Conrad, Joseph: Heart of Darkness

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Title: Works of Joseph Conrad Book: Heart of Darkness Author: Conrad, Joseph Critic: Weiss, James Affiliation: Department Of English Education, New York University Heart Of Darkness: Parts 1 and 2 Introduction: In September of 1889, Conrad began writing his first novel, Almayer s Folly, but he was more interested in beginning an adventure which was to provide material for one of his most widely read works, Heart of Darkness. Years before, in 1868, when he was a boy of nine, Conrad had been staring at a map of Africa. Pointing with his finger to the blank space that was the then unexplored heart of the continent, he said, When I grow up I shall go there. Now, twenty-one years later and in different country, Conrad decided to make good on his boyhood promise. The blank space on the map of Africa was no longer blank; it was the Belgian Congo Conrad decided to ask for the job of captain on one of the steamers that plied the river which leads into the center of that territory. Thus, in September of 1889, a letter was presented to Albert Thys, acting head of the Societe Anonyme Belge pour les Commerce du Haut-Congo, recommending Captain Korzeniowski for the job. In January of 1890, Captain Koreniowski (or Conrad, as he will be called from now on) wrote to an aunt by marriage, Madame Marguerite Poradowska, asking her to see what she could do to help him to obtain his appointment. Madame Poradowska was a woman of thirty, beautiful, and surrounded by a circle of influential friends. ...

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