Heart of Darkness Joseph Conrad Jolly Das Associate
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Heart of Darkness Joseph Conrad Jolly Das Associate Professor Department of English Vidyasagar University Midnapore
Instructions: • The contents of this presentation are the exclusive property of Vidyasagar University, Midnapore. They must not be used without seeking prior permission of the University authorities. • The contents are not answers to questions. They are lecture notes serving as guidelines for further study. • This presentation is in consonance with the Registrar’s Notification No. VU/R/Noti. /366/2020 dated 19. 03. 2020.
Acknowledgement • All the e-texts / pictures / images have been borrowed from various available sources in the internet. • This is to humbly acknowledge my gratitude to all of them for facilitating the preparation of this presentation. • A special thanks to Wikipedia for information on the author and the text.
Heart of Darkness PART--1
Further Reading: • 1. A Preface to Conrad – Cedric Watts. Longman, 1993. • 2. The Great Tradition – F. R. Leavis. New York: George W. Stewart, 1950. [PDF of Full Text available: https: //archive. org] • 3. The Twentieth Century Novel: Studies in Technique –Joseph Warren Beach. New York: Appleton-Century-Crofts, 1932. • 4. The New Cambridge Companion to Joseph Conrad-- J. H. Stape, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2014. • 5. Joseph Conrad: A Life- Zdzislaw Najder. Camden House, 2007. • 6. Joseph Conrad: a Biography-- Jeffrey Meyers. Cooper Square Press, 2001. • 7. The Cambridge Introduction to Joseph Conrad- John Gerard Peters. Cambridge University Press, 2006. • 8. Conrad: The Critical Heritage-- Norman Sherry, ed. London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1973. • 9. “An Image of Africa: Racism in Conrad’s Heart of Darkness. Chinua Achebe. Hopes and Impediments. 1988. • 10. Joseph Conrad and the Fiction of Autobiography. Edward Said. Columbia UP, 2008. • 11. Joseph Conrad: The Three Lives: A Biography. Frederick Robert Karl. Farrar Straus Giroux, 2016.
PDF Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness. Harold Bloom, ed. and Intro. Bloom’s Modern Critical Interpretations.
• Other Sources you could explore: • Audio • Heart of Darkness—Orson Welles (A BBC Radio Classic Drama) [Youtube] • Heart of Darkness—Full Audio Book (Uncle. Evey) [Youtube] • Video • Movie: Apocalypse Now (1979). Adaptation. Director—Francis Ford Coppola. • Television Adaptation. Director—Nocholas Roeg. Released— 1993. • Video Games • Spec Ops: The Line (2012) Yager Development.
Introduction to the Author
Joseph Conrad (3 December 1857 - 3 August 1924) • Jozef Teodor Konrad Korzeniowski was born in Berdychiv, Ukraine, which was a part of the Russian Empire at that time. • He was the only child of Apollo Korzeniowski (who was a writer and also a political activist) and Ewa Bobrowska. • The Korzeniowski family had been one of the foremost participants in the Polish attempts to regain independence from the Russian Empire. • The family moved from place to place very often. • So, Jozef was home-schooled by his father. • His reading, at this time, of Victor Hugo’s Toilers of the Sea had a lasting impression on him. • His mother died of tuberculosis on 18 April 1865, when Jozef was seven years old. • His father died of tuberculosis on 23 May 1869, when Jozef was eleven years old.
• The young boy was taken under the care of his maternal uncle, Tadeusz Bobrowski. • Conrad was continually ill and his performance in school was very disappointing. • The only subject in which he did well was Geography. • His uncle decided to train him for engagement as a sailor and trader. • In the autumn of 1871, when he was thirteen years old, young Conrad expressed his wish to be a sailor. • From August 1873 to September 1874 he was in a school in Lwow.
• On 13 October 1874 Bobrowski sent his nephew to Marseilles, France, for training as a sailor. • He began his career as a sailor on French merchant ships. • After four years, Conrad joined the British merchant shipping company, Red Ensign. • He served in various capacities: • (a) as crew member: steward, apprentice, able seaman • (b) third mate; second mate, first mate • (c) captain • Up to January 1894, he had led the life of a sailor for nearly nineteen years.
• In 1894, at the age of thirty-six, Conrad gave up the career of a sailor, against his wishes. • The reasons for this decision are: (a) poor health (b) unavailability of ships (c) he wanted to concentrate on a literary career. • In his first novel, Almeyer’s Folly (1895) he used his pen name, “Joseph Conrad” for the first time.
