Heart of Darkness and The Secret Sharer

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Signet Classic, 1997 - Fiction - 168 pages
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In this pair of literary voyages into the inner self, Joseph Conrad has written two of the most chilling, disturbing, and noteworthy pieces of fiction of this century. Heart of Darkness, which first appeared in Blackwood's Magazinein 1902, makes a devastating comment on the corruptibility of humankind. Based on Conrad's own 1890 trip up the Congo river, the story is told by Marlow, the novelist's alter ego. It is a journey into darkness and horror - both literally, as the narrator descends into a sinister jungle landscape, and metaphorically, as he witnesses the depths of the moral depravity symbolised by the agent Kurtz.

Another voyage into the self occurs in The Secret Sharer, the tale of a young sea captain's first command as he sails into the Gulf of Siam - and into an encounter with his 'double', the Jungian shadow self of the unconscious mind.

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User Review  - markatread - LibraryThing

New York Public Library edition of Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness and The Secret Agent. Besides the two books by Conrad, there are two short essays with additional illustrations and pictures that ... Read full review

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About the author (1997)

Joseph Conrad (originally Józef Teodor Konrad Nalecz Korzeniowski) was born in the Ukraine in 1857 and grew up under Tsarist autocracy. His parents, ardent Polish patriots, died when he was a child, following their exile for anti-Russian activities, and he came under the protection of his tradition-conscious uncle, Thaddeus Bobrowski, who watched over him for the next twenty-five years. In 1874 Bobrowski conceded to his nephew's passionate desire to go to sea, and Conrad travelled to Marseilles, where he served in French merchant vessels before joining a British ship in 1878 as an apprentice. In 1886 he obtained British nationality and his Master's certificate in the British Merchant Service. Eight years later he left the sea to devote himself to writing, publishing his first novel, Almayer's Folly, in 1895. The following year he married Jessie George and eventually settled in Kent, where he produced within fifteen years such modern classics as Youth, Heart of Darkness, Lord Jim, Typhoon, Nostromo, The Secret Agent and Under Western Eyes. He continued to write until his death in 1924. Today Conrad is generally regarded as one of the greatest writers of fiction in English—his third language. He once described himself as being concerned 'with the ideal value of things, events and people'; in the Preface to The Nigger of the 'Narcissus' he defined his task as 'by the power of the written word ... before all, to make you see'.

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