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Africa wrote Graham Greene will always be the Africa in the Victorian atlas the blank unexplored continent in the shape of the human heart The African heart described by Greene acquired a new layer of meaning when Conrad portrayed the Congo under King Leopold as the Heart of Darkness a place where barbarism triumphs over humanity nature over technology biology over culture id over super ego McLynn ix The unknown and uncharted topography of the African continent first beckoned Conrads narrator Marlow into its depths in his boyhood Now when I was a little chap I had a passion for maps I would look for hours at South America or Africa or Australia and lose myself in all the glories of exploration Conrad 5 When Marlow was grown and Africa was no longer a blank space on the map but rather a place of darkness there was still one river there that drew him especially a mighty big river that you could see on the map resembling an immense snake uncoiled with its head in the sea its body at rest curving afar over a vast country and its tail lost in the depths of the land Conrad 5-6 This same deep place that had seduced Conrads ivory hunting Kurtz into the horrors of its savage embrace had in 1890 lured Conrad himself into adventure that turned him from sailor to writer Smith 25 and severely effected his health for the rest of his life Conradv As the voyage up the Congo proved fateful for the development of Conrads narrator Marlow it was equally fateful for Conrads individuation as he reflects in his letters Before the Congo I was just a mere animal Jean-Aubrey 141 Hillman in Notes on White Supremacy reminds us that like Conrad both Freud and Jung were called to venture into the shadowed continent and vestiges of their journeys still color our psychological language The convention informing geographical
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