By Cedric Watts
This publication bargains a close dialogue of Conrad’s such a lot impressive and complex paintings. Many major elements of Heart of Darkness are tested, from plot and characterisation to imagery and symbolism, and specific consciousness is paid to its ambiguity and paradoxes. by way of bearing on the textual content to a number of contexts, Cedric Watts explores Conrad’s relevant preoccupations as a author and as a commentator on his age. the 1st variation of this examine seemed in 1977, and reviewers defined it as ‘criticism of the top order’ (Joseph Conrad Today) and ‘an very important book’ (Conradiana).
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Additional resources for Conrad’s Heart of Darkness: A Critical and Contextual Discussion (2nd Edition) (Conrad Studies, Volume 7)
But in the absence of any evidence of ironic or critical reserves, it seems to be effectually that of Conrad. We are now in a position to survey the main ways in which Heart of Darkness exploits the oblique narrative convention. First, there is use of the familiar principle that the bizarre events recounted gain vividness through the apparently respectable and sociable normality of the contrasting outer narrative. Secondly, there is a tentacular effect: the initial impression of contrast is disturbed by the implication that there The Oblique Narrative Convention 23 PD\ EH VRPH FRPSOLFLW\ EHWZHHQ WKH DSSDUHQWO\ UHVSHFWDEOH ´RXWHUµ JURXSDQGWKHEUXWDOLWLHVRIWKH´LQQHUµQDUUDWLYH7KLUGO\DQGUHODWHGWR the last factor, is the handling of the convention that the characters of the outer group are known to us by vocational titles.
A more complex interaction of outer and inner narratives in this quoted passage concerns the themes of eloquence and of light and darkness. XUW]·V HORTXHQFH gives a tentacle to Kurtz ² his attributed qualities reach out at us through Marlow. XUW]·V ZRUGV PD\ SRVVLEO\ EH ´WKH SXOVDWLQJ VWUHDP RI OLJKWµ ² and after the interruption, Marlow lights his pipe, and in the flare of the PDWFKZHVHH´WKHZRUQDQGKROORZIDFHµ+e who has been telling us about so many metaphorically hollow men has a literal hollowness of feature ² or is it that his facial hollowness also has some pejorative metaphorical quality?
Of Heart of Darkness: but the later Marlow is capable, as the earlier is not, of conceptualising and meditating some of the subversive implications of those effects, as when he thinks aloud RYHUWKDWLQWHUMHFWLRQRI´$EVXUGµ The Marlow of ¶