Joseph Conrad\'s 1899 novel is primarily narrated by Charlie Marlow, a uniquely wise and talkative seaman, as he recounts his experiences as a steamship captain on expedition through the expanses of the Congo River basin. Enthralled by the opportunity to explore the wilds of this huge, winding river, Marlow signs on with a French trading company that claims several stations along the Congo from which they export ivory. Many of the people he meets along the way serve as a reminder of the consequences of human greed and suffering since so many are enticed by the opportunity for wealth, even at the expense of themselves and others. Perhaps the most driven and \'gifted\' of these people is the mysterious Mr. Kurtz, a trade agent for the company who has penetrated farther into the African wilderness than anyone before him. Marlow discovers that his primary assignment is to take the steamship upriver in an attempt to find and retrieve this valuable company asset, or what may be left of him. Along the way he is stunned to find that the rules of civilization seem to be reversed out in the bush: the Europeans who would attest the highest level of social awareness often behave more savagely than any of the natives. When Marlow at last reaches Mr. Kurtz, he is found to be in poor physical and mental condition. His physical ailments can be accounted for by some exotic illness he has contracted; however, the most damaging aspect of the agent\'s condition is the product of his own madness - his own unwavering desire for power and notoriety. Enfeebled by his ordeals and personal drives, Mr. Kurtz dies during the trek back downriver, but not before Marlow realizes that even someone as supposedly remarkable as the former agent still stands the chance of being lost to his own heart of darkness. ............................................................................................................................................ IN 1940, THE YEAR of his death, Walter Benjamin completed his "Theses on the Philosophy of History." Amongst these visionary and aphoristic theses is the well-worn comment that "There is no document of civilization which is not at the same time a document of barbarism" (1968: 256). Civilization, that self-proclaimed pinnacle of any era\'s political, intellectual, and social achievement, contains constitutive/)/ that which it projects into the past: yesterday\'s barbarism is supposedly left behind on the road of History. Benjamin allows the object of history, the "document of civilization," to speak its relation to a social totality from whence it came, marking a point that transcends time and space insofar as it enables us to consider the object without being restrained by time and space as they would impose their own orders, hierarchies, and limits. One such document that could very well have provided the grounding for Benjamin\'s insight is "Heart of Darkness," a document at the heart of which is the struggle over civilization and barbarism, and who commands the use of such terms. Literary critics - including, no doubt, the writer and reader - have traditionally placed this document amongst the heights of Western civilization and culture, and whose barbarism is categorically summed up as a certain - or perhaps uncertain - "horror." The image of the dying African continually appears throughout "Heart of Darkness." Indeed, Conrad\'s story takes us to the imperial project\'s condition of possibility: the disposable native. This disposabihty places the African in an economy of what we can today recognize as the biopolitical, a modernity that encounters the body in a dialectical play of life and death, self and Other, friend and enemy. In considering the confrontation with colonial biopolitics at the core of Conrad\'s novella, this essay argues that the native body is constructed as temporally prior to politics and thus able to be killed, a disposable object left to History. The purpose of this essay is to explore the dual movement that constructs the colonized body as prior to the temporal and political constitution of the present, a matrix of colonial power that operates at once temporally and biopolitically. We might begin, then, with Foucault, who briefly - and we might add inadequately - introduced the concept of bio-politics, in which his object of analysis was a historical shift in power and governmental rationality that actively sought to produce and distribute the knowledge and