Friday, January 1, 1999

Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness published 100 years ago

First posted 6/9/2020; updated 7/5/2020.

Heart of Darkness

Joseph Conrad

First Publication: 1899

Category: novella

Sales: ?

Accolades (click on badges to see full lists):

About the Book:

Heart of Darkness is ”one of the most haunting stories ever written,” BN “widely regarded as a masterpiece for its vivid study of human nature and the greed and ruthlessness of imperialism.” BN “In its combination of narrative and symbolic power, masterly character study and acute psychological penetration, Heart of Darkness ranks as a landmark of modern fiction. It is a book no serious student of literature can afford to miss.” AZ

The story is narrated by Marlow, a riverboat captain, as he journeys “up the Congo River on behalf of a Belgian trading company” AZ “at the height of European colonialism.” BN “Astounded by the brutal depravity he witnesses, Marlow becomes obsessed with meeting” BN “the mysterious Kurtz,” AZ “a famously idealistic and able man stationed farther along the river.” BN Kurtz is “an ivory trader who exercises an almost godlike sway over the inhabitants of the region.” AZ

What Marlow “discovers, however, is a horror beyond imagining.” BN “Both repelled and fascinated by the man, Marlow is brought face to face with the corruption and despair that Conrad saw at the heart of human existence.” AZ

Resources and Related Links:

In July 2018, I became the organizer of the Classic Novels Book Club. Check out the Book Club tab here or Meetup for more information. This is our May 2020 book.

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