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Heart of Darkness Revisiting The Heart of DarknessAfter passing past that Castle of EgoLaying siege on the very borders of MindWe entered the vast and bristling forestsOf that strange strange land that IdWhich doth divide the knowing wakingFrom the land of dreaming unknowingBut this way is much too hard to follow;And is harder even to describe to youWe are likely here to perishHere in these vast dense hinterlands;For these woods that we see arrayedHas never previously been crossedBy mortal men or by Gods beforeExcept by the Duke on his missionsTo plunder and to subjugateHe had sliced a path so wide and trueFor himself and his army vastMarking along the trees as he trodeDeeper and deeper into these woodsHolding fast to his own marksAnd to the crude compasses of his dayWary of the beasts and birdsAnd of dark shadows of the serpentsAnd the importunities of bugs and bitesVexed he was by silence and darkBut angered by lonely shrieksSo we move on in this path of old;Those old trees that the Duke had markedNow but marshy ground to mire our cartsWhen will we cross these woods so darkAnd reach the sparkle at the other endThat river which we truly seekThat drowned the Duke and freed the MindThat river so cool called Sanity “We live in the flicker may it last as long as the old earth keeps rolling But darkness was here yesterday”Marlow is not just a narrator or an alter ego of Conrad but a universal everyman timeless And that to me is the greatest appeal of this book it is timeless “Like a running blaze on a plain like a flash of lightning in the clouds We live in the flicker”The scene of Marlow sitting Buddha like as the Thames dreams into slow darkness and his voice takes on a disembodied spiritual cast is iconic and Conrad's vision of history repeating itself as wicked and despotic civilization discovers it's ancient cousin is a ubiuitous theme in Conrad's work and one that is masterfully created here As the Britons and Picts were to the Romans so to are the Africans to the Europeans and Conrad has demonstrated his timely message“They were conuerors and for that you want only brute force nothing to boast of when you have it since your strength is just an accident arising from the weakness of others”A search for hidden meaning a uest mysteries solved and others unanswered self realization and epiphany Conrad winds it all up in this classic“The horror The horror” 2018 re readI think there was a recent poll about what was the book you have re read the most No doubt for me it’s this one read it a couple times in HS few times in college and innumerable times since Looks like this is the third in the Goodreads eraAs a scholar I have to be concise and methodical precisely citing and referencing to a given treatise or authority When reading for pleasure I’m much intuitive allowing my mind to wander and to muse and to collect abstract thoughts and make obscure connections as I readThis time around I payed attention to this story as it was written a tale told in the gathering darkness near the mouth of the Thames Marlow’s voice a disembodied narration spinning an account of a time before but one that is ageless nonetheless The connection he makes between the Romans coming up the Thames and the Westerners traveling up the Congo is provocative and somberAs always this is a story about Kurtz and his voice that elouent but hollow voice in the darkness a civilized man gone native but than that a traveler shedding away the trappings of an enlightened age and looking into the abyss Whether the natives are dark skinned or white with blue tattoos the image is the same and the message is all the hauntingOn a short list of my favorites or all time this may be my favorite Heart of Darkness a novel by Joseph Conrad was originally a three part series in Blackwood's Magazine in 1899 It is a story within a story following a character named Charlie Marlow who recounts his adventure to a group of men onboard an anchored ship The story told is of his early life as a ferry boat captain Although his job was to transport ivory downriver Charlie develops an interest in investing an ivory procurement agent Kurtz who is employed by the government Preceded by his reputation as a brilliant emissary of progress Kurtz has now established himself