r s and s e r i e s of r e g i o n a l ' o f f i c e s ' . The transformation of i s l a n d i n t o s t a t e i n v o l v e s a t r a n s p o r t a t i o n of p o l i c y : the blank spaces of Nature are marked with the imprint of Western ('American') c u l t u r e . T h i s would seem at f i r s t s i g h t to imply a g l o r i f i c a t i o n 67 of New World myths of progress and democracy, but a c l o s e r reading of the novel and, i n p a r t i c u l a r , of i t s l a t e r stages, suggests that the c o l o n i a l i d e a l s which have been implemented so s u c c e s s f u l l y are, i f not undermined, at l e a s t c a l l e d i n t o q u e s t i o n . In h i s p o l i t i c a l r e a d i n g of Verne's work, Jean Chesneaux draws a t t e n t i o n to what he c a l l s ' l a t r a d i t i o n q u a r a n t e - h u i t a r d e ' which combines an e n t h u s i a s m f o r the no t i o n s of l i b e r t y , e q u a l i t y and f r a t e r n i t y with an i n i t i a l ( l a t e r i n c r e a s i n g ) d i s t r u s t of p o l i t i c a l and s c i e n t i f i c i d e a l i s m i n which the p o t e n t i a l f o r abuse o f power i s rec o g n i z e d . 8 In L ' l l e mysterieuse, although man i s considered as a s u p e r i o r l i f e - f o r m , d o m i n a t i n g h i s environment and adapting i t to h i s needs, there are l i m i t a t i o n s to h i s power, and he i n h i s turn i s dominated by f o r c e s and 'laws' which are beyond h i s c o n t r o l . The guardian of these laws i s Nemo, who, as i n V i n g t m i l l e l i e u e s sous l e s mers, h o l d s the key to my s t e r i e s which, once r e v e a l e d , d e s t r o y both themselves and t h e i r d i s c o v e r e r . Nemo i s ' l e genie de l ' l l e ' , 'un d i e u s p e c i a l [avec] pouvoir o c c u l t e ' (Verne, IM, 800). His i s the r e a l l o c u s o f a u t h o r i t y a n d , one m i g h t a l s o s a y , o f a u t h o r s h i p , f o r Verne's w r i t i n g , i n drawing a t t e n t i o n to i t s i m a g i n a t i v e resources, r a r e l y f a i l s to draw a t t e n t i o n to i t s c r e a t o r . As God-figure and w r i t e r - f i g u r e , Nemo has i t i n h i s power to reverse the motif of transformation which has granted Smith and h i s c o l l e a g u e s t h e i r p r i v i l e g e d s t a t u s . Once the 'mysterious' guardian of the i s l a n d has revealed h i m s e l f , he 68 d i e s almost immediately ( i n Vingt m i l l e l i e u e s sous l e s mers he simply disappears) and h i s death s i g n a l s the d e s t r u c t i o n of t h e i s l a n d and b r i n g s t h e n o v e l f o r c i b l y t o w a r d s i t s c o n c l u s i o n . Nemo's d e a t h , and the ( r e s u l t a n t ) e x p l o s i o n w h i c h d e s t r o y s the i s l a n d , s e r v e as a warning to the s c i e n t i f i c p r e t e n s i o n s and p o l i t i c a l i d e a l s of Smith and h i s f o l l o w e r s . The elements which, c a r e f u l l y harnessed, had sustained Nemo's l i f e and the l i v e s of the men under h i s ca r e , are f i n a l l y unleashed: f i r e confronts water and the consequent e x p l o s i o n , c a s t i n g out t h o s e who b e l i e v e d the i s l a n d was t h e i r s t o c o l o n i z e and c o n t r o l , simultaneously d i s p e l s t h e i r i l l u s i o n s of power and reminds them that, as Cyrus Smith puts i t : Les hommes, s i s a v a n t s q u ' i l s p u i s s e n t e t r e , ne pourront jamais changer quoi que ce s o i t a l ' o r d r e cosmographique e t a b l i par Dieu meme ... (Verne, IM, 775-6) Once t h i s warning has been served, however, the novel i s f r e e t o end w i t h a p a r a d o x i c a l r e i n s t a t e m e n t of the v a l u e s of c o l o n i a l i s m , t h i s time t r a n s f e r r e d to the context of the home (mother) country, of which i t i s suggested L ' l l e L i n c o l n may once have been a p a r t . Iowa ( i n the n o v e l ) , l i k e L ' l l e L i n c o l n b e f o r e i t , i s u n i n h a b i t e d : the myth of the 'empty land', the New T e r r i t o r y , i s the r e f o r e perpetuated. I t as i f J u l e s Verne, u n w i l l i n g to s u b s c r i b e t o t a l l y to the dominant myths of h i s day (the progress of Technology, the c i v i l i z i n g 69 m i s s i o n of C o l o n i a l i s m ) seems e q u a l l y u n w i l l i n g to r e f u t e them. In both Lord Jim and L ' l l e mysterieuse, I have suggested t h a t the i s l a n d i s a f o c a l environment f o r the adoption of p r e s c r i b e d p o l i t i c a l s t r a t e g i e s and f o r the e x e r c i s e of power. I t remains to c o n s i d e r the c r u c i a l r o l e of language i n the f o r m u l a t i o n , i m p l e m e n t a t i o n and e v a l u a t i o n o f t h e s e s t r a t e g i e s . Language i s the