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Heart of Darkness (1899)

by Joseph Conrad

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
21,109338146 (3.56)2 / 1132
"Heart of Darkness" grew out of a journey Joseph Conrad took up the Congo River; the verisimilitude that the great novelist thereby brought to his most famous tale everywhere enhances its dense and shattering power. Apparently a sailor's yarn, it is in fact a grim parody of the adventure story, in which the narrator, Marlow, travels deep into the heart of the Congo where he encounters the crazed idealist Kurtz and discovers that the relative values of the civilized and the primitive are not what they seem. "Heart of Darkness" is a model of economic storytelling, an indictment of the inner and outer turmoil caused by the European imperial misadventure, and a piercing account of the fragility of the human soul.… (more)
  1. 211
    King Leopold's Ghost: A Story of Greed, Terror and Heroism in Colonial Africa by Adam Hochschild (baobab, chrisharpe)
  2. 100
    The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver (baobab, WSB7)
    WSB7: Both about "colonialisms" abuses in the Congo, among other themes.
  3. 81
    The Quiet American by Graham Greene (browner56)
    browner56: Powerful, suspenseful fictional accounts of the intended and unintended consequences of colonial rule
  4. 92
    Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe (SanctiSpiritus)
  5. 61
    Journey to the End of the Night by Louis-Ferdinand Céline (gust)
  6. 51
    State of Wonder by Ann Patchett (DetailMuse)
    DetailMuse: Includes a quest for a Kurtz-like character.
  7. 20
    The Dream of the Celt by Mario Vargas Llosa (gust)
  8. 20
    Exterminate All the Brutes by Sven Lindqvist (Polaris-)
  9. 20
    Dancing in the Glory of Monsters: The Collapse of the Congo and the Great War of Africa by Jason Stearns (Anonymous user)
  10. 20
    The Roots of Heaven by Romain Gary (ursula)
  11. 20
    The African Queen by C. S. Forester (Cecilturtle)
  12. 20
    The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson (Sylak)
    Sylak: Delving the depths of human savagery and corruption.
  13. 20
    Downward to the Earth by Robert Silverberg (aulsmith)
    aulsmith: Silverberg was inspired by Conrad's story to write Downward to Earth and makes some interesting comments on the themes that Conrad explores.
  14. 20
    The Sea Wolf by Jack London (wvlibrarydude)
  15. 10
    Fly Away Peter by David Malouf (lucyknows)
    lucyknows: Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad may be paired with Fly Away Peter by David Malouf as both authors show human nature to be hollow to the core.
  16. 10
    The Beach by Alex Garland (TomWaitsTables)
  17. 21
    The Drowned World by J. G. Ballard (amanda4242)
  18. 21
    The Playmaker by Thomas Keneally (PilgrimJess)
    PilgrimJess: This book was influenced by Heart of Darkness and looks at the uncomfortable truths about bringing 'civilisation' to another country.
  19. 10
    Headhunter by Timothy Findley (chrisharpe)
    chrisharpe: "Headhunter" is a clever and well written fantasy on the theme of Kurtz.
  20. 21
    The Royal Way by André Malraux (thatguyzero)

(see all 27 recommendations)

Africa (3)
1890s (6)
Uni (5)
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» See also 1132 mentions

English (300)  Spanish (9)  Catalan (7)  Italian (4)  Dutch (4)  German (3)  Swedish (3)  French (3)  Danish (1)  Tagalog (1)  Finnish (1)  Galician (1)  All languages (337)
Showing 1-5 of 300 (next | show all)
8489669333
  archivomorero | Jun 25, 2022 |
Puoi trovare questa recensione anche sul mio blog, La siepe di more

Cosa può dire Cuore di tenebra a unǝ lettorǝ oggi? Cosa può dirci di significativo un romanzo scritto da un uomo che sosteneva il colonialismo in quanto portatore di civiltà (sic) a popolazioni che a suo dire non lo erano? Ha ancora qualcosa da dirci il punto di vista razzista e sessista di Conrad quando sappiamo benissimo che la sua benevolenza è solo la facciata più presentabile di quell’orrore che lo sconvolse così tanto del Congo sotto l’oppressione di Leopoldo II del Belgio?

Ecco, secondo me sì, anche se non riesco a biasimare chi lo bolla come feccia razzista, perché il punto di vista di Conrad, veicolato attraverso il racconto di Marlow, oggi è inaccettabile e il fastidio che provoca può facilmente annegare quello che Cuore di tenebra è ancora capace di dirci, cioè che la nostra civiltà è ben lungi dall’essere conquistata per sempre.

Per quanto, infatti, ci raccontiamo di aver superato la nostra disumanità e averla cancellata a colpi di progresso, basta un nonnulla per far cadere la nostra facciata di popoli civili e ripiombare nell’oscurità della ferocia. Conrad racconta molto bene la perdita di ogni freno inibitorio dettata dall’avidità di materie prime, dal razzismo e dalla lontananza fisica da ogni giudizio morale vincolante, che rende inutile anche il mantenimento di una parvenza di civiltà.

