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Heart of Darkness, which appeared at the very beginning of our century, was a Cassandra cry announcing the end of Victorian Europe, on the verge of transforming itself into the Europe of violence," wrote the critic Czeslaw Milosz.
Originally published in 1902, Heart of Darkness remains one of this century's most enduring--and harrowing--works of fiction. Written several years after Conrad's grueling sojourn in the Belgian Congo, the novel tells the story of Marlow, a seaman who undertakes his own journey into the African jungle to find the tormented white trader Kurtz. Rich in irony and spellbinding prose, Heart of Darkness is a complex meditation on colonialism, evil, and the thin line between civilization and barbarity.
This edition contains selections from Conrad's Congo Diary of 1890--the first notes, in effect, for the novel which was composed at the end of that decade. Virginia Woolf wrote of Conrad, "His books are full of moments of vision. They light up a whole character in a flash. . . . He could not write badly, one feels, to save his life."
This book has a lot of meaning and is very good for those looking to add a literary classic to their collection. It is somewhat hard to understand and I would not recommend it to young children or people looking for a casual or quick read. The character development is very good in this book. The novel explores the darkness which envelopes all of mankind, as well as a symbolic journey to the dawn of man. The book has several allusions to Greek mythology and the Bible. The inspiration for Joseph Conrad to write this novel was his own journey to the Congo, where he saw the darkness of men firsthand. I would recommend this copy of Heart of Darkness over all others because it features an introduction which gives the reader background to help them understand the novel. In addition, there are several essays by literary critics which write about the novel from several perspectives, including cultural criticism, feminist criticism, reader response, deconstruction, psychological criticism and new historicist. There is also a lengthy explanation of what each type of criticism means, and an overview of how literary criticism of the novel has changed since its publication.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted August 2, 2010
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