The Originals: Heart Of Darkness - Om Books

Polish-born English novelist Joseph Conrad’s powerful and controversial novella, Heart of Darkness, was first published in serialized form in 1899 in Blackwoods Magazine. Set mainly in the Belgian Congo, the novella explores the debilitating impact of colonization on the colonizer and the colonized. The unreliable narrator of the story, English sailor Charles Marlow is hired by a Belgian company to captain a steamer in the newly established Congo Free State. Intrigued by rumours about another company employee named Kurtz, who is said to be posted in the interior, Marlow sails upriver in search of him. During the journey and in his encounter with Kurtz, Marlow gets to see the “barren darkness” of men’s hearts and the horror and brutality colonizers have unleashed on the African heartland. Many post-colonial writers such as Chinua Achebe have criticized the racist overtones of Conrad’s portrayal of African culture and society. The novella also inspired Francis Ford Copolla’s epic Vietnam war film, Apocalypse Now (1979).

Polish-British novelist and short story writer Joseph Conrad was born in a Russian-ruled province of Poland (in present-day Ukraine) in 1857. Both his parents were politically active in the Polish independence movement. As a result, the family was exiled to northern Russia in 1863. Conrad was orphaned at 11 and sent to live with his relatives. He joined the French merchant marines at 16. At 21, he joined a British ship and went on to work for the British merchant marines for ten years. During this stint, he became a naturalised British citizen and travelled to Asia, Africa, Australia, and India. His voyage to the Congo (then a Belgian colony) in 1890 sparked his powerful novella, Heart of Darkness (1899).
Conrad’s well-known novels include Nostromo (1904), The Secret Agent (1907), Under Western Eyes (1911), and Victory (1915). He is the author of several insightful short stories that showcase his intensely personal vision and remarkable writing skills. Conrad retired from the marines due to ill health and died of a heart attack in England in 1924.

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Author: Joseph Conrad
Publisher: Om Books International
X-ISBN: 9789353764678