Heart of Darkness. Impressionism. Why the Blurriness?. For modern novelists, the messiness and confusion and darkness of experience is interesting
Heart of Darkness
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For modern novelists, the messiness and confusion and darkness of experience is interesting
Rather than trying to simplify and abstract a particular meaning from experience, novelists tend to wallow in the multiplicity of ideas and meanings and sensations that experience can provide
Why the Blurriness?
Novelists are in the business of recreating and communicating the rich complexities of the experience itself.
Their purpose is to get the reader to re-live an experience, with all its complexity and messiness, all its darkness and ambiguity
For Conrad, the world as we experience it is not a sort of place that can be reduced to a set of clear, explicit truths
Its truths—the truths of the psyche, of the human mind and soul—are messy, vague, irrational, suggestive, and dark
Conrad’s intention?: to lead his readers to an experience of the “heart of darkness,”not to shed the light of reason on it…but to recreate his experience of darkness in our feelings, our sensibilities, our own dark and mysterious hearts
Order in the midst of ChaosHOD’s Structure
Three: chapters, Marlow breaks off story 3 times, stations, women, central characters
Russian doll effect
Heart of Darkness as Modernist Novel
An interest in exploring the psychological
An awareness of primitiveness and savagery as the condition upon which civilization is built
Multiplicity, ambiguity, irony
A Final Thought
Multiplicity, ambiguity, and irony are not the easiest forms of expression to cope with when you are a student and asked to express yourself clearly and directly. But it is precisely because the world appears to us to be multiple, ambiguous, and ironic that we must strive to speak and write clearly.
Otherwise—there is only darkness, only confusion
Scramble for Africa
Questions to Consider as you Read:
What is evil? How does the novel seem to define evil?
What is good? How does the novel seem to define goodness?
Consider the following definition of darkness: the absence of light