Heart of Darkness and The Secret Sharer

( 19 )

Overview

Heart Of Darkness. The story of the civilized, enlightened Mr. Kurtz who embarks on a harrowing "night journey" into the savage heart of Africa, only to find his dark and evil soul. The Secret Sharer. The saga of a young, inexperienced skipper forced to decide the fate of a fugitive sailor who killed a man in self-defense. As he faces his first moral test the skipper discovers a terrifying truth -- and comes face to face with the secret itself. Heart Of Darkness and The Secret Sharer draw on actual events and ...
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Heart of Darkness and The Secret Sharer

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Overview

Heart Of Darkness. The story of the civilized, enlightened Mr. Kurtz who embarks on a harrowing "night journey" into the savage heart of Africa, only to find his dark and evil soul. The Secret Sharer. The saga of a young, inexperienced skipper forced to decide the fate of a fugitive sailor who killed a man in self-defense. As he faces his first moral test the skipper discovers a terrifying truth -- and comes face to face with the secret itself. Heart Of Darkness and The Secret Sharer draw on actual events and people that Conrad met or heard about during his many far-flung travels. In portraying men whose incredible journeys on land and at sea are also symbolic voyages into their own mysterious depths, these two masterful works give credence to Conrad's acclaim as a major psychological writer.
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What People Are Saying

Joyce Carol Oates
One of the great, if troubling, visionary works of Western civilization.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780553212143
  • Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 5/28/1982
  • Series: Classics Series
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Edition description: 2 Books in 1
  • Pages: 208
  • Sales rank: 307,436
  • Product dimensions: 4.20 (w) x 6.90 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author

Joseph Conrad
Conrad was born on 12/3/1857, in a part of Russia that had once belonged to Poland. His parents were members of the landed gentry, but as ardent Polish patriots they suffered considerably for their political views. Orphaned at 11, Conrad attended school in Cracow but concluded that there was no future for him in occupied Poland, and at 16 he left forever. The sea was Conrad's love and career for the next 20 years; in the British merchant navy, he rose finally to captain, sailing to Australia and Borneo and surviving at least one shipwreck. In 1890 he became captain of a Congo River steamer, but this led only to disillusionment and ill health and this would become the basis for Conrad's masterpiece, Heart of Darkness. Reluctantly leaving the merchant service, he settled in England and completed his first novel, Almayer's Folly, already begun at sea. His subsequent works, many of which drew upon his sea experiences, include The Nigger of the "Narcissus" (1897), Lord Jim (1900), Nostromo (1904), The Secret Agent (1907), The Secret Sharer (1910), and Chance (1913). The man who was 21 before he spoke a word of English is now regarded as one of the superb English stylists of all time. Conrad died at his desk in 1924.

Biography

Joseph Conrad (originally Józef Teodor Konrad Nalecz Korzeniowski) was born in the Ukraine in 1857 and grew up under Tsarist autocracy. His parents, ardent Polish patriots, died when he was a child, following their exile for anti-Russian activities, and he came under the protection of his tradition-conscious uncle, Thaddeus Bobrowski, who watched over him for the next twenty-five years. In 1874 Bobrowski conceded to his nephew's passionate desire to go to sea, and Conrad travelled to Marseilles, where he served in French merchant vessels before joining a British ship in 1878 as an apprentice.

In 1886 he obtained British nationality and his Master's certificate in the British Merchant Service. Eight years later he left the sea to devote himself to writing, publishing his first novel, Almayer's Folly, in 1895. The following year he married Jessie George and eventually settled in Kent, where he produced within fifteen years such modern classics as Youth, Heart of Darkness, Lord Jim, Typhoon, Nostromo, The Secret Agent and Under Western Eyes. He continued to write until his death in 1924. Today Conrad is generally regarded as one of the greatest writers of fiction in English -- his third language. He once described himself as being concerned "with the ideal value of things, events and people" in the Preface to The Nigger of the Narcissus he defined his task as "by the power of the written word ... before all, to make you see."

Author biography courtesy of Penguin Group (USA).

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    1. Also Known As:
      Jósef Teodor Konrad Walecz Korzeniowski (real name)
    1. Date of Birth:
      December 3, 1857
    2. Place of Birth:
      Berdiczew, Podolia, Russia
    1. Date of Death:
      August 3, 1924
    2. Place of Death:
      Bishopsbourne, Kent, England

Table of Contents

About the Series
About This Volume
Introduction: Biographical and Historical Contexts 3
The Complete Text 17
A Critical History of Heart of Darkness 99
Reader-Response Criticism and Heart of Darkness 115
A Reader-Response Perspective: Heart of Darkness and the Politics of Displacement 131
Feminist and Gender Criticism and Heart of Darkness 148
A Feminist and Gender Perspective: "Too Beautiful Altogether": Ideologies of Gender and Empire in Heart of Darkness 169
Deconstruction and Heart of Darkness 185
A Deconstructive Perspective: Heart of Darkness Revisited 206
The New Historicism and Heart of Darkness 221
A New Historicist Perspective: Preserving and Keeping Order by Killing Time in Heart of Darkness 239
Cultural Criticism and Heart of Darkness 258
A Cultural Perspective: Heart of Darkness: Anti-Imperialism, Racism, or Impressionism? 277
Glossary of Critical and Theoretical Terms 299
About the Contributors 313
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 19 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(9)

