In a novella which remains highly controversial to this day, Conrad explores the relations between Africa and Europe. On the surface, this is a horrifying tale of colonial exploitation. The narrator, Marlowe journeys on business deep into the heart of Africa. But there he encounters Kurtz, an idealist apparently crazed and depraved by his power over the natives, and the meeting prompts Marlowe to reflect on the darkness at the heart of all men. This short but complex and often ambiguous story, which has been the basis of several films and plays, continues to provoke interpretation and discussion.
"Heart of Darkness" grew out of a journey Joseph Conrad took up the Congo River; the verisimilitude that the great novelist thereby brought to his most famous tale everywhere enhances its dense and shattering power.
Apparently a sailor's yarn, it is in fact a grim parody of the adventure story, in which the narrator, Marlow, travels deep into the heart of the Congo where he encounters the crazed idealist Kurtz and discovers that the relative values of the civilized and the primitive are not what they seem. "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.
(Book Jacket Status: Jacketed)
About the Author
Joseph Conrad was a master prose stylist, widely regarded as one of the greatest English-language novelists. Writing in the heyday of the British Empire, Conrad drew upon his experiences in the French and later the British Merchant Navy to create short stories and novels that reflect aspects of a worldwide empire while also plumbing the depths of the human soul.
Verlyn Klinkenborg comes from a family of Iowa farmers and is the author of Making Hay, The Last Fine Time, The Rural Life, Timothy, and Several Short Sentences About Writing. A member of the editorial board of the New York Times, he has written for The New Yorker, Harper's, Esquire, National Geographic, Mother Jones, and the New York Times Magazine, among others. He teaches creative writing at Yale University and Pomona College and lives on a small farm in upstate New York.
Catherine Coulter is the author of the New York Times bestselling FBI thrillers The Cove, The Maze, The Target, The Edge, Riptide, Hemlock Bay, Eleventh Hour, Blindside, Blowout, Point Blank, Double Take, TailSpin, KnockOut, Whiplash, Split Second, Backfire, Bombshell, and Power Play. She is also the author, with J. T. Ellison, of the New York Times bestselling The Final Cut and The Lost Key. Coulter lives in Sausalito, California.