Heart of Darkness, Joseph Conrad
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Joseph Conrad

Heart of Darkness

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Originally published serially as three-part story, Heart of Darkness is a short but thematically complex novel exploring colonialism, humanity, and what constitutes a savage society. Set in the Congo in Central Africa, the tale is told in the frame of the recollections of one Charles Marlow, a captain of an ivory steamer. Marlow’s search for the mysterious and powerful «first-class agent» Kurtz gives way to a nuanced and powerful commentary on the horrors of colonialism, called by some the most analyzed work at university-level instruction.
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Heart of Darkness, Joseph Conrad
Heart of Darkness, Joseph Conrad
Heart of Darkness, Joseph Conrad
Heart of Darkness, Joseph Conrad
Heart of Darkness, Joseph Conrad
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There are a lot of comments about this novel. For me it means a deep dive into the human soul where the true darkness stands.

Erik
Erikshared an impression6 months ago

There is a kind of writer that deserves to be read carefully. Conrad is one of them because of his aknowledgement of the human soul. But, also, he is a master of the language.

bothaj47
bothaj47shared an impression2 years ago
🔮Hidden Depths

The real Africa from Leopolds time.

But dark­ness was here yes­ter­day. Imag­ine the feel­ings of a com­man­der of a fine—what d’ye call ’em?—trireme in the Mediter­ranean, or­dered sud­denly to the north; run over­land across the Gauls in a hurry; put in charge of one of these craft the le­gionar­ies—a won­der­ful lot of handy men they must have been, too—used to build, ap­par­ently by the hun­dred, in a month or two, if we may be­lieve what we read. Imag­ine him here—the very end of the world, a sea the colour of lead, a sky the colour of smoke, a kind of ship about as rigid as a con­certina—and go­ing up this river with stores, or or­ders, or what you like. Sand­banks, marshes, forests, sav­ages—pre­cious lit­tle to eat fit for a civ­i­lized man, noth­ing but Thames wa­ter to drink. No Faler­nian wine here, no go­ing ashore. Here and there a mil­i­tary camp lost in a wilder­ness, like a nee­dle in a bun­dle of hay—cold, fog, tem­pests, dis­ease, ex­ile, and death—death skulk­ing in the air, in the wa­ter, in the bush. They must have been dy­ing like flies here. Oh, yes—he did it. Did it very well, too, no doubt, and with­out think­ing much about it ei­ther, ex­cept af­ter­wards to brag of what he had gone through in his time, per­haps. They were men enough to face the dark­ness. And per­haps he was cheered by keep­ing his eye on a chance of pro­mo­tion to the fleet at Ravenna by and by, if he had good friends in Rome and sur­vived the aw­ful cli­mate. Or think of a de­cent young cit­i­zen in a toga—per­haps too much dice, you know—com­ing out here in the train of some pre­fect, or tax-gath­erer, or trader even, to mend his for­tunes. Land in a swamp, march through the woods, and in some in­land post feel the sav­agery, the ut­ter sav­agery, had closed round him—all that mys­te­ri­ous life of the wilder­ness that stirs in the for­est, in the jun­gles, in the hearts of wild men. There’s no ini­ti­a­tion ei­ther into such mys­ter­ies. He has to live in the midst of the in­com­pre­hen­si­ble, which is also de­testable. And it has a fas­ci­na­tion, too, that goes to work upon him. The fas­ci­na­tion of the abom­i­na­tion—you know, imag­ine the grow­ing re­grets, the long­ing to es­cape, the pow­er­less dis­gust, the sur­ren­der, the hate.”
He paused.
“Mind,” he be­gan again, lift­ing one arm from the el­bow, the palm of the hand out­wards, so that, with his legs folded be­fore him, he had the pose of a Bud­dha preach­ing in Euro­pean clothes and with­out a lo­tus-flower—“Mind, none of us would feel ex­actly like this. What saves us is ef­fi­ciency—the de­vo­tion to ef­fi­ciency. But these chaps were not much ac­count, re­ally. They were no colonists; their ad­min­is­tra­tion was merely a squeeze, and noth­ing more, I sus­pect. They were con­querors, and for that you want only brute force—noth­ing to boast of, when you have it, since your strength is just an ac­ci­dent aris­ing from the weak­ness of oth­ers.
This sim­ply be­cause I had a no­tion it some­how would be of help to that Kurtz whom at the time I did not see—you un­der­stand. He was just a word for me. I did not see the man in the name any more than you do. Do you see him? Do you see the story? Do you see any­thing? It seems to me I am try­ing to tell you a dream—mak­ing a vain at­tempt, be­cause no re­la­tion of a dream can con­vey the dream-sen­sa­tion, that com­min­gling of ab­sur­dity, sur­prise, and be­wil­der­ment in a tremor of strug­gling re­volt, that no­tion of be­ing cap­tured by the in­cred­i­ble which is of the very essence of dreams. …”
He was silent for a while.
“… No, it is im­pos­si­ble; it is im­pos­si­ble to con­vey the life-sen­sa­tion of any given epoch of one’s ex­is­tence—that which makes its truth, its mean­ing—its sub­tle and pen­e­trat­ing essence. It is im­pos­si­ble. We live, as we dream—alone. …”
Hun­ters for gold or pur­suers of fame, they all had gone out on that stream, bear­ing the sword, and of­ten the torch, mes­sen­gers of the might within the land, bear­ers of a spark from the sa­cred fire.
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