This essay argues that Joseph Conrad's Nostromo (1904) employs a unique form of spectral narrativity, which operates at a textual level but also penetrates the world of the novel, in performing a self-contained ideology critique that overhauls the contemporaneous Marxist notion of ideology as false consciousness and anticipates late twentieth-century conceptions of ideology and ideology critique that emerge from the Althusserian tradition, most notably that advanced by Slavoj Žižek in his influential essay "The Spectre of Ideology" (1994). It shows that Nostromo's characters are ideologically constituted as subjects through processes of interpellation that reproduce their submission to existing power structures and reveals how the Costaguanan people participate in their own subjugation by perpetuating an imperialist ideology that is thinly veiled as religious parable. In doing so, it demonstrates how the novel lays bare (a la Žižek) the ways in which ideology can be critiqued from within.


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pp. 359-377
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