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Heart Of Darkness
by Joseph Conrad
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In HEART OF DARKNESS, Marlow, the narrator, undertakes both an outer and an inner journey. The outer journey takes him into the heart of Africa, where he encounters representatives of every colonial stripe. Performing the work instead of simply reading it, Scott Brick emphasizes this aspect of Conrad's classic, clearly conveying class differences and a range of foreign accents, as well as pidgin. Conrad's prose is dense and complex, but Brick delivers it smoothly and gracefully. However, Marlow's inner journey--during which he confronts the mysterious Mr. Kurtz--remains too distant and intellectualized to fully capture the emotional charge of the moment. G.T.B. © AudioFile 2003, Portland, Maine-- Copyright © AudioFile, Portland, Maine
The Times Literary Supplement
Goonetilleke's edition does much to restore the context (in which Conrad was writing)...
David Leon Highdon, General Editor, Conradia, 1973-1995
"this edition offers a bold and intelligent introduction to the book's aesthetics and philosophical challenges ... and deftly anticipates issues..."
"evenhanded... it connects Conrad palpably t the European colonization of the continent."
Craig Keating, Lankara College
"(this edition is) far better than anything else on the market today."
"This Broadview edition is well suited for our times and appropriate for a politically conscious and diverse readership."
The Times Literary Supplement
Goonetilleke's edition does much to restore the context (in which Conrad was writing) ...
David Leon Higdon, General Editor, Conradiana, 1973-1995
...this edition offers a bold and intelligent introduction to the book's aesthetic and philosophical challenges ... and deftly anticipates issues ...
evenhanded ... in connects Conrad palpably to the European colonization of the continent.
Craig Keating, Langara College
(this edition is) far better thany anything else on the market today.
ARIEL: A Review of International English Literature
This Broadview edition is well suited for our times and appropriate for a politically conscious and divers readership.
A masterpiece of twentieth-century writing, Heart of Darkness (1902) exposes the tenuous fabric that holds "civilization" together and the brutal horror at the center of European colonialism. Conrad's crowning achievement recounts Marlow's physical and psychological journey deep into the heart of the Belgian Congo in search of the mysterious trader Kurtz.
Joyce Carol Oates on Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness:
"Heart of Darkness has had an influence that goes beyond the specifically literary. This parable of a man's 'heart of darkness' dramatized in the alleged 'Dark Continent' of Africa transcended its late Victorian era to acquire the stature of one of the great, if troubling, visionary works of western civilization."
In Conrad's haunting tale, Marlow, a seaman and wanderer, recounts his physical and psychological journey in search of the enigmatic Kurtz. Travelling to the heart of the African continent, he discovers how Kurtz has gained his position of power and influence over the local people. Marlow's struggle to fathom his experience involves him in a radical questioning of not only his own nature and values but the nature and values of his society.
The Merriam-Webster Encyclopedia of Literature
Novella by Joseph Conrad, first published in 1902 with the story "Youth" and thereafter published separately. The story reflects the physical and psychological shock Conrad himself experienced in 1890, when he worked briefly in the Belgian Congo. The narrator, Marlow, describes a journey he took on an African river. Assigned by an ivory company to take command of a cargo boat stranded in the interior, Marlow makes his way through the treacherous forest, witnessing the brutalization of the natives by white traders and hearing tantalizing stories of a Mr. Kurtz, the company's most successful representative. He reaches Kurtz's compound in a remote outpost only to see a row of human heads mounted on poles. In this alien context, unbound by the strictures of his own culture, Kurtz has exchanged his soul for a bloody sovereignty, but a mortal illness is bringing his reign of terror to a close. As Marlow transports him downriver, Kurtz delivers an arrogant and empty explanation of his deeds as a visionary quest. To the narrator Kurtz's dying words, "The horror! The horror!" represent despair at the encounter with human depravity--the heart of darkness.
From the Publisher
The story of Marlow travelling upriver in central Africa to find Kurtz, an ivory agent as consumed by the horror of human life as he is by physical illness, has long been considered a classic, and continues to be widely read and studied.
This edition, edited by one of the leading figures in "the Conrad controversy", includes an introduction and explanatory notes, as well as a fascinating variety of contemporary documents. The introduction and bibliography have been updated, and two new appendices have been added; the second of these is a selection of Alice Harris's extraordinary but little-known photographs documenting the horrors of colonialism in turn-of-the-century Congo.
From the Author
For generations an exclusively white community of literary critics treated a variety of thematic and stylistic issues (often with great subtlety and insight) while ignoring "Heart of Darkness" as a commentary on imperialism and racism. My edition does both.
Inside Flap Copy
Introductin by Verlyn Klinkenborg
From the Back Cover
This is Conrad's most subtle, compressed and proleptic work. Acclaimed as a supreme literary achievement, it has also come under literary, historical, and political attack. The profoundly influential novel journeys toward the settlement of the demonic Mr. Kurtz, the genius who would represent the best of Europe-but who, turned by the colonial experience to abuses both psychological and social, horrifies his investigator Marlow and commits him to witness the repulsive profundity of his own soul and times.
About the Author
D.C.R.A. Goonetilleke is Senior Professor of English at the University of Kelaniya, Sri Lanka, and former Chair of the Association for Commonwealth Literature and Language Studies. His other books include "Joseph Conrad: Beyond Culture and Background" (London: Macmillan; New York: St. Martin's Press, 1990) and "Salman Rushdie" (London: Macmillan; New York: St. Martin's Press, 1998).
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