most e f f e c t i v e of a l l t o o l s i n L ' l l e mysterieuse, a novel which s p e c i f i c a l l y concerns i t s e l f w i t h the means and methods of p r o d u c t i o n . In V i n g t m i l l e  l i e u e s s o u s l e s m e r s , l i s t s , d i a r i e s and s e e m i n g l y int e r m i n a b l e c a t e g o r i e s and c l a s s i f i c a t i o n s f e a t u r e as a means of o r d e r i n g , o b j e c t i f y i n g and ( u l t i m a t e l y ) a p p r o p r i a t i n g the o u t s i d e w o r l d . S i m i l a r l y , L ' l l e m y s t e r i e u s e abounds i n a p p a r e n t l y e x t r a n e o u s l i n g u i s t i c d e t a i l , s u c h as t h a t contained, f o r example, i n the exhaustive i n v e n t o r i e s drawn up by the castaways. The w r i t t e n word does not merely d e s c r i b e or document i t s environment: i t claims i t , a p p r o p r i a t i n g i t i n the name of the w r i t e r . Thus, the r o l e s of the explorer and i n v e n t o r C y r u s S m i t h , and of the j o u r n a l i s t Gedeon S p i l l e t , r e c o r d e r o f e x p l o r a t i o n s and i n v e n t i o n s , a r e p a r a l l e l : both i m p r i n t t h e i r name on the landscape. The c o l o n i z a t i o n they implement combines human encounter w i t h l i n g u i s t i c i m p o s i t i o n , using mapping procedures which enable t h e i r proponents to systematize t h e i r environment with a view to g a i n i n g c o n t r o l over i t . 70 Both the w r i t t e n word, presided over by S p i l l e t , and the spoken word, pre s i d e d over by Smith, d e r i v e from a centre of power which has i t s nominal headquarters i n G r a n i t e House, but i t s source (embodied i n a disc o u r s e which i s e l e v a t e d to the s t a t u s of myth) i n 'America 1. Verne's treatment of America i s as e x o t i c as h i s treatment of the South P a c i f i c i s l a n d ; as i n Le Tour du Monde en 80 J o u r s , Verne's most b l a t a n t l y e x o t i c work, t h e r e i s no a t t e m p t t o e x p l o r e or a u t h e n t i c a t e a l t e r n a t i v e c u l t u r e s , but r a t h e r a d e s i g n to e n v e l o p them w i t h i n a d i s c o u r s e which a l l o w s them no p o s s i b i l i t y o f e x p r e s s i o n . 9 A l t h o u g h t h i s i m p l i e s an a g g r e s s i v e l y i m p e r i a l i s t i c s t a n c e on V e r n e ' s p a r t , i t i s w o r t h b a l a n c i n g t h e n a t i o n a l i s t i c fervour of Nemo's l a s t words "Dieu et P a t r i e ! " (Verne, IM, 819) a g a i n s t the e a r l i e r statement t h a t ' [ i l ] resumait en l u i toutes l e s haines farouches du vaincu contre l e vainqueur' (Verne, IM, 803). The s t r u g g l e f o r domination which pervades Verne's work engages r a t h e r than p r e c l u d e s sympathy f o r the n a t i o n s of the oppressed: Nemo, i t bears remembering, i s not French but Indian, although one might wish t o weigh t h i s i m p l i e d p o l i t i c a l l i b e r a l i s m a g a i n s t Nemo's s c i e n t i f i c Bonapartism which i s caught up i n , r a t h e r than d e l i v e r e d from, the c y c l e of conquest and oppression. The i s s u e of imperialism i s more complex and much debated i n Conrad's work. A growing number of T h i r d World c r i t i c s ( i n s p i r e d perhaps by the polemics of Chinua Achebe) have taken 71 o f f e n c e a t the i m p e r i a l i s m of Heart of Darkness d e s p i t e i t s apparently a n t i - i m p e r i a l i s t i c stance. Now, w h i l s t Conrad's ' A f r i c a ' , l i k e Verne's 'America', i s to some extent a symbolic (although not, as some c r i t i c s have clai m e d , a ' u n i v e r s a l ' ) environment, i t i s nonetheless true t h a t both H e a r t of Darkness and Lord Jim t e s t i f y to what Achebe d e s c r i b e s as a 'withholding of language' (Achebe, 786) from t h e i r r e s p e c t i v e N a t i v e communities. In both n o v e l s , however, Conrad's focus i s not on the d e v a l u a t i o n of T h i r d World c u l t u r e but on the p r e c a r i o u s n e s s of the values which u n d e r p i n W e s t e r n c u l t u r e a n d , p a r t i c u l a r l y , on t h e c o n t r a d i c t i o n s i n h e r e n t i n t h e d i s c o u r s e o f W e s t e r n i m p e r i a l i s m . 