Heart of Darkness

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On a boat in the Thames estuary, Marlow tells his travelling companions of his reconnaissance expedition for a Belgian trading company to its most remote outpost in central Africa, which brought him on the trail of the elusive Kurtz, a brilliant idealist gone rogue. His account relates not only the perils he encounters on his quest, but also the deterioration of his state of mind as he is confronted with a world that is hostile and alien to him. Renowned for its stylistic boldness and dramatic descriptions, Heart of Darkness is a stark yet subtle examination of the powers of the subconscious and the workings of western imperialism.

Considered one of the greatest prose stylists, Joseph Conrad (1857-1924) chose to write in English instead of his native Polish. His work, drawn from his own adventurous experiences, is seen as a forerunner of literary modernism.