Thursday, September 9, 2010
Heart of Darkness / Joseph Conrad -- London: Hesperus Press, 2002
Not long ago I watched "Apocalypse Now: Redux" which inspired me to finally read Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness. The work was much less shocking than I had expected. This is probably due to the explicit descriptions of brutality that flood the world today, but despite this, Conrad's dream-like prose remains powerful and deeply affecting. His sometimes subtle observations of the brutality of the exploitation of the Congo by Belgian commercial interests remains haunting, perhaps even more so for anyone who has read Adam Hochschild's history of this era, King Leopold's Ghost. Among the most striking aspects of the work is Conrad's ability to quickly and succinctly describe characters in a way that makes them seem highly multi-dimensional.