Simona Bartolotta's Reviews > Heart of Darkness

Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad
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bookshelves: 1800, in-english

3.5

“I think [the wilderness] had whispered to him things about himself which he did not know, things of which he had no conception till he took counsel with this great solitude - and the whisper had proved irresistibly fascinating. It echoed loudly within him because he was hollow at the core.”


Heart of Darkness is as easy to read as it is easy for me to rate it. (That is, not easy at all.) It is the classic example of a work that makes me ask myself what it is I'm rating when I rate my books: simply how much I enjoyed them? The ideas they pivot on? Or is my focus the awe they inspire in me? There are cases where I love the writing and not the story, the story and not writing, the principles at the core of the story and nothing else. How should one behave then?

This is exactly the problem I have with Heart of Darkness. Joseph Conrad is a master of English prose, and his words are indeed hypnotizing, some more than others. And yet, as much as I love it, I must also acknowledge that the writing was what posed me the greatest difficulty in reading this. It's normal for the paragraphs to be one page long, and losing the thread is all too easy. The fact that there is hardly a plot does not help in making it appealing to the casual reader.

So, no, I wouldn't recommend it as a book to read for pleasure; but I was utterly fascinated by its conceptuality, by the forest, by hollow-man Kurtz. Heart of Darkness is a book I would love to study, but not one I'd reread over and over again like I would a favourite.

“And this also," said Marlow suddenly, "has been one of the dark places of the earth.”
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Reading Progress

January 2, 2018 – Started Reading
January 2, 2018 – Finished Reading
January 3, 2018 – Shelved
January 3, 2018 – Shelved as: 1800
January 3, 2018 – Shelved as: in-english

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