4223 Supplementary Material


Seminar 1: Geopolitics

Halford Mackinder, “The Geographical Pivot of History” (1904)


“Thus the settled peoples of Europe lay gripped between two pressures—that of the Asiatic nomads from the east, and on the other three sides that of the pirates from the sea.”


“As we consider this rapid review of the broader currents of history, does not a certain persistence of geographical relationship become evident?  Is not the pivot region of the world’s politics that vast area of Euro-Asia which is inaccessible to ships, but in antiquity lay open to the horse-riding nomads, and is to-day about to be covered with a network of railways?  There have been and are here the conditions of a mobility of military and economic power of a far-reaching and yet limited character”


“May not this [the oversetting of the balance of power] in the end prove to be the strategical function of India in the British Imperial system?  Is not this the idea underlying Mr Amery’s conception that the British military front stretches from the Cape through India to Japan?”




Friedrich Ratzel, The Territorial Growth of States



“Civilisation constantly supplies new foundations and bonds by which the sections of a people may be built up into a connected whole, and increases the number of those who are knit together by a consciousness of their interdependence.  Ideas and material possessions spread out from small centres, and gradually extend their domains.  We see the close connection between religious and political expansions, but this is far surpassed by the immense influence of commerce, which not gives a mighty impulse to efforts of expansion.”


“Commerce and traffic hurry on far in advance of politics, which follow in their footsteps and are never sharply separated from them.  Peaceful intercourse is the condition of the growth of a state….Every route prepares the way for political influence, every waterway is a natural agent for state development, every confederation entrusts its traffic arrangements to the central power, every negro chief is the first, and if possible the only, trader in his land”





Seminar 2: Chronotope, Ideology, Machine

Mikhail Bakhtin, “Forms of Time and Chronotope in the Novel” (in Dialogic Imagination)


“In the literary artistic chronotope, spatial and temporal indicators are fused into one carefully thought-out, concrete whole.  Time, as it were, thickens, takes on flesh, becomes artistically visible; likewise, space becomes charged and responsive to the movements of time, plot and history.  This intersection of axes and fusion of indicators characterizes the artistic chronotope.”


e.g. 1: the Greek “adventure novel of ordeal” with its “adventure-time”; it “lacks any natural, everyday cyclicity—such as might have introduced into it a temporal order and indices on a human scale...No matter where one goes in the world of the Greek romance, with all its countries and cities, its buildings and works of art, there are absolutely no indications of historical time, no identifying traces of the era.”  An “empty time”


 e.g. 2: the “adventure novel of everyday life” (Roman satires, early Christian writings e.g. hagiographies).  Expresses “the unity of the theogonic process, fo the historical process, of nature and of agricultural life”.  Not the “biographical life” of the hero, but “only one or two moments that decide the fate of a man’s life and determine its entire disposition”.   

Fits the main theme, which is that “The series of adventures that the hero undergoes does not result in a simple affirmation of his identity,but rather in the construction of a new image of the hero, a man who is now purified and reborn.”


E.g. 3: The “Rabelaisian chronotope,” with its “extraordinary spatial and temporal expanses that leap at us”; “the re-creation of a spatially and temporally adequate world able to provide a new chronotope for a new, whole and harmonious man, and for new forms of human communication.”




Deleuze and Guattari, Anti-Oedipus


“Everywhere it is machines—real ones, not figurative ones: machines driving other machines, machines being driven by other machines, with all the necessary couplings and connections. An organ-machine is plugged into an energy-source-machine: the one produces a flow that the other interrupts.  The breast is a machine that produces milk, and the mouth a machine coupled to it.”


“Capitalism is in fact born of the encounter of two sorts of flows: the decoded flows of production in the form of money-capital, and the decoded flows of labor in the form of the ‘free worker.’  Hence, unlike previous social machines, the capitalist machine is incapable of providing a code that will apply to the whole of the social field.  By substituting money for the very notion of a code, it has created an axiomatic of abstract quantities that keep moving further and further in the direction of the deterritorialization of the socius.”


“Capitalism is the only social machine that is constructed on the basis of decoded flows, substituting for intrinsic codes an axiomatic of abstract quantities in the form of money.”


“The primitive territorial machine codes flows, invests organs, and marks bodies….”




