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Heart of Darkness and Other Stories (Collector's Library) Hardcover – September 1, 2011
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Like many of Conrad's early novels these three stories are set aboard ships. These stories tell of men who go beyond the normal routine of life to challenge themselves, whether from curiosity or necessity, in order to obtain what they seemingly cannot reach. Conrad depicts these desperate men with a vigor that on its own is already enough reason to dive in these stories. But there is much more. The real power of these masterpieces will only surface after a second read. The first reading is like a voyage into the unknown, not unlike the main characters would have experienced it. Only on a second or third reading do you become more aware of the subliminal power of the words and can you appreciate the full power of the colorful narrative. This way the at first read overly long descriptive passages get more and more significance and surely reveal their significance to the story.Read more ›
The reasons for this dichotomy have never been presented with more power than they are in Heart of Darkness. It is the story of how the Imperial impulse--bringing civilization to the savages--corrupts the bringers.
Marlow, a steam boat pilot, sets off upriver in Africa to find Kurtz, an ivory trader who has gone native. Along the way, he finds a pamphlet that Kurtz wrote about the civilizing mission of the White man, which ends with the postscript "Exterminate all the brutes!" When, Marlow finds the mortally ill Kurtz, in a camp surrounded by pikes with human heads mounted on them, he has stopped trading for ivory & has instead taken to raiding villages & taking it by brute force. He has abandoned civilized norms and has adopted the methods of the natives.
Kurtz final words to Marlow are "The horror. The horror." When Marlow returns to Europe he meets Kurtz fiance & when she begs to know if Kurtz spoke of her, Marlow tells her that he died with her name on his lips. It is not just the savagery of the natives that is corrupting, it is the very notion of a civilizing mission. Conrad is wrong, of course, but it's a great book.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
You need a microscope to read it, it is the perfect book if you are heading to the moon and need to save space.Published 23 months ago by ioji
Start a new paragraph every now and then Conrad. The paragraphs often go on for pages for some reason. There were a few paragraph that were about 3 pages long each.Published on January 3, 2014 by Neal Diamond
Book to small hard to handle when reading. Likewise the print is not conduive to reading for those with poor vision.Published on March 5, 2013 by W. Babbitt
It came in great condition, just as advertised. I have been using it for class and I am very happy with it.Published on January 30, 2013 by Anna
Have not completed entire book----so far it is as expected and a good little read. Hope to find time to complete it soon.Published on November 9, 2012 by W. Kirk Maxwell
Everybody has always told me this book was great. Everybody I've ever talked to is an idiot. This book was terrible, it made no sense. Read morePublished on February 19, 1999