Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Joseph Conrad

As we are reading Heart of Darkness I am amazed that Conrad's first language was not English. By Conrad writing such an impeccable novel in a language other than his native language, it shows that he is truly a genius. I could never image writing a novella in another language! Conrad continues to amaze me with his writing and intelligence.


Olivia Celata said...

As evident through the framed-narrative, or story within a story context, Conrad purposely tries to remove himself from the novella. Conrad also tells the story in a way, so as he does not take a certain side on the Congo-reform debate. Instead, he merely shows that Africans are dehumanized by the Europeans who arrive in Africa. Although the author may not have intended to send a message through his words, since he viewed words as "meaningless" in general, he still provided inspiration to the reformers. In the Casement article we read, E.D. Morel stated, "Heart of Darkness was the most powerful thing ever written on the subject (of the Congo reform movement)."

Blaine said...

Contrary to Olivia, I believe Conrad fails at distancing himself with the character Marlow. Achebe states taht "If Conrad's intention is to draw a cordon sanitaire between himself and the moral pychological malaise of his narrator, his care seems to me totally wasted" Like Achebe, I believe his distancing to be a waste. Conrad neglects to hint even subtly to an alternative frame of reference with which the reader may opinionate the actions and opinions of his characters.

C-Sted said...

I think it is amazing that Conrad even became the artist we know him to be at all. He only became a sailor to avoid being drafted into the Russian Imperial army, and he only learned to read and speak English because of the English sailors whom he worked with. It is only because of these two coincidences that some of the most memorable sailing stories in the English language came to exist.

I also think that it is interesting that Conrad, who became an English citizen as an adult, was such a proponent of his new country. I think it gives credibility to the idea that naturalized citizens often show particular zeal for their chosen homes.