as a god among the natives in “one of the darkest places on earth” Marlow suspects something else of Kurtz he has gone madA reflection on corruptive European colonialism and a journey into the nightmare psyche of one of the corrupted Heart of Darkness is considered one of the most influential works ever written From 1885 to 1908 an area in Africa now known as the Democratic Republic of the Congo then under the rule of King Leopold II of Belgium experienced an intense genocide Through the Red Rubber system the people of the Congo were essentially enslaved to harvest rubber Those who failed to collect enough rubber had their hands chopped off Some died from disease brought on by the terrible conditions while others were just flat out murdered It is estimated that around three to thirteen million people died between 1885 and 1908 perhaps 25 to 50 percent of the total population By the end of this period the Congo which just a 100 years ago had hosted the expansive and successful Kongo Empire had seen its natural resources destroyed its people mutilated and its entire society changed forever The negative legacy of colonialism is strong throughout Africa and across the world but the Congo is one of the countries that suffered most This is a horrifying disgusting legacy And one that this book does not on any level respect On the surface this book can be read as anti colonialist a narrative that decries the brutality with which King Leopold II and other rulers allowed African people to be treated This reading is comforting to us It feels right How can we read of their deaths and not feel ashamed How can we see the heads of so called rebels on pikes and not find ourselves filled with horror How can we read a scene in which people walk in a chain gang and not find our deepest sympathies with them How could Conrad not have felt the same But I do not believe that is the intent or to be uite honest an accurate reading of the narrative of this book Conrad’s descriptions and depictions of black people are dehumanizing to their core No black character in this book feels real feels like a person we may empathize with and care for It is in the descriptions of Kurtz’s black mistress of the slave boy whose only contribution to the narrative is the line “Mistah Kutz he dead” Conrad does not share our empathies Our horror at their fate and in their suffering is our own not the narrators The thing about this book is that it’s not a criticism of colonialism and while reading it as such feels viable on the surface looking deeper into the narrative makes this book feel odder and odder This book is a look at the depth of human evil and how that can be brought out when society breaks down Notice the end of that sentence Because the reason Africa is the subject of this book is because this narrative fundamentally believes that Africa is a primitive uncivilized immoral landscape Which I find to be an inaccurate and frankly immoral view of Africa The historical record of our time shows that pre Colonial and pre slave trade African civilization was filled with the same life as European civilizations and populated by strong kingdoms Conrad emphatically believes otherwise And while I am willing to understand on some level that this was an ingrained belief of European colonists this book pushes this message to a very high degree it’s irrevocably tied to the message of the book that I found impossible to ignore Yes the idea is also pushed that the people of Europe are really no different from the people of the Congo I am fully aware that Joseph Conrad is getting at the idea that none of us are so evolved and none of us are so civilized ourselves and white society cannot put itself totally above others Conrad is explicitly attempting to put black people and white people on an eual level of brutality But this narrative is still fundamentally flawed The white characters in this book are evil colonists but they are depicted as people The black characters of this book are “savages” They are rebels At best they are the helmsman unnamed in his own narrative and dying ten pages in At worst they are literal cannibals The narrative shows a fundamental dehumanization of each “savage” character undermining any sort of anti colonialist or pro African message And I find that fundamentally disturbing