• In about 1890, Conrad had a three-year tryst with a Belgian trading company [for details go to Part— 2] • As part of that he served as the captain of a steamer on the Congo River. • This experience forms the staple of Heart of Darkness. • It was during this engagement that he became friends with Roger Casement, an Irishman who strongly advocated human rights.
Roger Casement • Casement made extensive investigations into atrocities against the indigenous people. • Casement worked for Henry Morton Stanley and the African International Association from 1884. • This Association helped King Leopold II of Belgium in his takeover of the Congo Free State.
Roger Casement • Casement worked as surveyor for the improvement of communication in this densely forested region, with innumerable cataracts, which made transportation extremely hazardous. • Casement recruited and supervised indigenous workmen to build a railroad to bypass the lower 220 miles of the Congo River. • Casement also wrote about his experiences in the Congo region. • He interviewed workers, overseers, mercenaries, and many others to write a long, detailed, eyewitness report, known as the Casement Report of 1904.
Herbert Ward • In 1884 Ward met Stanley in London when he was interviewed for the post of an officer in the newly founded Congo Free State. • For the next two years he worked on the upper and lower Congo River. • It was here that he first met Roger Casement. • Later he was recruited by Stanley as a lieutenant for the Emin Pasha relief expedition. • He finally left the Congo in early 1889.
Conrad’s Career as an Author: What did he write about? • The major part of Conrad’s writing draws heavily upon his career and experience as a sailor. • Sometimes the characters are drawn from real life, sometimes they are imaginary (but not very far from reality) • The descriptions of seas and rivers—journeys along them, the different times of the day and night, seasons, and much more— make Conrad’s work so engaging for the reader.
In which language did he write? • Conrad wrote all his novels and short stories in English. • He learnt the language only when he was a young man serving as a sailor in the British Merchant Navy. • When he was twenty-eight years old, he sent five letters in English to Joseph Spiridon, a Pole, from India (in 1885 -86) before he sailed off to Singapore. Possibly these are his first extant texts in English.
Some of Conrad’s works worth reading for a better understanding of Heart of Darkness (1899): Novels • Almayer’s Folly (1895) • The Nigger of the ‘Narcissus’ (1897) • Lord Jim (1900) • Typhoon (1902; begun in 1899) Short Stories • “The Lagoon” (1896) [“It is the first short story I ever wrote”. Conrad] • “The Secret Sharer” (1909; published 1910) • “An Outpost of Progress” (1896; published 1897) [set in Leopold II’s exploited Congo] Essays • The Mirror of the Sea (1906) [collection of autobiographical essays] • The Congo Diary and Other Uncollected Pieces. Zdzislaw Najder, ed. (1978)
Edward Said divides Conrad’s literary career into three phases: 1. The longest, from the 1890 s to World War I, during which Conrad wrote most of his great works. 2. Following the popular success of Chance (1913), and spanning the War. 3. From the end of World War I to his death in 1924.
Introduction to the Text
The author and the text. . .
First published as a threepart serial in Blackwood’s Magazine Originally issued as a three-part serial story in Blackwood’s Magazine to celebrate thousandth edition of the magazine Published in the issues for: February, March, April, 1899. [February 1899 was the Magazine’s 1000 th issue]
• 13 November 1902: heart of Darkness was included in the book Youth: A Narrative, and Two Other Stories. Published by William Blackwood. • The three stories in the book were: Youth: A Narrative Heart of Darkness The End of the Tether • In 1917 Conrad wrote an “Author’s Note” for future editions of the book. In it Conrad discusses each of the stories. He also comments on the character of Marlow, who appeared for the first time in Youth, and was to appear in subsequent stories, including Heart of Darkness.
PDF of the text
• Heart of Darkness is a novella written in 1899, when the nineteenth century was about to make way for the twentieth century. • Written at this juncture in chronological time, the novella is read as a work of modern fiction. • The protagonist, Charles Marlow, narrates a voyage up the River Congo, in the heart of Africa, the Dark Continent, into the Congo Free State (under the tyrannical governance of King Leopold II of Belgium). • Marlow, seated like the Buddha on the yawl Nellie, on the River Thames, in England, unfolds the narration of his experience in the Congo Free State to a small group on the yawl, as the day draws to a close, ushering the darkness of night.