Conrad Studies


Vol. 7, 2012

The "Oblique Narrative" Convention and the Tale's Opening
i. (a) Uses of the ConventionBY "the 'oblique narrative' convention" I mean the convention of the tale within a tale, whereby the "inner" narrative is presented in the words of a fictional narrator whom we first meet in the "outer" or enclosing narrative....
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Marlow's Narrative (I)
i. (a) The Company's HeadquartersMARLOW PROCEEDS to tell us how he got the appointment which took him to Africa. After "loafing ashore" for a while, he had sought unsuccessfully a further seafaring post; then one day the sight of a map of Africa had...
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Marlow's Narrative (Ii)
i. (a) The Voyage down the African CoastON LEAVING EUROPE, Marlow travels as a passenger on a French steamer which puts soldiers and customs officials ashore at various lonely outposts on the African coast; eventually the seat of government is reached....
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Various Themes: Linguistic, Moral, Psychological and Philosophical
i. LINGUISTICWords have killed images or are concealing them. A civilisation of words is a civilisation distraught.(lone s co : journal)Neurath's comment on the famous last sentence of the Tractatus "Whereof one cannot speak, thereof one must be silent"...
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IN THE YEAR after the appearance of Heart of Darkness, Conrad published Lord Jim. Jim is in some ways a counterpart to Kurtz, for Jim lives among and leads a community of natives in a remote jungle, and his fortunes and destiny become inextricably interwoven...
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Preface to the Second Edition
We think our Fathers Fools, so wise we grow; Our wiser Sons *, no doubt, will think us so."(Alexander Pope: cAn Essay on Criticism'.)I WROTE this book in 1971. Eventually, it was published in 1977 by Mursia International of Milan, the proprietor being...
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TO BEGIN with an immediate declaration of interest: Heart of Darkness is the best short novel I know, and in my opinion it is the finest and richest of Conrad's works. The tale is exciting and profound, lucid and bewildering; it is highly compressed,...
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Reflections on the Title
i. AMBIGUITYWHEN THE TALE was first published, as a serial in Blackwood's Magazine in 1 899, the title was The Heart of Darkness. Obviously enough, the title-phrase can mean "the centre of a dark (sinister, evil, corrupt, malevolent, mysterious or obscure)...
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