1 0 In Lord Jim, a c c o r d i n g l y , v e r b a l language i s a weapon which a c t s b o t h f o r and a g a i n s t i t s u s e r . Jim's p e r s o n a l 'empire' i s based on the myth of a p r i v i l e g e d d i s c o u r s e , but the word which serves him may a l s o turn a g a i n s t him. By g o i n g back on h i s word, Brown d e s t r o y s J i m by exploding the myth of h i s c u l t u r a l / l i n g u i s t i c i n v i o l a b i l i t y . The l i n k i n Lord Jim between language and l a n d which a l l o w s us t o c o n s i d e r P a t u s a n as b o t h l i n g u i s t i c and geographic construct s i m i l a r l y enables an analogy to be drawn between l i n g u i s t i c ( d i s c u r s i v e ) d e v i c e s and t o p o g r a p h i c markers. The topographic f e a t u r e s of Patusan: the fenced e n c l o s u r e s of i t s camps, the creek which separates them, the h i l l which o v e r l o o k s them - can t h e r e f o r e be c o n s i d e r e d i n l i n g u i s t i c terms as the c a p a c i t y of language to defend, t o 72 d i v i d e and to command. I t i s i n the l i n g u i s t i c / g e o g r a p h i c backwaters, however, t h a t Jim f i n d s h i s r u i n ; t h e r e i s an i r o n i c d i s c r e p a n c y between the u l t i m a t e l y i n c o n s e q u e n t i a l R o m a n t i c o u t p o u r i n g s of the n a r r a t o r and the s n i d e but e f f e c t i v e communications of the s e m i - a r t i c u l a t e h a l f - c a s t e C o r n e l i u s . Language i s most e f f e c t i v e l y used as an instrument of d e c e p t i o n , a means of breaking t i e s r a ther than f o r g i n g them: s i g n i f i c a n t l y , i t i s the same 'language' (and inherent v a l u e system) Jim uses to c l a i m h i s t e r r i t o r y and e s t a b l i s h h i s power i n Patusan which, turned against him, brings about h i s d e s t r u c t i o n . A l t h o u g h Lord Jim and L ' l l e mysterieuse may be p l a c e d l o o s e l y w i t h i n the category of the roman d'aventure, t h e i r t r e a t m e n t of s p a c e i s more complex than any s i m p l i f i e d t r e a t i s e on t h e c o n q u e s t and d o m i n a t i o n of an ' a l i e n ' e n v i r o n m e n t would a l l o w . Both n o v e l s adopt c a r e f u l l y c o n c e i v e d and executed s t r a t e g i e s towards the environment i n which they are s e t . Geography and p o l i t i c s i n t e r m i n g l e : the l a n d i s n o t m e r e l y d e s c r i b e d , i t i s a c t e d upon and t r a n s f o r m e d , above a l l e x p l o i t e d , by t h o s e s e e k i n g t o c o n s o l i d a t e t h e i r personal means and t h e i r p o l i t i c a l power. A ' g e o p o l i t i c a l ' a pproach to the n o v e l s which e x p l o r e s the n o t i o n and i m p l i c a t i o n s of t h i s e x p l o i t a t i o n u l t i m a t e l y c a l l s i n t o q u e s t i o n the assumptions of imperialism and i m p e r i a l i s t i c d i s c o u r s e by demonstrating the abuses of i t s p r i v i l e g e . In the f i n a l reckoning, Patusan and L ' l l e L i n c o l n are not 73 so much mysterious as demystified i s l a n d s whose p r e s e n t a t i o n suggests at once the power of the n o v e l i s t to transform h i s e n v i r o n m e n t and the r e l u c t a n c e or i n a b i l i t y of man to transform himself. Conrad i s well aware, and Verne more aware than he i s g i v e n c r e d i t f o r , t h a t behind the mythology of Empire i s the shadow of human weakness and the r e c o g n i t i o n t h a t , as V i c t o r K i e r n a n p u ts i t : 'at the z e n i t h of i t s p h y s i c a l power i n the world, Europe was at the nadir of i t s moral c a p a c i t y to lead i t , or even to reform i t s e l f (Kiernan, 29). 74 C o n c l u s i o n T h e p o s i t i v i s t i c l e g a c y , t h e phenomenological debate: Epistemology and geographic thought i n the works of Joseph Conrad and J u l e s Verne. I have s u g g e s t e d t h r o u g h o u t t h i s e s s a y t h a t i n the f i c t i o n of Conrad and Verne, geographic i s s u e s are c l o s e l y r e l a t e d t o a s p e c t s of p e r s o n a l and p o l i t i c a l behaviour. I t remains to c o n s i d e r b r i e f l y how u s e f u l geography may be i n a n a l y z i n g i n t e l l e c t u a l h i s t o r y , whether a r e a d i n g of the c u l t u r a l landscape may inform the contemporary e p i s t e m o l o g i c a l c l i m a t e . As an e c l e c t i c d i s c i p l i n e , geography i s p a r t i c u l a r l y w e l l p o s i t i o n e d to w i t n e s s and r e g i s t e r the c r o s s - c u r r e n t s of i n t e l l e c t u a l exchange. A feature of geographic debate i n the l a t t e r h a l f of the twentieth century has been the attempt to r e c o n c i l e or a t l e a s t r e - e s t i m a t e the r e l a t i o n between a p o s i t i v i s t i c l e g a c y and a p h e n o m e n o l o g i c a l c o n c e p t i o n of geography. T h i s r e - e s t i m a t i o n has tended to r e s u l t i n a gradual s h i f t of emphasis i n geographic s t u d i e s away from the l a r g e l y e m p i r i c a l a n a l y s i s of s p a t i a l d i s t r i b u t i o n towards the c o n s i d e r a t i o n of forms of s p a t i a l b e h a v i o u r , o r , as John P i c k l e s puts i t , 