Erik Graff's Reviews > Heart of Darkness and The Secret Sharer

Heart of Darkness and The Secret Sharer by Joseph Conrad
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May 01, 2010

really liked it
bookshelves: literature
Recommended to Erik by: Mr. Silkowski
Recommended for: everyone
Read in April, 1969 — I own a copy

We were assigned Conrad's Heart of Darkness and Lord Jim in our senior AP literature class in high school. I much preferred the former even though I knew only generalities about the European exploitation of Africa and virtually nothing about the example of the Belgian Congo--an instance of exploitation without sanctimonious justifications in terms of "civilizing missions" and the like. We did have The Secret Sharer assigned and I frankly cannot recall reading it.

In 1979 Francis Ford Coppola took the theme of the novella and applied it to the attempted American take-over of Southeast Asia in his film, Apocalyse Now. He did a good job of it. Read the novella, read something about Leopold's Congo and the Vietnam War, then see the movie if you haven't already.
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