Heart of Darkness

Conrad, Joseph

Joseph Conrad, 1857–1924, English novelist, b. Berdichev, Russia (now Berdychiv, Ukraine), originally named Jósef Teodor Konrad Walecz Korzeniowski. Born of Polish parents, he is considered one of the greatest novelists and prose stylists in English literature. In 1874, Conrad went to sea and later joined (1878) an English merchant ship, becoming (1884) a master mariner as well as a British citizen. Retiring from the merchant fleet in 1894, he began his career as a novelist, and all of his novels are written in English, an acquired language. His notable early works include The Nigger of the Narcissus (1897), Lord Jim (1900), and the novellas Youth (1902), Heart of Darkness (1902), and Typhoon (1903). The novels Nostromo (1904), The Secret Agent (1907), Under Western Eyes (1911), and Chance (1913) are regarded by many as Conrad's greatest works. Of his later works, Victory (1915) is the best known. He also collaborated on two novels with Ford Madox Ford, The Inheritors (1901) and Romance (1903). Marked by a distinctive, opulent prose style, Conrad's novels combine realism and high drama. Their settings include nautical backgrounds as well as high society, and international politics. Conrad was a skilled creator of atmosphere and character; the impact of various situations was augmented by his use of symbolism. He portrayed acutely the conflict between non-western cultures and modern civilization. His characters exhibit the possibilities for isolation and moral deterioration in modern life.

See his complete works (26 vol., 1924–26); biographies by J. Baines (1960), F. M. Ford (1965), N. Sherry (1973, repr. 1997), F. R. Karl (1979), J. Meyers (1991), and J. Batchelor (1993); L. Davies et al., ed., The Collected Letters of Joseph Conrad (9 vol., 2008); studies by E. Said (1966), R. Curle (1968), J. A. Palmer (1968), B. Johnson (1971), N. Sherry (1971, 1980), and I. Watt (1980); bibliography by T. G. Ehrsam (1969).

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright© 2014, The Columbia University Press.

Heart of Darkness: Selected full-text books and articles

Youth; Heart of Darkness; The End of the Tether
Joseph Conrad.
J. M. Dent and Sons, 1946
Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness
Harold Bloom.
Chelsea House, 1987
Librarian’s tip: This is a book of literary criticism
Harold Bloom.
Chelsea House, 1992
Librarian’s tip: This is about Charles Marlow, who appears in several of Conrad's works including Heart of Darkness
A Joseph Conrad Companion
Leonard Orr; Ted Billy.
Greenwood Press, 1999
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 5 "Heart of Darkness: (1899)"
Colonizers, Cannibals, and the Horror of Good Intentions in Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness
Kaplan, Carola M.
Studies in Short Fiction, Vol. 34, No. 3, Summer 1997
Cultural Psychosis on the Frontier: The Work of the Darkness in Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness
Brown, Tony C.
Studies in the Novel, Vol. 32, No. 1, Spring 2000
Peer-reviewed publications on Questia are publications containing articles which were subject to evaluation for accuracy and substance by professional peers of the article's author(s).
'Heart of Darkness' and Late-Victorian Fascination with the Primitive and the Double
Elbarbary, Samir.
Twentieth Century Literature, Vol. 39, No. 1, Spring 1993
Joseph Conrad, the Way of Dispossession
H. M. Daleski.
Holmes & Meier, 1977
Librarian’s tip: Chap. Three "'Heart of Darkness'"
Postcolonial Criticism
Bart Moore-Gilbert; Gareth Stanton; Willy Maley.
Longman, 1997
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 3 "An Image of Africa: Racism in Conrad's Heart of Darkness"
The Foreign Woman in British Literature: Exotics, Aliens, and Outsiders
Marilyn Demarest Button; Toni Reed.
Greenwood Press, 1999
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 9 "Phantoms Mistaken for a Human Face: Race and the Construction of the African Woman's Identity in Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness"
Joseph Conrad and the Anthropological Dilemma: Bewildered Traveller
John W. Griffith.
Clarendon Press, 1995
Librarian’s tip: Includes discussion of Heart of Darkness in multiple chapters
Darkness at Heart: Fathers and Sons in Conrad
Catharine Rising.
Greenwood Press, 1990
Librarian’s tip: Includes discussion of Heart of Darkness in multiple chapters
Challenging Hierarchies: Issues and Themes in Colonial and Postcolonial African Literature
Leonard A. Podis; Yakubu Saaka.
Peter Lang, 1998
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 11 "Narrative Distancing and the (De)Construction of Imperialist Consciousness in 'The Man Who Would Be King' and Heart of Darkness"
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