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Heart of Darkness

Joseph Conrad

Book Overview: 

Set in a time of oppressive colonization, when large areas of the world were still unknown to Europe, and Africa was literally on maps and minds as a mysterious shadow, Heart of Darkness famously explores the rituals of civilization and barbarism, and the frighteningly fine line between them.

We get the tale through a classic unreliable narrator, relating as Marlow, a ship’s captain, tells how he was sent by the Company to retrieve the wayward Kurtz, and was shaken to discover the true depths of darkness in that creature’s, and in his own, soul. Conrad based the work closely on his own terrible experience in the Congo.

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .Near the same tree two more bundles of acute angles sat with their legs drawn up. One, with his chin propped on his knees, stared at nothing, in an intolerable and appalling manner: his brother phantom rested its forehead, as if overcome with a great weariness; and all about others were scattered in every pose of contorted collapse, as in some picture of a massacre or a pestilence. While I stood horror-struck, one of these creatures rose to his hands and knees, and went off on all-fours towards the river to drink. He lapped out of his hand, then sat up in the sunlight, crossing his shins in front of him, and after a time let his woolly head fall on his breastbone.

"I didn't want any more loitering in the shade, and I made haste towards the station. When near the buildings I met a white man, in such an unexpected elegance of get-up that in the first moment I took him for a sort of vision. I saw a high starched collar, white cuffs, a light alpaca jacket, snowy tr. . . Read More

Community Reviews

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 similari

It was a breathtaking read. There are few books which make such a powerful impression as 'Heart of darkness' does. Written more 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. Co

Overrated. Over-hated. Over-analyzed. Over-referenced.

L'ORRORE

Conrad arrivò nel Congo nel 1890 come tanti altri europei alla ricerca di un lavoro, di un’occasione di crescita economica e professionale, attratto dalle panzane che il re del Belgio, Leopoldo II, era riuscito a spacciare per verità, e cioè che in quella (immensa) parte dell’Africa i bianch

Kurtz is a modern day Prometheus. He dares to peer upon the hidden Dark Side of the Moon, and All the Heavens then seek revenge upon his startled soul.

And he must Pay.

Until that Gracious Day in some Faraway Future arrives, and the Divine Eagle quits chewing apart his liver.

Until this modern-day O

Blessed was Odysseus, who returned, full of wisdom, after many conquests and adventures to live a peaceful old age with his wife and family. It didn’t go that well for Charles Marlow. Heart of Darkness is like The Odyssey or The Divine Comedy or the story of Sindbad or any hero’s journey for that ma

“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

«Φρίκη, φρίκη »
«Εξολοθρεύσατε όλα τα κτήνη!»

Στην καρδιά του σκότους και στον αφηγητή της (Μάρλοου),το νόημα της ιστορίας δεν βρίσκεται σε καμία περίπτωση μέσα στον πυρήνα της,αλλά απ’έξω, «θαρρείς και το νόημα περιβάλει την ιστορία...».

Αυτό το βιβλίο είναι μια ασύλληπτη τελετουργία, μια δαιμονική π

Revisiting The Heart of Darkness

After passing past that Castle of Ego,

Laying siege on the very borders of Mind,

We entered the vast and bristling forests,

Of that strange, strange land, that Id,

Which doth divide the knowing, waking,

From the land of dreaming, unknowing.

But this way is much too hard to

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