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Conrad: Heart of Darkness

2. Conrad's Trip to the Congo and Marlow's Arrival at the Company Station

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About this Lecture

Lecture

In this module, we think briefly about Conrad's own experiences in captaining a ship in the Congo, before looking in detail at the scene in which Marlowe arrives at the Company Station – and especially the presentation of the native blacks in this scene. We also think about Chinua Achebe's criticism of Heart of Darkness in his essay 'An Image of Africa' (1978) as well as some potential responses to that criticism.

Reading list:
– Adam Hochschild, King Leopold's Ghost (1998)
– Conrad's 'Congo Diary', printed in Joseph Conrad, Last Essays (1926)
– Chinua Achebe, 'An Image of Africa: Racism in Conrad's Heart of Darkness' (1978)

Course

In this course, Dr Keith Carabine (University of Kent) explores Joseph Conrad's 1899 novella, Heart of Darkness. The course begins by thinking about Conrad's own experiences in Africa, as recorded in his 'Personal Record' (1912) and 'Geography and Some Explorers' (1924), as well as the narrative form of the novel – an oral tale told by Marlow to a group of anonymous friends. In the second module, we look more closely at Marlow, focusing in particular on the scene in which he arrives at the Company Station, before moving on in the third and fourth modules to explore the character of Kurtz – looking first at his journal, which ends with the line 'Exterminate all the brutes!', and then at his famous final words in the novel, 'The horror! The horror!' In the fifth and final module, we turn to the ending of the novel, in which Marlow lies to the Intended about Kurtz's final words – 'The last word he pronounced was – your name.'

Lecturer

Keith Carabine did a Ph.d in American Studies at Yale, 1964-67 and has been at the University of Kent ever since, teaching English and American Literature (1967-2005), and is now a Senior Honorary Research Fellow. He has been a Committee member of the Joseph Conrad Society (G.B.) sine 1986 and was the Chair-person from 1996-2015. He has been the General Editor of Wordsworth Classics since 1994, and has edited several volumes, including The Selected Stories of Joseph Conrad.

Cite this Lecture

APA style

Carabine, K. (2018, August 15). Conrad: Heart of Darkness - Conrad's Trip to the Congo and Marlow's Arrival at the Company Station [Video]. MASSOLIT. https://www.massolit.io/courses/conrad-heart-of-darkness-fa149dc5-0a0f-4b79-aefc-ed797b79f278/conrad-s-trip-to-the-congo-and-marlow-s-arrival-at-the-company-station

MLA style

Carabine, Keith. "Conrad: Heart of Darkness – Conrad's Trip to the Congo and Marlow's Arrival at the Company Station." MASSOLIT, uploaded by MASSOLIT, 15 Aug 2018, https://www.massolit.io/courses/conrad-heart-of-darkness-fa149dc5-0a0f-4b79-aefc-ed797b79f278/conrad-s-trip-to-the-congo-and-marlow-s-arrival-at-the-company-station