Heart of Darkness
1. Symbolists - suggestiveness, reflexivity, epater le bourgeouis
2. Blackwood’s Magazine
3. Subject position
“scramble for Africa” - Leopold II
“...thousands have made the greatest impression by appealing to some vague dream of
glory, or empire, or nationality. The ruder sort of men -- that is, men at ONE stage of
rudeness -- will sacrifice all they hope for, all they have, THEMSELVES, for what is
called an idea -- for some attraction which seems to transcend reality, which aspired to
elevate men by an interest higher, deeper, wider than that of ordinary life.”
- “The English Constitution”
- p.2347: language is problematic because if someone says they’ve seen a tree you don’t know
exactly what kind if it isn’t described; different for everyone
- Surrealist obsession with dreams. Freud dreams.
- When you’re telling a story, you have to assert that you’re a truthful person, or we can’t believe
you. Marlow asserts that he isn’t a liar, but says that it isn’t possible to convey exactly what you
- Prior to telephone, a disembodied voice was impossible.
- epater de bourgeois - irritate middle class
- Victorians wanted a happy ending in books, and clarity. They didn’t want to be left
- Blackwood’s Magazine - middle class debated issues of the day; Conrad publishes
Heart of Darkness, this inconclusive novel to this magazine. What was he trying to get
- Idea of Imperialism
- Conrad wants to address this to the lawyers, accountants that read the magazine.
- Imperialism was at its’ height here.
- An economic imperative underlies