1899, Vienna and the Congo: The Art of Darkness

Vassiliki Kolocotron

in The Edinburgh Companion to Twentieth-Century Literatures in English

Published by Edinburgh University Press

Published in print June 2006 | ISBN: 9780748620111
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780748651863 | DOI:
1899, Vienna and the Congo: The Art of Darkness

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This chapter examines the difficulties of moving towards the priorities of a new century, introducing Sigmund Freud and the growing interest in late nineteenth-century archaeology and ‘archaic heritage’. It then looks at the shift in priorities between the visible and ‘buried’ worlds. The chapter also examines the powers of empire and encounters with ‘semi-barbaric people’ in Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness. The wearing down of distinctions between barbarism and civilisation, reason and anarchy, and intelligence and instinct are discussed.

Keywords: Sigmund Freud; archaeology; archaic heritage; visible worlds; buried worlds; powers of empire; semi-barbaric people

Chapter.  6707 words. 

Subjects: Literary Studies (20th Century onwards)

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