Heart of Darkness: a Choice of Nightmares

  • Patrick Reilly

Abstract

Heart of Darkness is a text organised around certain major concepts and the relationships and tensions between them: civilisation and darkness, the mystery of restraint, the salvationary nature of work, the status and cost of knowledge. What follows is an attempt, with Gulliver’s Travels as template, to trace these ideas as they interact with each other through the book in the belief that the meaning will thereby reveal itself.

Keywords

Europe Assure Straw Ghost Defend 

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Notes

  1. 1.
    Joseph Conrad, Heart of Darkness, ed. with an Introduction by Paul O’Prey (Harmondsworth, Middx: Penguin, 1984) p.86.Google Scholar
  2. 10.
    Joseph Conrad on Fiction, ed. Walter F. Wright (Lincoln, Nebr.: University of Nebraska Press, 1964) pp.208–9.Google Scholar
  3. 11.
    Heart of Darkness, ed. Robert Kimbrough (New York: W. W. Norton, 1971) pp.141, 140. (Hereafter Kimbrough.)Google Scholar
  4. 14.
    Joseph Conrad, Under Western Eyes (Harmondsworth, Middx: Penguin, 1957) p.52.Google Scholar
  5. 20.
    George Steiner, In Bluebeard’s Castle: Some Notes Towards the Redefinition of Culture (London: Faber and Faber, 1974) p.31.Google Scholar
  6. 21.
    Sigmund Freud, ‘The Future of an Illusion’, in Civilization, Society and Religion (Harmondsworth, Middx: Pelican Freud Library, 1985) vol.12, p.221.Google Scholar
  7. 26.
    Bertrand Russell, Portraits from Memory and Other Essays (London: George Allen and Unwin, 1956) p.82.Google Scholar
  8. 33.
    Joseph Conrad, Nostromo: A Tale of the Seaboard (Harmondsworth, Middx: Penguin, 1963) p.310.Google Scholar
  9. 39.
    Quoted by Matthew Arnold in Essays in Criticism (London: Dent, Everyman’s Library, 1969) p.7.Google Scholar
  10. 49.
    T. S. Eliot, ‘Baudelaire’, in Selected Prose, ed. by John Hayward (Harmondsworth, Middx: Penguin, 1955) p. 194.Google Scholar
  11. 50.
    Graham Greene, Brighton Rock (Harmondsworth, Middx: Penguin, 1957) pp.128–9.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Patrick Reilly 1988

Authors and Affiliations

  • Patrick Reilly
    • 1
  1. 1.University of GlasgowScotland

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