Joseph Conrad [Free Summary] Heart of Darkness – Kindle & PDF


REVIEW Heart of Darkness

Heart of Darkness

Erry boat captain Although his job was to transport ivory downriver Charlie develops an interest in investing an ivory procurement agent Kurtz who is employed by the government Preceded by his reputation as a brilliant emissary of progress Kurtz has now established himself as a god among the n. Overrated Over hated Over analyzed Over referenced

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Heart of Darkness a novel by Joseph Conrad was originally a three part series in Blackwood's Magazine in 1899 It is a story within a story following a character named Charlie Marlow who recounts his adventure to a group of men onboard an anchored ship The story told is of his early life as a f. First of all get this straight Heart of Darkness is one of those classics that you have to have read if you want to consider yourself a well educated adult Having watched Apocalypse Now doesn t count if anything it ups the ante since that means you have to think about the similarities and differences for example contrast and compare the US involvement in Vietnam with the Belgian rule over the Congo Actually uite an intriguing and provocative uestion The prose can feel turgid but perhaps it may help to know that English was Conrad s third language His second was French and that lends a lyric uality which once accomodated can draw you into the mood of the story Once you get used to that this is a very easy book to read tremendously shorter than Moby Dick for instance Even though it is so much easier to read this short novel shares with Moby Dick the distressing for many of us fact that it is heavily symbolic That is the reason it has such an important place in the literary canon it is very densely packed with philosophical uestions that fundamentally can t be answered Frankly I was trained as an engineer and have to struggle even to attempt to peer through the veils of meaning I m envious of the students in the Columbia class that David Denby portrays in his 1995 article in the New Yorker The Trouble with Heart of Darkness I wish I had been guided into this deep way of perceiving literature or music or art or life itself But most of us don t have that opportunity The alternate solution I chose when I checked this out of the library I also grabbed the Cliff s Notes I read the story then thought about it then finally read the Study Guide to see what I d missed What I found there was enough to trigger my curiosity so I also searched the internet for And there was uite a bit Like the nature of a framed narrative the actual narrator in Heart of Darkness isn t Marlow but some unnamed guy listening to Marlow talk And he stands in for us the readers such as when he has a pleasant perspective on the beautiful sunset of the Thames at the beginning of the story then at the end he has been spooked and sees it as leading into the heart of an immense darkness much as the Congo does in the story That symbolic use of darkness is a great example of what makes this book and others like it so great The immense darkness is simultaneously the real unknown of the jungle as well as the symbolic darkness that hides within the human heart But then it is also something that pervades society so the narrator has been made aware that London just upstream really should be understood to be as frightening as the Congo And the reader should understand that too The book is full of that kind of symbolism When Conrad was writing a much larger portion of the reading public would have received a classical liberal arts education and would have perceived that aspect of the book easier than most of us do today Yeah the book is so dense with this kind of symbolism it can be an effort But that is precisely the element that made the book a stunning success when it was written TS Elliot for example referred to it heavily in his second most famous poem The Hollow Men the poem s epigraph makes it explicit Mistah Kurtz he dead For of that connection see this short answer at stackexchange or track down a copy of this academic analysis An annotated copy of Elliot s poem here can be edifying too Not all of the symbolism worked for me For example my initial take on how evil was dealt with seemed anachronistic and naive Actually it felt a lot like Wilde s The Picture of Dorian Gray In both books the main character has inadvertently received license to fully explore their evil inclinations without the normal societal conseuences and yet they both pay the ultimate penalty for their lack of restraint But my perspective on evil was long ago captured by Hannah Arendt s conclusion after analyzing Eichmann evil is a banal absence of empathy it isn t some malevolent devilish force striving to seduce and corrupt us Certainly there are evil acts and evil people but nothing mystical or spiritual that captures and enslaves much less transforms us from Dr Jekyll into Mr Hyde Golding s Lord of the Flies examined the uestion but did it in a much modern manner I strongly recommend it If people aren t reminded by the constraints of civilization to treat others with respect then sometimes they ll become brutal and barbaric But is their soul somehow becoming sick and corrupted The uestion no longer resonates Even Conrad actually didn t seem too clear on that uestion These two uotes are both from Heart of Darkness don t they seem implicitly contradictory The belief in a supernatural source of evil is not necessary men alone are uite capable of every wickedness and Anything approaching the change that came over his features I have never seen before and hope never to see again Oh I wasn t touched I was fascinated It was as though a veil had been rent I saw on that ivory face the expression of sombre pride of ruthless power of craven terror of an intense and hopeless despair 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 than a breath The horror The horror The former denies any supernatural origin for evil but the latter alludes to the tragic results of a Faustian bargain Marlowe sold his soul to see what mortals should never witness After pondering the study guide I could see the allegorical content better The mystical side of Heart of Darkness isn t the only thing going on Like the kids rescued from the island after Lord of the Flies Marlow will forever be cognizant of how fragile civilized behavior can be and how easily some slip into brutality even those that have excellent motives and apparently unblemished characters This is why he tells this as a cautionary tale to his shipmates on the Thames Marlow also received a clear lesson on hypocrisy I hadn t seen how deeply The Company represented European hypocrisy Obviously The Company was purely exploitative and thus typical of imperialism but in subtle ways Conrad made it not just typical but allegorically representative One example Cliff mentions scares me just a bit in the offices of The Company in Brussels Marlow notices the strange sight of two women knitting black wool Conrad provides no explanation But recall your mythology the Fates spun out the thread that measured the lives of mere mortals In the story these are represented as women who work for The Company which has ultimate power over the mere mortals in Africa That s pretty impressive Conrad tosses in a tiny aside that references Greek or Roman or Germanic mythology and ties it both to imperialism as well as to the power that modern society has handed to corporations and uietly walks away from it How many other little tidbits are buried in this short book Frankly it seems kind of spooky The study guide also helped me understand what had been a major frustration of the book I thought that Conrad had skipped over too much leaving crucial information unstated Between Marlow s rescue of Kurtz and Kurtz s death there are only a few pages in the story but they imply that the two had significant conversations that greatly impressed Marlow that left Marlow awestruck at what Kurtz had intended had survived and had understood These impressions are what broke Marlow but we are never informed of even the gist of those conversations But Marlow isn t our narrator he is on the deck of a ship struggling to put into words a story that still torments him years after the events had passed Sometimes he can t convey what we want to know he stumbles he expresses himself poorly The narrator is like us just listening and trying to make sense out of it and gradually being persuaded of the horrors that must have transpired Addendum Conrad s Heart of Darkness was written in 1899 A critical event which allowed the tragedy portrayed here was the Berlin Conference of 1884 wikipedia where the lines that divided up Africa were tidied up and shuffled a bit by the white men of Europe no Africans were invited The BBC4 radio programme In Our Time covered the conference on 31 October 2013 Listen to it streaming here or download it as an MP3 here Forty three minutes of erudition will invigorate your synapses Oh if you liked that In Our Time episode here is the one they did on the book itself mp3