4 Star

(7)

3 Star

(2)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(1)

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Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 19 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 23, 2008

    One of Conrad's Greats

    In ¿The Secret Sharer¿, the main conflict is between a captain on a ship and an identical double of his. The captain while on night watch found this ¿secret sharer¿ of the captain¿s life. The captain finds this man swimming in the nude, lets him on board, puts a robe over him and hides the man in his closet. The captain risks his position as captain, his life and the lives of his men and ship. There are a couple of positives in this book. ¿¿the sea lightning played about his limbs at every stir, and he appeared in it ghastly, silvery, fishlike¿¿ (23), this is one stupendous example of Conrad¿s use of diction to illustrate the scene. Conrad utilizes another outstandingly excellent use of diction by explaining suspense the reader and captain feels. The captain questions the steward where he hung the captain¿s coat and the steward responds by saying, ¿In the bathroom, sir¿¿ (50), which is the exact location the secret sharer was. Which, because no one sees the secret sharer, leads to the idea that the captain is possibly insane. However, there are a couple of negatives one would consider about this book. The over use of, ¿¿the secret sharer of my life¿¿ (37), becomes quite agitating. Another negative is, what happens to the captain and his secret sharer?

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 13, 2007

    Nice!!

    One of the best books I've ever read...Especially for a classic...It used great language and vocabulary to capture the mind...And it greatly goes into depth of the evil in our souls...That dude below that said something about it being one of the worst books, definitely doesn't know what they are talking about...They must not be that literate and didn't understand the vocabulary...but...like I said...This is a great book for all you book lovers out there...

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 8, 2007

    Great novel, but be careful

    I urge anyone who reads this book to read Chinua Achebe's response, it is extremely eye opening to many. This is undoubtedly one of the great stories of all time, but the strength of Conrad's writing often causes the reader to accept the inherent racism in the novel.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 7, 2005

    A Beautifully written classic

    When I picked up this book I knew I was in for quite a challenge. I am a sophmore in high school, and this book is recommended for advanced seniors. I read it and at first I had a feeling of slight uncertainty, but the adventure sucked me into it. As I read this I discovered that Joseph Conrad was bitter about Imperial rule in Africa. The bitterness shows in Conrad through Marlow's character. There was a very special pull I felt through Kurtz' character. That was darkness the theme of the novel which I felt Conrad excecuted beautifully. This will continue be a timeless classic through out English liturature.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 17, 2005

    One of the GREATEST!

    Conrad's intense look at the nature of evil in all of us is spellbinding. This classic derserves six stars!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 3, 2003

    Wort book ever

    This was by far the worst book I have ever read. It deserves to be burnt and never found again!

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 3, 2002

    Great Book!!!

    The dark places of a human soul is the region that Joseph Conrad so brilliantly explored. In the depths of the congo jungle it is man's capacity for good and evil.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 22, 2002

    The Genius and his devaluing of a great people

    The Heart of Darkness, every publisher's dream. All I can say is that it preserves itself because nothing changes. Conrad, quite the philanthropic artist.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 29, 2001

    Outstanding doesn't begin to describe this.

    Josef Konrad's 'Heart of Darkness' is truly one of the most inspired pieces of literature ever. A vast majority of the story is portrayed in dialogue, but it just goes to show that some of the most haunting and beautiful images are the things people say which then form in your mind. The beginning of the novel is a bit hard to grasp. But, after a dozen pages, you'll be hooked. Konrad learned his English from Shakespeare. I think he did a fine thing with that knowledge.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 8, 2001

    You must read

    I was forced to read this book as a 10th grader and I am glad because. The depth of the psyches of the characters convinced me that anyone can be corrupt. These works, strangely enough, also sparked an interest in politics that I know have. These works also convinced me that I was capable of anything, and I can really identify with the captain in 'The Secret Sharer' and Marlow in 'Heart of Darkness'.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 17, 2000

    Very difficult to read, but gave me strong impact

    I was having hard time to read this book because English is my second language and the Author used many difficult words. However, the author himself spoke English as his second languages which encourages me to read through this book. I really enjoyed this book. The story is very deep and unique. I also enjoyed the prequal of the heart of darkness,'youth'.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 2, 2000

    The Mind of Man

    Heart of Darkness was a truly excellent and profound read. Conrad accurately depicts the human condition, especially that which accompanies discovering oneself and discovering mankind. The narrator, Conrad's endearing Marlow, travels of the river, deep into the 'heart of darkness,' to find Kurtz, a man who has allowed the savage within himself to be expressed. Marlow soon learns that this capacity for evil lies within himself and within all men. To put it in Conrad's terms, 'The mind of man is capable of anything, because everything is in it--all the past as well as all the future.' We as people are able to act with goodness as well as evil; it is up to the individual to decide which is expressed.

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    Posted October 22, 2010

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    Posted December 29, 2009

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    Posted March 23, 2011

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    Posted November 5, 2008

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    Posted March 24, 2009

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