Seminar 2/3: Moral/Spatial Containment in Victorian MC Novel


From George  Eliot’s Middlemarch:


“Miss Brooke had that kind of beauty which seems to be thrown into relief by poor dress.  Her hand and wrist were so finely formed that she could wear sleeves not less bare of style than those in which the Blessed Virgin appeared to Italian painters; and her profile as well as her stature and bearing seemed to gain the more dignity from her plain garments, which by the side of provincial fashion gave her the impressiveness of a fine quotation from the Bible, - or from one of our elder poets, - in a paragraph of to-day’s newspaper….the Brooke connections, though not exactly aristocratic, were unquestionably ‘good’: if you inquired backward for a generation or two, you would not find any yard-measuring or parcel-tying forefathers—anything lower than an admiral or a clergyman; and there was even an ancestor discernible as a Puritan gentleman who served under Cromwell…”



Many who knew her, thought it a pity that so substantive and rare a creature should have been absorbed into the life of another, and be only known in a certain circle as a wife and mother.  But no one stated exactly what else that was in her power she ought rather to have done—not even Sir James Chettam, who went no further than the negative prescription that she ought not to have married Will Ladislaw.


Her full nature, like that river of which Cyrus broke the strength, spent itself in channels which had no great name on earth.  But the effect of her being on those around her was incalculably diffusive: for the growing good of the world is partly dependent on unhistoric acts; and that things are not so ill with you and me as they might have been, is half owing to the number who lived faithfully a hidden life, and rest in unvisited tombs.






From Charles Dickens, Hard Times


“I ha’ fell into th’ pit, my dear, as have cost wi’in the knowledge o’ old fok now livin, hundreds and hundreds o’ men’s lives—fathers, sons, brothers, dear to thousands an’thousands, an’ keeping ‘em fro’ want and hunger...See how we die an’ no need, one way an’ another—in a muddle—every day!”

“...But in our judgments, like as in our doins, we mun bear and forbear.  In my pain an’ trouble, lookin up yonder,- wi’ it [a star] shinin on me—I ha’ seen more clear, and h’ made it my dyin prayer that aw th’ world may on’y coom together ore, an’ get a better unnerstan’in o’ one another, than when I were in ’t my own weak seln.”





William Hazlitt, “The Indian Jugglers”


“Coming forward and seating himself on the ground in his white dress and tightened turban, the chief of the Indian Jugglers begins with tossing up two brass balls, which is what any of us could do, and concludes with keeping up four at the same time, which is what none of us could do to save our lives, nor if we were to take out whole lives to do it in.  Is it then a trifling power we see at work, or is it not something next to miraculous?”


“It is the work of witchcraft, and yet sport for children.  Some of the other feats are quite as curious and wonderful…”




William Thackeray, Vanity Fair (1848)


“[Joseph Sedley] was in the East India Company’s Civil Service, and his name appeared, at the period of which we write, in the Bengal division of the East India Register, as collector of Boggley Wollah, and honorable and lucrative post, as everybody knows:…”


“Boggley Wollah is situated in a fine, lonely, marshy, jungly district, famous for snipe-shooting, and where not unfrequently you may flush a tiger.  Ramgunge, where there is a magistrate, is only forty miles off, and there is a cavalry station about thirty miles farther...He had lived for about eight years of his life, quite alone, at this charming place, scarcely seeing a Christian face except twice a year, when the detachment arrived to carry off the revenues which he had collected, to Calcutta.”



Charles Dickens, Dombey and Son (1848)


“’Where is my scoundrel?’ said the Major, looking wrathfully round the room.

The Native, who had no particular name, but answered to any vituperative epithet, presented himself instantly at the door and ventured to come no nearer.

‘You villain!’ said the choleric Major, ‘where’s the breakfast?’

The dark servant disappeared in search of it, and was quickly heard reascending the stairs in such a tremulous state, that the plates and dishes on the tray he carried, trembling sympathetically as he came, rattled again, all the way up.”


“Nor was the Major less exasperated as he dressed for dinner, during which operation the dark servant underwent the pelting of a shower of miscellaneous objects, varying in size from a boot to a hairbrush, and including everything that came within his master’s reach.”




Revision on “chronotope”



1.  The creation of a time-space experience in the novel/for the reader

2.  An anxiety or consciousness of a particular awareness of time/space (or several particular awarenesses of time/space, and how they relate to each other).

Hence (eg) “Adventurous chronotope”; “Detective chronotope”; “Bourgeois chronotope”; “rural chronotope”; “insular chronotope”

Time is not neutral/innocent, but is an awareness or consciousness of time: this will exhibit nuances/inflections, eg fragmentation; single vs multiple; competing; epic; episodic; subjective