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Atives in “one of the darkest places on earth” Marlow suspects something else of Kurtz he has gone madA reflection on corruptive European colonialism and a journey into the nightmare psyche of one of the corrupted Heart of Darkness is considered one of the most influential works ever writt. 780 From 1001 Heart of Darkness Joseph ConradHeart of Darkness 1899 is a novella by Polish English novelist Joseph Conrad about a voyage up the Congo River into the Congo Free State in the heart of Africa by the story s narrator Charles Marlow Marlow tells his story to friends aboard a boat anchored on the River Thames This setting provides the frame for Marlow s story of his obsession with the ivory trader Kurtz which enables Conrad to create a parallel between the greatest town on earth and Africa as places of darkness 2002 1355 211 9 64 65 211 20 1365 184 1381 184 9647545168 1386 184 9789648940534 1373 190 9644481682 1389 1393 9789644481680 1394 123 9786001219733 1902 1355 05071399

  • Paperback
  • 188
  • Heart of Darkness
  • Joseph Conrad
  • English
  • 15 April 2017
  • 9781892295491

About the Author: Joseph Conrad

Joseph Conrad born Józef Teodor Konrad Korzeniowski was a Polish born English novelist who today is most famous for Heart of Darkness his fictionalized account of Colonial AfricaConrad left his native Poland in his middle teens to avoid conscription into the Russian Army He joined the French Merchant Marine and briefly employed himself as a wartime gunrunner He then began to work aboard



10 thoughts on “Heart of Darkness

  1. says:

    First of all get this straight Heart of Darkness is one of those classics that you have to have read if you want to consider yourself a well educated adult     Having watched Apocalypse Now doesn’t count — if anythin

  2. says:

    Proving yet again that doing a concept first will get you immortalized while doing it WELL will make you an unknown and forgotten writer at best I also learned that in Conrad's time people could drone on and on with metaphors and i

  3. says:

    Never in all my life has 100 little pages made me contemplate suicideviolent suicide i had to finish it i had no choice yay college every page was literally painfulam i supposed to feel sorry for him? because i don't i feel sorry for all of Africa getting invaded with dumbasses like this guy oh and in case you didn't get itthe heart of darkness is like this super deep megametaphor of all metaphors and in case

  4. says:

    From 1885 to 1908 an area in Africa now known as the Democratic Republic of the Congo then under the rule of King Leopold II of Belgiu

  5. says:

    “We live in the flicker may it last as long as the old earth keeps rolling But darkness was here yesterday”Marlow is not just a narrator or an alter ego of Conrad but a universal everyman timeless And that to me is the greatest appeal of this book it is timeless “Like a running blaze on a plain like a flash of lightning in the clouds We

  6. says:

    Overrated Over hated Over analyzed Over referenced

  7. says:

    780 From 1001 Heart of Darkness Joseph ConradHeart of Darkness 1899 is a novella by Polish English novelist Joseph Conrad about a voyage up the Congo River into the Congo Free State in the heart of Africa by the story's narrator Charles Marlow Marlow tells his story to friends aboard a boat anchored on the Riv

  8. says:

    It was a breathtaking read There are few books which make such a powerful impression as 'Heart of darkness' does Written than a century ago the book and its undying theme hold just as much significance even today Intense and compelling it looks into the darkest recesses of human nature Conrad takes the reader through a horrific tale in a very gripping voiceI couldn't say enough about Conrad's mastery of prose Not a single word

  9. says:

    I still don't know what I read hereI finished this book with one sort of word spinning around in my head eh?I read the whole book Every page every sentence every word And I couldn't tell you what it was about I think I must have read

  10. says:

    Revisiting The Heart of DarknessAfter passing past that Castle of EgoLaying siege on the very borders of MindWe entered the vast and bristling forestsOf that strange strange land that IdWhich doth divide the knowing wakingFrom the land of dreaming unknowingBut this way is much too hard to follow;And is harder even to describe to youWe are likely here to perishHere in these vast dense hinterlands;For these woods that w

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