It is a truism among historians, sociologists, and anthropologists that, in the West, the advent of modern technologies of travel and communication led to an “overcoming of distance” and even a gradual “annihilation of space and time”. Whereas turn-of-the-century geographers like George R. Parkin and H. J. Mackinder suggest that this is also true for much of the non-Western world, Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness dramatizes the Congo region as an “other space” that, although no longer white on the map, resists European attempts at empire-building and economic-technological expansion. Conrad's work shows that the perception of distance depends not only on the actual advances in travel and communication technologies, but also – and perhaps more importantly – on the construction of “imaginative geographies”. Around 1900, Central Africa was both spatially and temporarily distanced; it represented a different state of cultural development – a chronotope not (yet) part of the global network.
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Reisen durch Raum und Zeit: Joseph Conrads Heart of Darkness und die Vernetzung der Welt um 1900
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Online erschienen: 2008-12-16
Erschienen im Druck: 2008-December