Cuore di tenebra è ancora rilevante per il modo in cui espone quell’orrore che sta dentro di noi, appena sotto la superficie dei nostri principi cosiddetti inviolabili, che non sono riusciti affatto a tenerlo a bada; un orrore che riaffiora ancora e ancora, stupendoci ogni volta, nonostante le annose denuncie delle persone razzializzate.

Eh già. Noi oggi, in più di Conrad, abbiamo le testimonianze e le denuncie delle vittime di quell’orrore: iniziare a prenderle sul serio e ad ascolterle, invece di liquidarle come esagerazioni, potrebbe essere un buon modo per non cadere dal pero davanti a certi sopprusi. ( )
  Baylee_Lasiepedimore | May 13, 2022 |
I listened too the audio book version of this, narrated by Kenneth Branagh. It was an interesting listen. It is a text that is considered a classic. An intriguing and dark story. Not a novel as such, more a long monologue. Of course this is exactly what Marlow, the protagonist, is giving to his assembled listeners.
I can imagine this would be a challenging read in text. Kenneth Branagh does a great job with the narration making this an atmospheric and dark tale of obsession. ( )
  Sandman-1961 | Apr 26, 2022 |
In this story-within-a-story, a group of travelers sits on a boat on the Thames waiting for the tide to turn for their departure. While they wait, Charles Marlow tells his companions about his time as a steamboat captain on an African river in the employ of a trading company. Things go wrong from the outset, and the charismatic Kurtz dominates the tale long before his “on stage” appearance.

The framing of the story as a tale told at night to a captive audience gives it the feel of a ghost story. I usually do well with audiobooks, but it was the wrong choice for this book. This could be due partly to the distractions I faced during the time I listened to the audio (wildfires within 6 miles of my home), but Conrad’s dense prose could be a factor. I thought I was paying attention, but I missed a lot of important points. I’ll need to go back and read this in print at some point. ( )
  cbl_tn | Apr 9, 2022 |
Despite the deceptively simple narrative this speaks to something deep inside. ( )
  whatmeworry | Apr 9, 2022 |
Showing 1-5 of 300 (next | show all)

» Add other authors (138 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Conrad, Josephprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Branagh, KennethNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Butcher, TimIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Freissler, Ernst WolfgangÜbersetzersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Goonetilleke, D. C. R. A.Editorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Harding, JeremyIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kish, MattIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kivivuori, KristiinaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lesage, ClaudineTraductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
O'Prey, PaulIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Pirè, LucianaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Vancells i Flotats, MontserratTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Watts, CedricEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Westerdijk, S.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Westerdijk, S.Afterwordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Wilson, A. N.Forewordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Zapatka, ManfredSprechersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

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The Nellie, a cruising yawl, swung to her anchor without a flutter of the sails, and was at rest. The flood had made, the wind was nearly calm, and being bound down the river, the only thing for it was to come to and wait for the turn of the tide.
Quotations
"The horror! The horror!"
"And this also," said Marlow suddenly, "has been one of the dark places of the earth."
"What you say is rather profound, and probably erroneous," he said, with a laugh.
I've seen the devil of violence, and the devil of greed, and the devil of hot desire...these were strong, lusty, red-eyed devils, that swayed men - men, I tell you. But as I stood on this hillside, I foresaw that in the blinding sunshine of that land I would become acquainted with a flabby, pretending, weak-eyed devil of a rapacious and pitiless folly.
And outside, the silent wilderness surrounding this cleared speck on the earth struck me as something great and invincible, like evil or truth, waiting patiently for the passing away of this fantastic invasion.
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Wikipedia in English (1)

"Heart of Darkness" grew out of a journey Joseph Conrad took up the Congo River; the verisimilitude that the great novelist thereby brought to his most famous tale everywhere enhances its dense and shattering power. Apparently a sailor's yarn, it is in fact a grim parody of the adventure story, in which the narrator, Marlow, travels deep into the heart of the Congo where he encounters the crazed idealist Kurtz and discovers that the relative values of the civilized and the primitive are not what they seem. "Heart of Darkness" is a model of economic storytelling, an indictment of the inner and outer turmoil caused by the European imperial misadventure, and a piercing account of the fragility of the human soul.

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Book description
This is story of Marlow and his quest to find Mr Kurtz within the dense jungles of Africa. His journey challenges his values and life and reveals new sides of himself that only darkness could expose.
Haiku summary
King Leopold's fans
appreciate this tribute;
Mister Kurtz, he dead.
(thorold)

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Penguin Australia

4 editions of this book were published by Penguin Australia.

Editions: 0143106589, 014356644X, 0241956803, 0141199784

Tantor Media

2 editions of this book were published by Tantor Media.

Editions: 1400100615, 1400108462

Urban Romantics

2 editions of this book were published by Urban Romantics.

Editions: 1909175978, 1909175986

Recorded Books

An edition of this book was published by Recorded Books.

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