First serialized in Blackwood's Magazine in 1899, "Heart of Darkness" is the story of steamboat captain Charlie Marlow's voyage into the primitive interior of the Congo of Africa. As a manager of a Belgian ivory company, Marlow travels up the Congo River to meet Kurtz, an agent of the ivory company. Deep in the interior of Africa Marlow finds Kurtz living among the savage natives who revere him as a God. While neither a critical nor financial success during Conrad's lifetime, "Heart of Darkness" has since become Conrad's most famous work, one of the most analyzed works in the history of literature. In "Heart of Darkness", the Polish born Conrad has crafted an intense psychological drama that deals with the very nature of good and evil. Sharp contrast is drawn by Conrad between the "civilized" world of continental Europe and the "uncivilized" world of the interior of Africa, in a mysteriously ambiguous narrative that presents the reader with an inquisitive commentary of the evil savagery that lies at the heart of human existence. This edition is printed on premium acid-free paper.
Joseph Conrad (1857 - 1924) was a Polish-British writer regarded as one of the greatest novelists to write in the English language. He joined the British merchant marine in 1878, and was granted British citizenship in 1886. Though he did not speak English fluently until his twenties, he was a master prose stylist who brought a 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.
Conrad is considered an early modernist, though his works still contain elements of 19th-century realism. His narrative style and anti-heroic characters have influenced numerous authors and many films have been adapted from, or inspired by, his works.
Writing in the heyday of the British Empire, Conrad drew on his native Poland's national experiences and his own experiences in the French and British merchant navies, to create short stories and novels that reflect aspects of a European-dominated world-including imperialism and colonialism-and that profoundly explore the human psyche.