Maps the fin de si+¿cle mission to open up the 'Dark Continent.' Although nineteenth-century map-makers imposed topographic definition upon a perceived geographical void, writers of Adventure fiction, and other colonial writers, continued to nourish the idea of a cartographic absence in their work. This study explores the effects of this epistemological blankness in fin de si+¿cle literature, and its impact upon early Modernist culture, through the emerging discipline of psychoanalysis and the debt that Freud owed to African exploration. The chapters examine: representations of Black Africa in missionary writing and Rider Haggard's narratives on Africa; cartographic tradition in Conrad's Heart of Darkness and Jung's Memories, Dreams, Reflections; and mesmeric fiction, such as Richard Marsh's The Beetle, Robert Buchanan's The Charlatan and George du Maurier's Trilby. As Robbie McLaughlan demonstrates, it was the late Victorian 'best-seller' which merged an arcane Central African imagery with an interest in psychic phenomena.
Re-Imagining the 'Dark Continent' in Fin de Si+¬cle Literature
Edinburgh University Press
Edinburgh Critical Studies in Victorian Culture