'human s p a t i a l i t y ' ( P i c k l e s , 154). Often, as i n t h e work o f Y i - F u T u a n a n d E d w a r d R e l p h , s u c h c o n s i d e r a t i o n s a r e ( l o o s e l y ) based on p h e n o m e n o l o g i c a l p r e m i s e s : ' G e o g r a p h y ' c l a i m s R e l p h , ' p r e s u p p o s e s our 75 g e o g r a p h i c a l e x p e r i e n c e s of the w o r l d . In o t h e r words, geography has an e x p e r i e n t i a l or phenomenological foundation' ( R e l p h , 4 ) . One o f t h e f e a t u r e s o f t h e s o - c a l l e d p h e n o m e n o l o g i c a l approach i s i t s enquiry i n t o the r e l a t i o n between e p i s t e m o l o g y and geographic thought. A c c o r d i n g to Paul C l a v a l : the c u r r e n t p o p u l a r i t y of e p i s t e m o l o g y r e f l e c t s new concern about the v a l i d i t y of s c i e n t i f i c m e t h o d . T h r o u g h o u t t h e n i n e t e e n t h century s c i e n c e produced such s a t i s f a c t o r y r e s u l t s that to question i t s c e r t a i n t i e s s e e m e d u n n e c e s s a r y . E p i s t e m o l o g y a d o p t e d an i n d u c t i v e approach: i t followed science, d e s c r i b i n g i t s methods and i n d i c a t i n g the procedures needed to e s t a b l i s h f a c t s and j u s t i f y the p r e f e r r e d i n t e r p r e t a t i o n o f t h em; s u b s e q u e n t l y i t drew up a conspectus of the p r i n c i p l e s g r a d u a l l y e s t a b l i s h e d by sc i e n c e ... Nowadays there i s an awareness of t h e p h i l o s o p h i c a l s h o r t c o m i n g s i n [ t h i s ] p r e v i o u s a t t i t u d e : o b j e c t i v e knowledge cannot be based on i t s e l f ... e p i s t e m o l o g i c a 1 t h o u g h t i s no l o n g e r intended to be mainly p r e s c r i p t i v e ... i t i s c r i t i c a l , i t q u e s t i o n s the e x p l i c i t p r i n c i p l e s behind the approaches taken. ( C l a v a l , 227-8) C l a v a l ' s argument i s g e n e r a l i z e d , but i t i n d i c a t e s a debate which i s c e n t r a l to the l i t e r a r y geography of Conrad and Verne: the q u e s t i o n i n g of ' o b j e c t i v e knowledge' w i t h i n the l a r g e r context of p o s i t i v i s t i c thought. P o s i t i v i s m , o f t e n i n t e r p r e t e d as a ' s c i e n t i f i c ' methodology, i s better seen as a philosophy, or, i n the words of i t s founder, Auguste Comte, 'a conception of the world and 76 of man1 (Simon, 4 ) . 'What i s fundamental', glosses Simon, ' i s the assumption t h a t the phenomena of human thought and of s o c i a l l i f e are continuous with the phenomena of the i n o r g a n i c and o r g a n i c w o r l d o f n a t u r e and t h e r e f o r e s u s c e p t i b l e of i n v e s t i g a t i o n by analogous methods which w i l l y i e l d comparably r e l i a b l e r e s u l t s ' (Simon, 4 ) . The p o s i t i v i s t d o c t r i n e o r i g i n a l l y f o r m u l a t e d by Comte i n the n i n e t e e n t h c e n t u r y underwent a s e r i e s of m o d i f i c a t i o n s ; a c c o r d i n g to Leszek Kolakowski, i t i s p o s s i b l e to t r a c e a h i s t o r y of p o s i t i v i s t thought i n which 'each phase ... i s a s p e c i f i c v a r i a t i o n of the dominant i n t e l l e c t u a l s t y l e ' (Kolakowski, 207). The focus of most v e r s i o n s of p o s i t i v i s m i s r e l a t i v e l y easy to i d e n t i f y , however, i n the d i s t r u s t o r , more r a d i c a l l y , the o u t r i g h t r e j e c t i o n of the c o g n i t i v e claims of metaphysics. I t i s t h i s r a d i c a l form of p o s i t i v i s m which p r e v a i l s i n the geographic thought of the l a t e nineteenth century. Thus, f o r the p r e s i d e n t of the Royal Geographic So c i e t y i n 1888: The f o u n d a t i o n of a l l knowledge i s the d i r e c t o b s e r v a t i o n of f a c t s : by a p p l y i n g thought t o the f a c t s thus observed, we seek through a process of c l a s s i f i c a t i o n and comparison f o r the causes of which the observed phenomena are the r e s u l t s , and the c o n c l u s i o n s thus o b t a i n e d c o n s t i t u t e s c i e n c e . (Gregory, 16) T h i s Gradgrindian adherence to e m p i r i c a l evidence c o n s t i t u t e s , as Kolakowski puts i t : 'an attempt to c o n s o l i d a t e s c i e n c e as a s e l f - s u f f i c i e n t a c t i v i t y , which exhausts a l l the p o s s i b l e ways 77 of approaching the world i n t e l l e c t u a l l y ' (Kolakowski, 210). The g e o g r a p h i c a n a l y s i s of the environment i s t h e r e f o r e r e d u c e d t o the e x p r e s s i o n of i t s e m p i r i c a l p r o p e r t i e s ; geography d u l y t a k e s i t s p l a c e as one of the ' p o s i t i v e ' s c i e n c e s . The a p p l i c a t i o n of t h i s mode of p o s i t i v i s t i c t h i n k i n g to the procedures of s c i e n t i f i c method i s apparent i n the f i c t i o n of J u l e s Verne. The Nautilus, f o r example, symbolizes the s e l f - s u f f i c i e n t a c t i v i t y of science and r e l a t e s i t to what i s seen as the i n e v i t a b l e progress of technology. L ' l l e L i n c o l n , s i m i l a r l y , i s the experimental s i t e f o r t e c h n o l o g i c a l methods of p r o d u c t i o n which are based on the premises of an a l l -e m b r a c i n g ' s c i e n t i s m ' . The c i r c u l a r p a t t e r n o f V e r n e ' s n a r r a t i v e s , and the c i r c l e s i n s c r i b e d w i t h i n those c i r c l e s , a r e i n t e r p r e t e d by F r a n c o i s e G a i l l a r d as an a t t e m p t e d r e s o l u t i o n o f : une c o n t r a d i c t i o n i d e o l o g i q u e s u r g i e en meme t e m p s s u r l e t e r r a i n de l a p h i l o s o p h i e de l ' h i s t o i r e et sur c e l u i des t h e o r i e s s c i e n t i f i q u e s , c o n t r a d i c t i o n e n t r e 1e p r o g r e s e t l a d e c a d e n c e , c o n t r a d i c t i o n e n t r e l e s l o i s de 1 ' e v o l u t i o n n i s m e e t e e l l e s de l a t h e r m o d y n a m i q u e : en un mot, e n t r e 1'evolution et 1'entropie. ( G a i l l a r d , 279) The r e s o l u t i o n i s never more than an attempt, however; as I have i n d i c a t e d , Verne's work s u b s c r i b e s to the dominant ideology w h i l s t remaining c r i t i c a l of i t s p r e t e n s i o n s . Thus, i n Voyage au c e n t r e de l a t e r r e , the centre i s never found: 78 the j o u r n e y i s 'completed', but i t s o b j e c t i v e has not been r e a c h e d . The d o c t r i n e o f p o s i t i v i s m , w h i c h has been c o n s t i t u t e d w i t h i n t he terms o f an i d e o l o g y o f s c i e n c e ( s c i e n t i s m ) , i s only c e l e b r a t e d i n so f a r as i t s l i m i t a t i o n s a r e r e c o g n i z e d . Moreover, i t i s suggested t h a t the a n t i -m e t a p h y s i c a l b i a s of p o s i t i v i s t i c thought p r e v e n t s i t from a d d r e s s i n g q u e s t i o n s which might undermine or a t l e a s t p r o b l e m a t i z e i t s procedures of v e r i f i c a t i o n , that i s to say, q u e s t i o n s o f ( p r e ) v e r b a l o r i g i n , the p s y c h o l o g y o f the unconscious, and the existence of God. By t h e e n d o f t h e n i n e t e e n t h c e n t u r y , s u c h e p i s t e m o l o g i c a l i n s e c u r i t i e s have tended to assume the s t a t u s of c r i s e s or i r r e s o l v a b l e c o n t r a d i c t i o n s . Man's s t r u g g l e to conquer Nature through a p h y s i c a l and v e r b a l mastery of h i s environment i s r e i n t e r p r e t e d as an attempt to overcome h i s own d u a l i t y ; as Michel Foucault puts i t : 'L'homme n'a pas pu se dessiner comme une c o n f i g u r a t i o n dans l'episteme, sans que l a pensee decouvre en meme temps, a l a f o i s en s o i et hors de s o i , dans ses marges mais a u s s i b i e n e n t r e c r o i s e s a v e c sa p r o p r e t r a m e , une p a r t de n u i t , une epa i s s e u r apparemment i n e r t e ou e l l e est engagee, un impense q u ' e l l e c o n t i e n t de bout en bout, mais ou au s s i bien e l l e se trouve p r i s e . L'impense(quel que s o i t l e nom qu'on l u i donne) n'est pas loge en 1'homme comme une nature r e c r o q u e v i l l e e ou une h i s t o i r e q u i s'y s e r a i t s t r a t i f i e e , c ' e s t , par r a p p o r t a l'homme, L ' A u t r e : 1'Autre f r a t e r n e l et jumeau, ne non pas de l u i , n i en l u i , mais a co t e et en meme temps, dans une identique nouveaute, dans une d u a l i t e sans recours.' (Foucault, 337) 79 In one sense, the f r a c t u r e d topography of Conrad's f i c t i o n m o d i f i e s and updates Verne's uncentred topology; i n another sense, i t c o n s t i t u t e s the p r i n c i p l e of a l i e n a t i o n which had always, a t l e a s t i m p l i c i t l y , underpinned the procedures of p o s i t i v i s t d o c t r i n e . 