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The remainder of the volume is broken into five sections, and virtually all of the essays maintain the same high standard. The first section, "Millennial Conrad: Heart of Darkness and the Twenty-First Century," contains especially strong essays by Harpham and Wollaeger as well as an interesting offering from Daphna Erdinast-Vulcan and a somewhat tenuous defense of Heart of Darkness by Benita Parry. Harpham's essay argues that Conrad's struggle to master English as he wrote his greatest works relates directly to his treatment of identity and paternity: "by depicting the identification of one character with another, Conrad was casting into narrative form the very struggle he was experiencing with respect to his medium" (22). Wollaeger analyzes the origins of propaganda and modernism in the "mass-media ecology of the early twentieth century" in his discussion of war, mass-media, and propaganda in Heart of Darkness and "The Unlighted Coast," Conrad's only piece of propaganda writing (73). And Erdinast-Vulcan provocatively considers how Heart of Darkness maps out a basic psycho-social need for authority and the absolute while also positing that the Oedipal/neurotic model upon which that need is based is itself historically-produced.
The second section, entitled "Global Conrad," includes three postcolonialist readings of Conrad as well as two papers on The Secret Agent. The logic of inclusion is somewhat elusive here, but the papers remain very strong by and large. The first of the postcolonial papers, by Padmini Mongia, fascinatingly records Conrad's presence in Arundhati Roy's The God of Small Things and Amitav Ghosh's The Shadow Lines. Arguing that his work resonates through the later novelists' treatment of male homosocial desire, she also contends, however, that this resonance never becomes a central point of reference [End Page 246] to which the others write back. Christopher GoGwilt follows Mongia with a surprising and convincing consideration of how...