• Simon Clarke


It is well-known that Conrad’s (1902) Heart of Darkness has a deeply psychoanalytic alter-ego. Initially Conrad’s work seems an adventure which unfurled into a critique of the cruelty, greed and senseless barbarity of colonialism in which ‘white’ is the root of all evil in darkness. A further reading reveals a very different journey — a journey into the unconscious, the unknown, the heart of darkness. Of imaginary fears and enemies, of phantasy. It is both a journey into our psychological prehistory and, as O’Prey (1983) argues, ‘the darkness is a deeply suppressed inner anarchy which is impossible to comprehend, or explain and better not to imagine’ (1983: 22). I would of course disagree that it is impossible to comprehend; an exploration of both inner and outer worlds has been central in this book and this disagreement has been fundamental in the writing of this work.


Social Theory Asylum Seeker Projective Identification Outer World Racist Discourse 
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© Simon Clarke 2003

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  • Simon Clarke

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