2 The conversion of Nature i n t o landscape can no longer be considered as a p r i v i l e g i n g of the c u l t u r a l agency; on the c o n t r a r y , i t emphasizes the d u a l i t y ( t h e f r a c t u r e d i d e n t i t y ) of the c u l t u r a l agent. The o p p o s i t i o n s i n h e r e n t i n Verne's ideology of science are r e l o c a t e d w i t h i n an o n t o l o g y o f t h e s u b j e c t ; t h e a t t e m p t t o subsume a ( p o s i t i v i s t i c ) 'science of nature' w i t h i n a (phenomenological) ' s c i e n c e of the s p i r i t ' , t o use H u s s e r l ' s t e r m s , 3 merely u n d e r l i n e s the i m p o s s i b i l i t y of ' o b j e c t i v e ' v e r i f i c a t i o n , on one hand, and the u n c e r t a i n t y of ' s u b j e c t i v e ' enquiry, on the ot h e r : the f i g u r e of Man, cl a i m s F o u c a u l t , can t h e r e f o r e be s i t u a t e d at the j u n c t u r e o f e m p i r i c a l and t r a n s c e n d e n t a l i n c i d e n c e s as a k i n d of 'doublet e m p i r i c o - t r a n s c e n d a n t a l ' (Foucault, 329) . The p o s i t i v i s t - i n s p i r e d geography of Verne's f i c t i o n i s a d j u s t e d i n Conrad's to a phenomenological 'geography of the mind', which s e r v e s at once as a c r i t i q u e o f p o s i t i v i s t d o c t r i n e and as a reminder of, c i t i n g Ian Watt: 'the dangers i n the attempt to make t e c h n o l o g i c a l and e v o l u t i o n a r y optimism a f u n c t i o n a l s u b s t i t u t e f o r more t r a d i t i o n a l views of the s o c i a l and moral order' (Watt, 163). On the other hand, the experience of space and place i n Conrad's work suggests that the d e s i r e f o r p l a c e which, to a l a r g e e x t e n t , conforms t o 80 such ' t r a d i t i o n a l ' views, i s a consequence of p l a c e l e s s n e s s ; t h a t i s t o s a y , the n o t i o n s o f s o c i a l , p o l i t i c a l , and l i n g u i s t i c u n i t y on which t r a d i t i o n a l h i e r a r c h i e s of order are p r e d i c a t e d a r e undermined to such a degree by a n t i - s o c i a l b e h a v i o u r , p o l i t i c a l u n r e s t and l i n g u i s t i c d u p l i c i t y t h a t t h e i r s u p p o s i t i o n becomes l i t t l e more than a 'saving i l l u s i o n ' (Conrad, HOD, 159), a consoling f i c t i o n . In summary, the l i t e r a r y geography of Joseph Conrad and J u l e s Verne provides an outstanding example of the p o s s i b i l i t y of s p a t i a l i z i n g ( p l o t t i n g the s p a t i a l dimensions of) the human c o n d i t i o n . Thus, w h i l s t geography i s a ' t e x t u a l ' a c t i v i t y w h i c h a l l o w s us t o i n v e s t i g a t e t h e c o m p l e x i t i e s o f the r e a d i n g / w r i t i n g p r o c e s s , i t i s a l s o a f u n c t i o n of 'human s p a t i a l i t y ' , w h i c h a s k s us t o c o n s i d e r q u e s t i o n s o f p s y c h o l o g i c a l m o t i v a t i o n , s o c i o - p o l i t i c a l s t r a t e g y and the h i s t o r i c a l ( e p i s t e m o l o g i c a l ) circumstances under which such motivations and s t r a t e g i e s operate. L i t e r a r y geography i s t h e r e f o r e a p p l i c a b l e to a wide v a r i e t y of c r i t i c a l p r a c t i c e s . I t remains, then, to r e i t e r a t e i t s c e n t r a l concerns and the d i r e c t i o n s i t might take towards becoming - i f not an a c c e p t a b l e d i s c i p l i n e such a s , f o r example, l i t e r a r y h i s t o r y - then at l e a s t a more systematic f i e l d of i n t e r - d i s c i p l i n a r y e n q u i r y . F i r s t and fo r e m o s t , l i t e r a r y geography i n v o l v e s a r e c o n s i d e r a t i o n of s p a t i a l terms and the assumptions on which they are based (space, p l a c e , n a t u r e , landscape, e t c . ) . T h i s r e c o n s i d e r a t i o n , b e n e f i t t i n g f r o m t h e work o f g e o g r a p h i c a l t h e o r i s t s and t h e w i d e r 81 h i s t o r i c a l context of geographic thought, i n e v i t a b l y widens the focus of c r i t i c a l enquiry from aspects of s p a t i a l form or s p a t i a l r e p r e s e n t a t i o n to q u e s t i o n s of s p a t i a l p e r c e p t i o n , experience and transformation. The study of space, i n other words, a l s o i n v o l v e s the study of s p a t i a l behaviour w i t h i n the te x t (as f u n c t i o n s of p l o t , character, etc.) and between tex t and reader (as f u n c t i o n s of n a r r a t i v e s t r a t e g y , manipulation of response, e t c . ) . S p a t i a l behaviour r e f e r s at once to a g e o g r a p h y of t h e mind, i n w h i c h t h e r e l a t i o n b e t w een topography and p e r s o n a l i t y may be examined, and to a geography of ideas, i n which the r e l a t i o n between the n o v e l i s t and the novel-reader as p u t a t i v e 'geographers' of the text n e c e s s a r i l y i n v o l v e s i s s u e s of p o l i t i c s and ideology. L i t e r a r y geography, t h e r e f o r e , includes i n i t s a n a l y s i s the v a r i a n t r e l a t i o n s between space and s o c i e t y , space and c u l t u r e , space and e p i s t e m o l o g y . I t i s s u r e l y worthy of greater c o n s i d e r a t i o n than the p r a c t i c e of l i t e r a r y c r i t i c i s m has so f a r allowed. 82 NOTES (Intr o d u c t i o n ) !See Pocock (ed.) (1981) and Lowenthal (1976). 