I've previously mentioned the hyacinth garden analysis of P.K. Saha that
proposes that the hyacinth scene is a mix of Dante allusions to Inferno and
Paradiso. I came across a quote from Heart of Darkness might be interesting
in light of that analysis.
We know from the facsimile edition of TWL (and TSE letters) that the
original TWL epigraph was this quote from HOD:
(Marlow, speaking of Kurtz)
"Did he live his life again in every detail of desire, temptation, and
surrender during that supreme moment of complete knowledge? He cried in a
whisper at some image, at some vision, - he cried out twice, a cry that was
no more than a breath-
'The horror! the horror!' "
One page after this section, Marlow speaks the following:
"Droll thing life is - that mysterious arrangement of merciless logic for a
futile purpose. The most you can hope from it is some knowledge of yourself -
that comes too late - a crop of unextinguishable regrets. . . . He had
summed up -- he had judged. 'The horror!' He was a remarkable man. After
all, this was the expression of some sort of belief; it had candour, it had
conviction, it had a vibrating note of revolt in its whisper, it had the
appalling force of a glimpsed truth -- the strange commingling of desire and
It seems to me that "the strange commingling of desire and hate", that is,
self-hate over desires that God may disapprove of, echo the mix of Inferno
and Paradiso allusions that Saha has pointed out in the hyacinth passage.
-- Steve --