Review: Heart of Darkness and Selections from the Congo Diary by Joseph Conrad

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Heart of Darkness and Selections from the Congo Diary by Joseph Conrad

Paperback, 176 pages

Published: August 10th 1999 by Modern Library

‘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.’ – Goodreads

My Opinion: This is definitely a book that a person should read. Its all about your own inferences as to what the main point of the book was. For me it was about how the wild can change a person. Its basically about a guy named Marlow and he tells the story of a guy named Kurtz. Kurtz is this “remarkable” person and everyone seems to know about him and what type of person he is. It amazes me how much people admired this guy.

I really enjoyed the way that the jungle was portrayed. It was like its own character. I would also have a dictionary along side you as you are reading. There are a lot of big words and words that we already know that have multiple meanings. Other than that it was interesting and something different.

Overall: 3.5 out of 5

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