2See Tuan (1974) I n t r o d u c t i o n . 3See my Chapter Two; a l s o Sauer's essay 'The Morphology of Landscape' i n L e i g h l y (ed.) (1963) 315-50, and Rose's essay 'Human Geography as Text I n t e r p r e t a t i o n ' i n B u t t i m e r and Seamon (eds.) (1980), 123-34. 4See Eagleton (1976), 34-5. 5 S e e B a c h e l a r d ' s n o t i o n o f p o e t i c s p a c e s i n t h e i n t r o d u c t o r y chapter of Bachelard (1957). 83 NOTES (Chapter One) ^ o r a d e t a i l e d p r e s e n t a t i o n of t h i s argument, see Said (1983). 2Nb. Relph's d e f i n i t i o n of p l a c e l e s s n e s s which 'describes b o t h an e n v i r o n m e n t w i t h o u t s i g n i f i c a n t p l a c e s and the un d e r l y i n g a t t i t u d e which does not acknowledge s i g n i f i c a n c e i n p l a c e s ' (Relph, 143). 3See the r e f e r e n c e to Conrad's compulsive, ' t o t a l i z i n g ' d i s c o u r s e i n Said (1986). 4 N a i p a u l ' s views on Conrad are s u c c i n c t l y expressed i n h i s essay, 'Conrad's Darkness', Naipaul (1980), 205-228. 5See p a r t i c u l a r l y Chapter 8 i n Tuan (1974); Chapter 2 i n Bachelard (1957). 6See Barthes (1957), 'le gout du navire est toujours j o i e de s'enfermer p a r f a i t e m e n t , de t e n i r sous sa main l e p l u s g r a n d nombre p o s s i b l e d ' o b j e t s , de d i s p o s e r d'un e s p a c e absolument f i n i ' , (92). 7A u s e f u l comparison can be made between the f o l l o w i n g : S e r r e s (1974), 11-17; Bachelard (1957) esp. chapter on the phenomenology of roundness; Poulet, (1961) esp. i n t r o d u c t i o n . 8 C f . B a r t h e s (1957) 90, and S e r r e s (1974) 'Table des manieres', 287-291. 9 T h i s development i s we l l traced i n Chesneaux (1971) and Evans (1965). 84 NOTES (Chapter Two) ^ o r the former c o n n e c t i o n , see S a i d (1983); f o r the l a t t e r , see Headrick (1981). . 2 F o r a u s e f u l essay e x p l o r i n g d i s c u r s i v e p r a c t i c e s i n c o l o n i a l f i c t i o n , see Brahms (1982). S p e c i f i c to Conrad, see a l s o Bhabha (1983). 3 F o r a s u c c i n c t statement of Rose's approach, see the essay 'Human Geography as Text I n t e r p r e t a t i o n ' i n Buttimer, A. and Seamon, D. (eds.) (1980) 123-34. 4See Said (1986): 'Heart of Darkness works so e f f e c t i v e l y p r e c i s e l y because i t s p o l i t i c s and a e s t h e t i c s , so to speak, ar e i m p e r i a l i s t , and t h a t , by the time t h a t Conrad wrote, seemed an a t t i t u d e that was i n e v i t a b l e and f o r which t h e r e could be no a l t e r n a t i v e ... there i s no use l o o k i n g f o r non-i m p e r i a l i s t a l t e r n a t i v e s i n a s y s t e m t h a t has s i m p l y e l i m i n a t e d , and made unt h i n k a b l e , a l l other a l t e r n a t i v e s to i t ' (49) . 5See Eco's and I s e r ' s comments on the n e g o t i a t i o n of t e x t u a l absences as an i n t e g r a l part of the reading process i n H i 11 i s M i l l e r , J . (ed.) (1971 ) 1-45 , Eco (1979 ) e s p . i n t r o d u c t i o n . See a l s o Eagleton's n o t i o n that the c r i t i c a l r e ader 'speaks the s i l e n c e s ' of a t e x t i n E a g l e t o n (1976). 'I t i s i n the s i g n i f i c a n t s i l e n c e s of a t e x t , i n i t s gaps and absences, that the presence of ideology can be most p o s i t i v e l y f e l t . I t i s these s i l e n c e s which the c r i t i c must make speak. The t e x t i s , as i t were, i d e o l o g i c a l l y f o r b i d d e n to say c e r t a i n t h i n g s ' (34). 6 C f . Eagleton (1976) 34-5. 7See the s e m i o l o g i c a l approach taken by Jacques Darras i n Darras (1982). For a more polemical reading of the 'Signs of Empire', read Raskin (1971). 8See DeMille (1986) 73. 9 T h e r e i s a r e c o g n i t i o n (and c r i t i q u e ) i n H e a r t o f  D a r k n e s s o f t h e map's f u n c t i o n as p r o p a g a n d a . F o r a f a s c i n a t i n g essay on t h i s t o p i c , see Quam (1943) or , more r e c e n t l y , P h i l i p Muehrcke's essay on the f u n c t i o n of the map i n l i t e r a t u r e (which r e f e r s b r i e f l y to Heart of Darkness), Muehrcke (1974). 1 0 N i e t z s c h e ' s attack on the premises of s i g n i f i c a t i o n i s h i g h l y r e l e v a n t to Conrad's work as a whole. For a b r i e f summary of the r e l e v a n c e of N i e t z s c h e to Conrad, see Watt (1980), Chapter 4, s e c t i o n v, c. 85 n S e e 'Watt (1980) 155-7; Chesneaux (1971) esp. chapter 6; O'Hanlon (1984). 1 2 V e r n e , l i k e Conrad, appears t o have been at once a t t r a c t e d to and r e p e l l e d by the e v o l u t i o n a r y t h e o r i e s of h i s day. For an essay which sheds l i g h t on t h i s ambivalence, see G a i l l a r d (1979). 1 3See Watt (1980) 161-7. 