Heart of Darkness (1899) is a novella by Polish-English novelist Joseph Conrad about a narrated voyage up the Congo River into the Congo Free State in the so-called heart of Africa. Charles Marlow, the narrator, tells his story to friends aboard a boat anchored on the River Thames. This setting provides the frame for Marlow's story of his obsession with the ivory trader Kurtz, which enables Conrad to create a parallel between what Conrad calls "the greatest town on earth", London, and Africa as places of darkness.
Central to Conrad's work is the idea that there is little difference between so-called civilized people and those described as savages; Heart of Darkness raises questions about imperialism and racism.
Originally issued as a three-part serial story in Blackwood's Magazine to celebrate the thousandth edition of the magazine, Heart of Darkness has been widely re-published and translated into many languages. Famously, the story provided the inspiration for Francis Ford Coppola's 1979 film Apocalypse Now. In 1998, the Modern Library ranked Heart of Darkness 67th on their list of the 100 best novels in English of the twentieth century. Source: Wikipedia
Joseph Conrad (1857 - 1924) is regarded as one of the greatest novelists in English. He was granted British nationality in 1886, but always considered himself a Pole. Though he did not speak English fluently until he was in his twenties (and always with a marked accent), he was a master prose stylist who brought a distinctly non-English sensibility into English literature. He wrote stories and novels, many with a nautical setting, that depict trials of the human spirit in the midst of an impassive, inscrutable universe.
Joseph Conrad is considered an early modernist, though his works still contain elements of nineteenth-century realism. His narrative style and anti-heroiccharacters have influenced many authors, including T.S. Eliot, William Faulkner, Graham Greene, and more recently Salman Rushdie. Many films have been adapted from, or inspired by, Conrad's works.
Writing in the heyday of the British Empire, Conrad drew on his native Poland's national experiences and on his personal experiences in the French andBritish merchant navies to create short stories and novels that reflect aspects of a European-dominated world, while profoundly exploring human psychology. Appreciated early on by literary critics, his fiction and nonfiction have since been seen as almost prophetic, in the light of subsequent national and international disasters of the 20th and 21st centuries.