Heart Of Darkness
His flowing English seemed to be derived from a dictionary compiled by a lunatic.
Is the difficulty with Heart of Darkness the portentous mysteriousness so regretted by E. M. Forster and F. R. Leavis, or with its being, in the authors words, “too symbolic or rather symbolic at all” Or … or is the horror of Heart of Darkness the apparently endless circulation of its signs in lies and irony In as much as the story raises questions of lies, hypocrisy, and ambiguity, it concerns the duplicity of language, the preeminent medium of the existence and expression of those conditions. As the imagined written record of an imagined oral yarn, some distinction between “sound” and “unsound” method looms large. And as the product of a fluently trilingual author obsessed with ambiguity, hypocrisy, and lies–his own not least– Conrads Congo-book solicits watchful reading.
The more one reads of Conrads life, the more one finds in the celebrated words from the Preface to The Nigger of the “Narcissus” (1897 [NN]) another schizoid instance of someone addressing the self in disguise: “My task which I am trying to achieve is, by the power of the written word, to make you hear, to
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