1 4 I t i s i n t e r e s t i n g to note the i n f l u e n c e of Schopenhauer (e . g . the world as w i l l and idea) and N i e t z s c h e (e.g. the n o t i o n of the w i l l t o power) on i m p e r i a l i s t i c n o t i o n s of geography i n the l a t e n i n e t e e n t h century (see my c o n c l u d i n g c h a p t e r ) . 1 5See ( s p e c i f i c a l l y ) Watt (1980) ch. 4, s e c t , i v , a; ( g e n e r a l l y ) Kronegger (1973). 1 6 C f . A x e l ' s e x c l a m a t i o n ' F o l i e s u r t o u t de p r e t e n d r e a t t e n d r e l e c e n t r e du g l o b e ! ' (Verne, VCT, 130) and, i n another of the Voyages e x t r a o r d i n a i r e s , Hatteras'' a c t u a l lapse i n t o i n s a n i t y a f t e r r e a c h i n g the p o l e : Verne (1978) Les  Av e n t u r e s du c a p i t a i n e h a t t e r a s . The i s s u e of madness i s taken up i n Butor (1960). 1 7 F o r an e x p l a n a t i o n of the f i c t i o n - e f f e c t of Verne's n a r r a t i v e s (with s p e c i f i c reference to L ' l l e mysterieuse), see Macherey (1966). For Macherey, as f o r E a g l e t o n , the de-c e n t r e d t e x t i l l u s t r a t e s the l i m i t a t i o n s of the i d e o l o g y w i t h i n which i t i s w r i t t e n ( c f . Eagleton (1976) 75). 1 8 F o r a u s e f u l , i f c o n t e s t a b l e , summary o f p o s t -s t r u c t u r a l i s t n o t i o n s of misreading, see C u l l e r (1982), esp. 3, Readers and Reading. 1 9See Watt's b r i e f d i s c u s s i o n of Arthur Lovejoy's The  Great Chain of Being i n Watt (1980) 155-6. 2 0See Foucault (1966) . 86 NOTES (Chapter Three) *Cf. G r i f f i t h T a y l o r ' s d e f i n i t i o n , ' g e o p o l i t i c s views space from the standpoint of the s t a t e ' , i n Taylor (1960) 263. 2See my Chapter Two. 3 C f . Conrad's image of the f o r t r e s s / s t r o n g h o l d / b u t p o s t and C h a r l e s Fawcett's i n Taylor (ed.) (1960). 'Every empire has a t i t s h e a r t a g e o g r a p h i c a l base, a n u c l e a r a r e a ... i m p e r i a l power i s fundamentally dependent on a base of t h i s type - a base at once adequate to the demands on i t , secure from h o s t i l e i n v a s i o n , and i n c o n t r o l of communication with the areas where the i m p e r i a l power i s to be exerted' (Fawcett, 419). 4 S e e Jameson ( 1 9 8 1 ) , e s p . C h a p t e r 5, 'Romance and R e i f i c a t i o n : P l o t C o n s t r u c t i o n and I d e o l o g i c a l C l o s u r e i n Joseph Conrad' 206-80. 5One of the books Jim takes w i t h him everywhere i s a complete Shakespeare. I t i s q u i t e p o s s i b l e to consider Lord  Jim w i t h i n the i n t e r t e x t u a l framework of romantic tragedy; one avenue of i n q u i r y i s the comparison between Conrad's and S h a k e s p e a r e ' s d u a l i s t i c c o n c e p t i o n s . o f p e r s o n a l i t y ( b u t t e r f l y / b e e t l e , angel/beast etc.) i n , f o r example, Hamlet and The Tempest. Patusan (the state) and Patusan (the i s l a n d ) can be seen i n t h i s sense as 'pure e x e r c i s e s of [ l i t e r a r y ] imagination' (Conrad, LJ, 282) and the i n h a b i t a n t s as 'people i n a book' (Conrad, LJ, 260). 6The s i m i l a r i t i e s between the l a s t s e c t i o n of Lord Jim and H e a r t of Darkness, w r i t t e n contemporaneously^ a r e of course more than c o i n c i d e n t a l . 71 am indebted f o r much of my argument here to Macherey's treatment of L ' l l e mysterieuse i n Macherey (1966). 8See Chesneaux (1971). 9See Verne (1978), l e Tour du monde en 80 j o u r s . 1 0 S e e Achebe's n o t o r i o u s essay 'An Image of A f r i c a ' , which l a m b a s t s H e a r t of Darkness as ' d e p l o r a b l e ' and i t s a u t h o r as a ' r a c i s t ' , Achebe (1977) 782-794. A l t h o u g h Achebe's r e a c t i o n i s overstated, h i s a r t i c l e demonstrates the f a l l a c i e s of ' u n i v e r s a l i s t ' c r i t i c i s m s of Heart of Darkness by showing, f i r s t , that u n i v e r s a l i t y i s a Western ( E u r o c e n t r i c ) phenomenon and, second, that Conrad does devalue T h i r d World c u l t u r e by u s i n g i t as a reverse image of European c u l t u r e . See a l s o , i n t h i s context, Said (1986) 45-64, i n c l u d i n g the f o l l o w i n g d i s c u s s i o n , p a r t i c u l a r l y Said's r e f u t a t i o n of Conor C r u i s e O 'Brien's defence of Heart of Darkness as an a n t i -i m p e r i a l i s t i c work. 87 NOTES (Conclusion) !See Husserl (1965). 2See Kolakowski (1968) esp. c o n c l u s i o n . 3 , T h e n a t u r a l s c i e n c e s g i v e merely the appearance of h a v i n g b r o u g h t n a t u r e t o a p o i n t where f o r i t s e l f i t i s r a t i o n a l l y known. 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