About Heart of Darkness and Selections from the Congo Diary
‘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.’
About Joseph Conrad
Joseph Conrad, christened Josef Teodor Konrad, Nalecz Korzeniowski, was born on December 3, 1857, in a part of Russia that had once belonged to Poland. His parents were members of the landed gentry, but as ardent Polish patriots, the suffered… More about Joseph Conrad