#Classic: Heart of Darkness
- Author: J. Conrad (1857-1924)
- Title: The Heart of Darkness
- Published: 1902
- Audio book: 3 hr 49 min
- Narrator: Kenneth Branagh
- Plot: Wikipedia
- List of Challenges
- Monthly plan
- Classic Club Master list
- Despite my restraint (book embargo) I still bought
- 5 classic books in January.
- I was disappointed….not having enough self-control.
- The plan for February is to read as many classics as
- I can….on my IPOD!
- There are 20 audio classics just waiting for me.
- The Heart of Darkness has been on TBR since 2017.
- Love triangles: none
- Women: Kurtz’ fiancée in Brussels and native mistress in Congo
- Major characters: Marlow and Kurtz
- Minor character: “The Russian” (…very irritating Russian accent on audio book)
- Genre: Gothic horror novella
- Plot twists: no twists or turns only the the idea of
- ‘what is going to happen’ kept me reading
- POV: unnamed narrator (1st pers) tells the reader about
- Marlow telling his story also as 1st person narrator (frame POV)
- Title: The Heart of Darkness: interiour workings of the mind
- Symbol: journey up Congo River = sin
- Symbol: journey down Congo River = redemption
- Structure: 3 parts
- present day London/Belgium
- journey from Congo Central station –> to Kurtz up the Congo River
- return to Europe and a meeting with Kurtz’ fiancée
- Message: obsession that drives its victim (Kurtz) beyond the limits of humanity
- Message: the darkness of the human heart…man’s capacity for evil.
- Setting: London –> Belgium –> Congo –> Belgium
- Major theme: madness, moral corruption
- Minor themes: racism, violence
- Body count: 2 (Kurtz and helmsman)
- Conrad’s statement: cynical, critical take on European Imperialism
- This was NOT my favorite Conrad novel/novella.
- I had to force myself to sit down an listen to this audio book.
- Part 1 started with lyrical descriptions of moon, sea, mist, light
- that initially hooked me to keep reading.
- Unfortunately these were the only beautiful descriptions in the book IMO.
- Part 2: chaotic description of a steamship struggling to creep up river.
- Part 3: climax: Marlow and Krutz finally meet.
- Conrad did me a favor and described his book for me
- with his comments about Kurtz’ pamphlet:
- “vibrating with eloquence…but too high strung”.
- This book is Conrad’s way of asking ourselves
- …if we would have the courage like Kurtz to peer over
- …the edge of the abyss: “The horror, the horror”.
- Conrad captured something about the way power
- operated across continents and race.
- I would highly recommend the award winning
- book Congo by David Reybourck. (2014)
- It is a gripping epic imperialistic policy of the Belgians in Congo.
- . . . more exciting than the novel The Heart of Darkness!
“Watching the coast…is like thinking about an enigma
There it is before you smiling, frowning, inviting,
grand, mean, insipid or savage and always mute with an air of whisper
‘Come and find out.’