The Heart of DarknessBook - 1995
"The horror! The Horror!"
Charles Marlow's journey into the heart of Africa is odyssey into corruption, absurdity the Africans and conspiring against each other; he voyages upstream on a paddle-steamer that comes under lethal attack; and he encounters the great idealist, Mr. Kurtz, the genius who seemed to represent the best Europe. But Mr. Kurtz has 'taken a high seat among the devils of the land,' and Marlow returns to Europe bearing the burden of appalling knowledge, forced to make his 'choice of nightmares.'
Conrad's critical tale of self inspired the far-reaching film Apocalypse Now as well as generations of critical discussion.
A comprehensive paperback edition, with introduction notes, selected criticism, text summary and chronology of Conrad's life and times
From the critics
AgeAdd Age Suitability
QuotesAdd a Quote
Like a running blaze on a plain, like a flash of lightning in the clouds. We live in the flicker.
No, it is impossible; it is impossible to convey the life-sensation of any given epoch of one’s existence--that which makes its truth, its meaning--its subtle and penetrating essence. It is impossible. We live, as we dream--alone.
"The word ‘ivory’ rang in the air, was whispered, was sighed. You would think they were praying to it. A taint of imbecile rapacity blew through it all, like a whiff from some corpse. By Jove! I’ve never seen anything so unreal in my life. And outside, the silent wilderness surrounding this cleared speck on the earth struck me as something great and invincible, like evil or truth, waiting patiently for the passing away of this fantastic invasion.”
“The brown current ran swiftly out of the heart of darkness, bearing us down towards the sea with twice the speed of our upward progress; and Kurtz’s life was running swiftly, too, ebbing, ebbing out of his heart into the sea of inexorable time. . . . I saw the time approaching when I would be left alone of the party of ‘unsound method.’”
SummaryAdd a Summary
Heart of Darkness (1902) grew out of a journey Joseph Conrad took up the Congo River, and the verisimilitude that the great novelist thereby brought to his most famous tale everywhere enhances its dense and shattering power. Heart of Darkness is a model of economic storytelling, an indictment of the inner and outer turmoil caused by the European imperial misadventure, and a piercing account of the fragility of the human soul.