Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness, Paperback Book


Conrad finished Heart of Darkness on 9th February, 1899 and on publication it had an impact as powerful as any long short story, or short novel ever written - it is only 38,000 words.

It quickly became, and has remained, Conrad's most famous work and has been regarded by many in America, if not elsewhere, as his greatest work.

Exciting and profound, lucid and bewildering, and written with an exuberance which sometimes seems at odds with its subject matter, it has influenced writers as diverse as T.S.Eliot, Graham Greene, William Golding, and Ngugi wa Thiong'o.

It has also inspired, among others, Orson Welles, who made two radio versions the second of which, in 1945, depicted Kurtz as a forerunner of Adolf Hitler, and Francis Ford Coppola who turned it into the film Apocalypse Now.

More critical attention has probably been paid to it, per word, than to any other modern prose work.

It has also become a text about which, as the late Frank Kermode once complained, interpreters feel licensed to say absolutely anything.

Why? What is it about Heart of Darkness that has captivated critics and readers for so long and caused so many millions of words to be written about it? And why has its peculiarly dark and intense vision of life so frequently been misunderstood?

Graham Bradshaw provides the answers in this illuminating guide.




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