If I cannot feel any horror within the narrative for a genocide a time in which culture was destroyed and the environment strangled and thousands slaughtered for the profit of an empire how can I garner anything from this book How can I in good conscience enjoy or recommend this book I understand and appreciate that many are going to read this review and think I misread the text because this book is a classic I would remind them that no work of literature can be kept free from critiue because it has stood the test of time And beyond that I do not believe this is at all a surface reading It’s been pushed in the minds of many that reading this book as racist is a surface level interpretation but I genuinely believe that the racism is what you get upon close readingLiterary analysis of racist historical works is a polarizing and complex topic and I recognize that many will feel antagonistic towards this viewpoint I also fully admit that this book makes good use of an unreliable narrator and is one of the most gritty classics I have read as to its depiction of the human soul and I have nothing against those who enjoyed it But I cannot enjoy this for those and erase the flaws I cannot appreciate the literary merit of a book that lacks a fundamental understanding of the humanity of black people And I'm not sure I believe that I should recommended reading Chinua Achebe's beautifully rendered essay on Heart of DarknessBlog | Goodreads | Twitter | Youtube 780 From 1001 Heart of Darkness Joseph ConradHeart of Darkness 1899 is a novella by Polish English novelist Joseph Conrad about a voyage up the Congo River into the Congo Free State in the heart of Africa by the story's narrator Charles Marlow Marlow tells his story to friends aboard a boat anchored on the River Thames This setting provides the frame for Marlow's story of his obsession with the ivory trader Kurtz which enables Conrad to create a parallel between the greatest town on earth and Africa as places of darknessعنوانها «دل تاریکی»، «در اعماق ظلمت»؛ «قلب تاریکی»؛ نویسنده جوزف کنراد؛ انتشاراتیها امیرکبیر، کتابهای جیبی، اکباتان، کلبه، سمیر، نیلوفر، علمی فرهنگی ادبیات؛ تاریخ نخستین خوانش ماه مارس سال 2002میلادیعنوان دل تاریکی، جوانی؛ نویسنده جوزف کنراد؛ مترجم محمدعلی صفریان؛ تهران، امیرکبیر، کتابهای جیبی، 1355؛ در 211ص؛ «جوانی از ص 9، تا ص 64»، «دل تاریکی از ص 65، تا ص 211»؛ موضوع داستانهای نویسندگان بریتانیایی سده 20معنوان در اعماق ظلمت؛ نویسنده جوزف کنراد؛ مترجم فریدون حاجتی؛ تهران، اکباتان، 1365؛ در 184ص؛ چاپ دیگر تهران، کلبه، 1381، در 184ص، شابک 9647545168؛ چاپ دیگر تهران، سمیر، 1386؛ در 184ص؛ شابک 9789648940534؛عنوان دل تاریکی؛ نویسنده جوزف کنراد؛ مترجم صالح حسینی؛ تهران، نیلوفر، 1373؛ در 190ص؛ شابک 9644481682؛ چاپ سوم 1389؛ چاپ چهارم 1393؛ شابک 9789644481680؛عنوان قلب تاریکی؛ نویسنده جوزف کنراد؛ مترجم کاوه نگارش؛ تهران، علمی فرهنگی، 1394؛ در هشت و 123ص؛ شابک 9786001219733؛چکیده داستان ملوانی به نام «مارلو» از دوران کودکی، مجذوب رودی بزرگ است، که در منطقه ‌ای کاوش ‌نشده، در «آفریقا» جاری است؛ سال‌ها بعد، شرکتی که مأمور کاوش در آن منطقه است، فرماندهی یک کشتی ویژه ی حمل عاج را، به او می‌سپارد؛ «مارلو»، پس از سفری توانفرسا، و تمام‌ نشدنی، و کابوس‌گونه، سرانجام موفق می‌شود، تا در ژرفای منطقه، به کمپ شرکت برسد؛ اما همه چیز را آشفته، و درهم‌ ریخته، و مرموز می‌یابد؛ سکوت مرموزی بر بومیان ساکن آنجا حاکم است؛ «مارلو» به جستجوی نماینده ی شرکت، به نام «مستر کورتس» می‌پردازد، اما خبری از او در دست نیست؛ «مارلو» براساس نشانه‌ ها، به ژرفای جنگل‌های وحشی می‌رود، و در آنجا «کورتس» را، در حالتی که به الهه، و خدای قبایل وحشی بدل شده می‌یابد؛ «کورتس» که با اندیشه ی دعوت وحشیان به مسیحیت، سفر خود را آغاز کرده بود، سرانجام به خدایگان، و رئیس رقصندگان، و قربانی‌ کنندگان قبایل وحشی، بدل شده؛ او بارها کوشیده، تا بگریزد، اما وحشیان، او را یافته، و حاضر نمیشوند، خدای سفید خود را، از دست بدهند؛ او اینک در حالتی نیمه ‌دیوانه، و در حال مرگ، با «مارلو» روبرو می‌شود؛ «مارلو» می‌کوشد او را راضی کند، تا با او بیاید، اما او دیگر حاضر نیست؛ «مارلو» او را به ‌زحمت، و با زور همراه خویش می‌کند، اما در کشتی، «کورتس» می‌میرد؛ پایان‌بندی داستان، با رقص زنی عریان، از قبایل، و یافتن بسته ی نامه های متعلق به نامزد «کورتس»، از سوی «مارلو»، خوانشگر را، درگیر تردیدهای بزرگ می‌کند؛ «مارلو» می‌رود تا آن نامه‌ها را به آن زن برساند، اما در برابر خود، زنی را می‌یابد، که قادر به ایثار و ایمان و رنج است، و با یاد گم‌شده ‌اش، به زندگی ادامه می‌دهد؛ «مارلو» قادر نیست، حقیقت زندگی، و مرگ «کورتس» را، بیان کند، و تنها به زن اطمینان می‌دهد، که «کورتس» در واپسین دم حیات، به یاد او بوده، و نام او را بر زبان رانده ‌استبزرگوارانی همچون جنابان آقایان «صالح حسینی»، «کیومرث پارسای»، «احمد میرعلائی»، «حسن افشار»، و «پرویز داریوش»،‌ به ترجمه ی آثار «جوزف کنراد»؛ به واژه های پارسایی پرداخته‌ اند، کتاب «دل تاریکی»، در سالهای آغازین سده بیستم میلادی ـ سال 1902میلادی ـ نوشته شده، چاپ نخست آن به روایتی در سال 1355هجری خورشیدی، در کشور ما منتشر شده استنقل از «دل تاریکی» نوشته ی «جوزف کنراد» «یادم هست که یکبار به ناو جنگی­ ای برخوردیم، که دور از ساحل لنگر انداخته بود؛ تو بگو یک آلونک هم آنجا نبود، و ناو جنگی به بوته­ ها توپ شلیک می­کرد؛ معلوم شد که فرانسوی­ها در آن دوروبرها، به یکی از جنگ­هاشان سرگرمند؛ پرچم ناو جنگی، همانند لته ­ای شل­ و ول می­افتاد، لوله ­ی توپ­های بلند شش اینچی، از همه جای بدنه ­ی کوتاه ناو، بیرون زده بود، امواج چرب­ و چیلی و پر از لجن، کاهلانه ناو را بالا می­انداخت، و به پایین ولش می­کرد، و دکل­های کوچولوی آنرا نوسان می­داد؛ این ناو در آن بی­کرانگی تهی زمین و آسمان و آب، ایستاده بود، ‌که معلوم نبود برای چه آنجاست، و توی قاره­ ای توپ می­انداخت؛ از یکی از توپ­های شش اینچی، تاپ، گلوله­ ای درمی­رفت، شعله­ ی کوچکی زبانه می­کشید و محو می­شد، ذره­ ای دود سفید ناپدید می­شد، پرتابه­ ی ریزی جیغ خفیفی می­کشید، و هیچ اتفاقی نمی­افتاد، امکان نداشت که اتفاقی بیفتد؛ نشانی از دیوانگی، در این ماجرا بود، و معرکه، حالتی حزن­ آور، و هم خنده ­آور داشت، به گفته­ ی یکی از سرنشینان کشتی هم، که به لحن جدی اطمینانم می­داد اردوگاه بومیان، ‌که آن­ها را دشمن میخواند، جایی پنهان از نظر قرار دارد، این حالت را از بین نبرد»؛ پایان نقلتاریخ بهنگام رسانی 05071399هجری خورشیدی؛ ا شربیانی Overrated Over hated Over analyzed Over referenced It was a breathtaking read There are few books which make such a powerful impression as 'Heart of darkness' does Written than a century ago the book and its undying theme hold just as much significance even today Intense and compelling it looks into the darkest recesses of human nature Conrad takes the reader through a horrific tale in a very gripping voiceI couldn't say enough about Conrad's mastery of prose Not a single word is out of place Among several things I liked Marlow expressing his difficulty in sharing his experiences with his listeners and his comments on insignificance of some of the dialogue exchanged aloud between him and Kurtz The bond between the two was much deeper Whatever words he uses to describe them no one can really understand in full measure what he had been through In Marlow's words 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 This was the first time I read this book which doesn't seem enough to fathom its profound meaning and all the symbolism It deserves multiple reads I still don't know what I read hereI finished this book with one sort of word spinning around in my head ehI read the whole book Every page every sentence every word And I couldn't tell you what it was about I think I must have read challenging books than this Ulysses Swann's Way etc but none has left me so thoroughly clueless Proving yet again that doing a concept first will get you immortalized while doing it WELL will make you an unknown and forgotten writer at best I also learned that in Conrad's time people could drone on and on with metaphors and it wasn't considered cliched but art I blame this book and others like it for some of the most painful literature created by students and professional writers alikeIt was like raking my fingernails across a chalkboard while breathing in a pail of flaming cat hair and drinking spoiled milk meanwhile Conrad is screaming DARKNESS DARKNESS OOOH LOOK AT MY METAPHOR ABOUT THE DARKNESSSSSSSSSSS like a fucking goth on a loudspeaker Never in all my life has 100 little pages made me contemplate suicideviolent suicide i had to finish it i had no choice yay college every page was literally painfulam i supposed to feel sorry for him because i don't i feel sorry for all of Africa getting invaded with dumbasses like this guy oh and in case you didn't get itthe heart of darkness is like this super deep megametaphor of all metaphors and in case it wasn't clear enough conrad will spend many many useless words clearly explaining the layers of depth his metaphor can take oh manmy heart is darkand i'm also in the middle of Africaand it's darkand depressingget itget it