Published online by Cambridge University Press: 15 January 2021
Early on in The Fractal Geometry of Nature, Benoit Mandelbrot foregrounds the western coast of Britain as a paradigmatic instance of a fractal object in nature, combining pattern with irregularity at ever-diminishing levels of scales. That emblematic status is curiously anticipated by the land's-end vision from Snowdon which closes Wordsworth’s Prelude. Criticism has long recognized the totalizing function of the ascent of Snowdon. This essay seeks to emphasize the way in which it interrupts the narrative process it recapitulates and to connect that interruption with the irregularity or fractiousness of fractal form.