A haunting and hugely influential Modernist masterpiece, the "Penguin Classics" edition of Joseph Conrad's "Heart of Darkness" is edited with an introduction by Owen Knowles. Conrad's narrator Marlow, a seaman and wanderer, recounts his physical and psychological journey in search of the infamous ivory trader Kurtz: dying, insane, and guilty of unspeakable atrocities. Travelling upriver to the heart of the African continent, he gradually becomes obsessed by this enigmatic, wraith-like figure.
Marlow's discovery of how Kurtz has gained his position of power over the local people involves him in a radical questioning, not only of his own nature and values, but also those of western civilisation. The inspiration for Francis Ford Coppola's Oscar-winning film "Apocalypse Now", "Heart of Darkness" is a quintessentially modernist work exploring the limits of human experience and the nightmarish realities of imperialism. Part of a major series of new editions of Conrad's most famous works in "Penguin Classics", this volume contains Conrad's "Congo Diary", a chronology, further reading, notes, a map of the Congo, a glossary and an introduction discussing the author's experiences in Africa, the narrative and symbolic complexities of "Heart of Darkness" and critical responses to the novel.
Joseph Conrad (1857-1924) was born in the Ukraine and grew up under Tsarist autocracy. After spending years in the French, and later the British Merchant Navy, Conrad left the sea to devote himself to writing. In 1896 he settled in Kent, where he produced within fifteen years such modern classics as "Youth", "Heart of Darkness", "Lord Jim", "Typhoon", "Nostromo", "The Secret Agent" and "Under Western Eyes".