Published in 1899, Heart of Darkness recounts the tale of a river-boat captain who takes on a mission into the African interior (the Belgian Congo, if unnamed) at the height of imperial rule. His odyssey portrays power, alienation and loneliness, with brutal colonialism as its backdrop. Heart of Darkness is one of the first recognisably modernist works of literature in English, using a technique called the frame narrative previously associated with poets such as Chaucer and Boccaccio. It is also one of the most analysed works in English fiction, and its universal themes have a popularity that resonates to this day. Coppola's film Apocalypse Now is based on Heart of Darkness but set in the jungles of Vietnam.
‘(Heart of Darkness) is a haunting, hypnotic masterpiece by a great writer who towers over the literature of the 20th century.’ The Guardian.
‘Ce livre est devenu une pierre de touche pour penser l’Afrique et l’Europe, la civilisation et la sauvagerie, l’impérialisme, le génocide, la folie, la nature humaine elle-même,’ Maya Jasanoff.
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photo credit: Penguin Classics
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