Merleau-Ponty’s Doubt: The Wild of Nothing
Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness’ was published serially in Blackwood‘s’ Magazine in 1899. At that time Paul Cézanne, in his last years at Aix-en-Provence, was beginning Les Grandes Baigneuses, with its anxious nudes playing on the border of earth and blue air — figures we will see again, in fact, in the young Picasso. Unlike Picasso, Cézanne rarely painted from a model. He mistrusted women, as did Conrad’s protagonist, Marlowe, who thought they were “out of touch with truth,” living in a world of their own “too beautiful altogether,” which, like the shallow spectacle in the Impressionist’s eye, “would go to pieces before the first sunset” (C, 27).
KeywordsVisible World Personal Impression Hero Journey Chief Accountant Roman Legionnaire
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- 1.Joseph Conrad, Heart of Darkness, A Casebook in Contemporary Criticism (New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1989), hereafter cited as C.Google Scholar
- 2.Maurice Merleau-Ponty, “Cézanne’s Doubt,” in Sense and Non-Sense, translated by Hubert L. Dreyfus and Patricia A. Dreyfus (Evanston: Northwestern University Press, 1964), hereafter cited as SNS.Google Scholar