Modernity’s new man was a landlubber. He charted the oceans but set up camp on “an island, enclosed by nature itself within unalterable limits. It is the land of truth–enchanting name!–surrounded by a wide and stormy ocean, the native home of illusion, where many a fog bank and many a swiftly melting iceberg give the deceptive appearance of further shores, deluding the adventurous seafarer”. There is plenty beyond its shores: madness, fate, the ship of fools.
“One thing at least is certain: water and madness have long been linked in the dreams of European man.” He is always haunted by the fear that things might slip back into “the river with its thousand arms, the sea with its thousand roads, to that great uncertainty external to everything.”
Sadie Plant, Zeroes and Ones, p.250