Heart of Darkness and the Congo Diary

Joseph Conrad

Language: English

Pages: 181


Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

Marlow, a seaman and wanderer, recounts his physical and psychological journey in search of the infamous ivory trader Kurtz. Traveling up river to the heart of the African continent, he gradually becomes obsessed by this enigmatic, wraith-like figure. A haunting and hugely influential Modernist masterpiece, Heart of Darkness explores the limits of human experience as well as the nightmarish realities of imperialism. Part of a major series of new editions of Conrad's most famous works in Penguin Classics, this Enriched eBook contains Conrad's Congo Diary.

Enriched eBook Features Editor Timothy S. Hayes provides the following specially commissioned features for this Enriched eBook Classic:
Telling Africa's Story Today: Recent Films About Africa
Contemporary Reviews of Heart of Darkness
Further Reading
Character Sketches
Diagram of a Typical Congo Steamer, ca. 1890
Images of the Congo
Enriched eBook Notes

The enriched eBook format invites readers to go beyond the pages of these beloved works and gain more insight into the life and times of an author and the period in which the book was originally written for a rich reading experience.

Secret Son

Out In The Midday Sun















A period of biographical mystery ensues, involving a possible brief side voyage to Venezuela, gun-running in the Basque country for the doomed cause of the pretender to the Spanish throne and smuggling near Marseilles. 1878 After amassing debts and gambling losses, attempts suicide (February or March). Leaves Marseilles in the British steamer Mavis for Mediterranean waters (Malta and Constantinople) and then lands at Lowestoft, Suffolk. Employed as ordinary seaman in the Skimmer of the Sea (Lowestoft to Newcastle).

62). 58. Jack ashore: ‘Jack tar’ is a colloquial term for a sailor. The reference is to boisterous behaviour like that of a sailor on shore leave. 59. assegais: Slender iron-tipped spears, usually made of wood from the assegai tree. 60. straw maybe: The common adage ‘to make bricks without straw’ (that is, to be set an impossible task) originates from the form of punishment decreed by Pharaoh for the Israelites: ‘Ye shall no more give the people straw to make brick, as heretofore: let them go and gather straw for themselves’, Exodus 5:7.

Then he got fever, and had to be carried in a hammock slung under a pole. As he weighed sixteen stone I had no end of rows with the carriers. They jibbed, ran away, sneaked off with their loads in the night—quite a mutiny. So, one evening, I made a speech in English with gestures, not one of which was lost to the sixty pairs of eyes before me, and the next morning I started the hammock off in front all right. An hour afterwards I came upon the whole concern wrecked in a bush—man, hammock, groans, blankets, horrors.

And that’s difficult enough. Mind, I am not trying to excuse or even explain—I am trying to account to myself for—for—Mr Kurtz—for the shade of Mr Kurtz. This initiated wraith from the back of Nowhere honoured me with its amazing confidence before it vanished altogether. This was because it could speak English to me. The original Kurtz had been educated partly in England, and—as he was good enough to say himself—his sympathies were in the right place. His mother was half-English, his father was half-French.

Villages quite invisible. Infer their existence from cal[a]bashes20 suspended to palm trees for the ‘malafu’. 21– Good many caravans and travellers. No women unless on the market place. – Bird notes charming–One especially a flute-like note. Another kind of ‘boom’ ressembling22 the very distant baying of a hound. –Saw only pigeons and a few green parroquets; very small and not many. No birds of prey seen by me. Up to 9am–sky clouded and calm–Afterwards gentle breeze from the N[or]th generally and sky clearing–Nights damp and cool.

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