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The Historian's Heart of Darkness
  • Bandtyp: Häftad
  • Språk: Engelska
  • Utgiven: 20180104
  • Antal sidor: 178
  • ISBN10:1440851085
  • ISBN13:9781440851087

The Historian's Heart of Darkness



Fiction has power to portray historical truth. This book presents Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness to students and general readers as an insightful guide to the history of Europe and Africa in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.

The phrase "heart of darkness" has become a term commonly used to conjure an ominous sense of hidden or deeply rooted evil. How did these words become so evocative? The answer lies in the richness and acute insight of Heart of Darkness, Joseph Conrad's story based on his 1890 journey on the Congo River. Conrad's novella illustrates many crucial themes of European and world history through the last two centuries: civilization; exploration; colonialism and imperialism; race and conflict based on race; trade and globalization; commercial exploitation; and the impact of changing technology, especially for communication and transport. Heart of Darkness deserves to be studied today for its value as social and cultural history. In this edition, Conrad's story is shown to reveal important truths not only about Europe and Africa a century ago, but also about the historical forces that shape the world we live in now.

Featuring the texts of both Heart of Darkness and Conrad's autobiographical Congo Diary along with more than 200 annotations, this book enables readers to appreciate the connections between Conrad's writing and its historical context. Introductory essays explain how Conrad was uniquely positioned to chronicle history, provide critical background information on how Europeans partitioned Africa and created the Congo Free State, and describe how the ivory and rubber trades brutalized the natives. Readers will learn how Conrad contributed to European awareness of the atrocities committed and understand how the story's literary qualities form an essential part of its historical meaning. The numerous illustrations and maps depicting the historical Congo Free State provide a visual element to the story of Heart of Darkness—a fictionalized tale that can be interpreted as history and that can help us interpret today's postcolonial, globalized world.

  • Presents a fresh perspective on Conrad's novella Heart of Darkness by presenting this fictional story as a crucial source of historical knowledge
  • Explains key background information for better understanding Heart of Darkness, such as how Conrad's life uniquely positioned him to chronicle social and cultural history; the colonial partitioning of Africa and the founding of the Congo Free State; and the ivory and rubber trades in the Congo and the ensuing atrocities from these lucrative industries
  • Provides the texts of both Heart of Darkness and Conrad's autobiographical Congo Diary along with more than 200 annotations that illuminate the links between the story and its contexts as well as identify how Conrad shaped historical facts for his fictional portrayal
  • Ideal for students taking classes on modern world history, European history, African history, British history, western civilization, European colonialism, exploration and empire, or imperialism

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