Cover

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Title Page, Copyright Page

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pp. i-vi

Contents

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pp. vii-viii

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Preface

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pp. ix-xvi

Except incidentally and by way of supporting my own argument, I have not in this book taken into explicit account the ample and varied critical history of Joseph Conrad's novel Heart of Darkness. I make no apologies for the omission because this task has already been admirably performed by Anthony Fothergill and Robert Burden. Nevertheless, though I have not systematically reviewed and summarized others' hypotheses and insights, I do wish to acknowledge the great help I have often received ...

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Introduction: Race, Ethnicity, Nationality, Empire

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pp. 1-17

"Your proposal delights me," Joseph Conrad wrote on the last day of 1898 to William Blackwood, the publisher of Blackwood's, who had asked Conrad a short time earlier to supply him with a suitable contribution for the one-thousandth issue of his magazine, scheduled toappear the following February. But delighted though he was, Conrad was...

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1. Envisioning Africa

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pp. 18-30

Joseph Conrad's African experience was of relatively short duration. Not counting his somewhat muddled preparations in London and Brussels or the slow sea journey to and from the Congo Free State, it actually lasted a little less than six months, from mid-June to early December 1890.1 Psychologically and emotionally it must have seemed a great deal longer, what with the disappointment of not being able to assume command of...

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2. A Mere Animal in the Congo

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pp. 31-61

The impact of the African experience on Conrad, both as man and as writer, was, it seems fair to say, out of all proportion to its length. Speaking about it to his oldest and most trusted literary confidant, Edward Garnett, Conrad once said categorically, "[B]efore the Congo I was just a mere animal"1 (Jean-Aubry, Life 1:141). This is almost certainly an exaggeration, but even discounting a little for Conrad's alleged penchant...

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3. Envisioning Kurtz

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pp. 62-80

In the "Author's Note" that he wrote in 1917 on the occasion of the republication of Youth in the edition of his collected works, Conrad remarks of Heart of Darkness that, like "Youth," it is a story based on "experience too; but it is experience pushed a little (and only very little) beyond the actual facts of the case for the perfectly legitimate, I believe, purpose of bringing it home to the minds and bosoms of the readers"...

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4. Imperial Sham and Reality in the Congo

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pp. 81-108

Though Heart of Darkness has been and continues to be subjected to the minutest critical examination and cross-examination, so far as I know no critic has ever noted Marlow's insistence on distinguishing between two Kurtzes, an "original" one and a "sham." He does this twice. The first instance occurs in the context of defining Kurtz's origins-hence, ...

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5. Unspeakable Rites and Speakable Rights

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pp. 109-127

With the obvious exception of Kurtz, not a single one of the Congo Belgians in Conrad's novel is anything more than a stereotype. Even the Accountant at the Outer Station, the only male Belgian character other than Kurtz who can be said to possess any sort of redeeming qualities, is a caricature, an absurd "hairdresser's dummy" who walks about with oiled hair and a green-lined parasol. For the rest, they consist either of...

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6. E.J. Glave, Captain Rom, and the Making of Heart of Darkness

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pp. 128-147

Recently Edward James Glave has been mentioned by Sven Lindqvist in connection with Heart of Darkness as an "old Congo hand" who was in a position to know what atrocities were being committed during the mid-1890s in the Congo Free State. As evidence, Lindqvist quotes at some length from the last essay Glave wrote for the...

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Conclusion: Exterminating All the Brutes

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pp. 148-165

According to Roger Smith, our modern conception of genocide as the most heinous of all imaginable crimes differs fundamentally from the way prior generations viewed it. "While the slaughter of whole groups has occurred throughout history," he writes, "it is only within the past few centuries that this has produced even a sense of moral horror, much less been thought of as 'criminal'" (28). He goes on to refer to the grisly...

Appendix

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pp. 166-191

Notes

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pp. 192-235

Works Cited

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pp. 236-249

Index

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pp. 250-258

Illustrations

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pp. 259-274