Heart of Darkness

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Heart of Darkness
Conrad, Joseph

Published: 1902 Categorie(s): Fiction, Literary Source: University of Virginia

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About Conrad: Joseph Conrad (born Teodor Józef Konrad Korzeniowski, 3 December 1857 – 3 August 1924) was a Polish-born novelist. Some of his works have been labelled romantic: Conrad's supposed "romanticism" is heavily imbued with irony and a fine sense of man's capacity for self-deception. Many critics regard Conrad as an important forerunner of Modernist literature. Conrad's narrative style and anti-heroic characters have influenced many writers, including Ernest Hemingway, D.H. Lawrence, Graham Greene, Joseph Heller and Jerzy Kosiński, as well as inspiring such films as Apocalypse Now (which was drawn from Conrad's Heart of Darkness). Source: Wikipedia Also available on Feedbooks for Conrad: • Lord Jim (1900) • The Secret Agent (1907) • A Personal Record (1912) • Nostromo: A Tale of the Seaboard (1904) • The Nigger of the 'Narcissus' (1897) • The Duel (1908) • An Outpost of Progress (1896) • The Lagoon (1897) • The Informer (1906) • Under Western Eyes (1911) Copyright: This work is available for countries where copyright is Life+70 and in the USA. Note: This book is brought to you by Feedbooks http://www.feedbooks.com Strictly for personal use, do not use this file for commercial purposes.

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Chapter

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The Nellie, a cruising yawl, swung to her anchor without a flutter of the sails, and was at rest. The flood had made, the wind was nearly calm, and being bound down the river, the only thing for it was to come to and wait for the turn of the tide. The sea–reach of the Thames stretched before us like the beginning of an interminable waterway. In the offing the sea and the sky were welded together without a joint, and in the luminous space the tanned sails of the barges drifting up with the tide seemed to stand still in red clusters of canvas sharply peaked, with gleams of varnished sprits. A haze rested on the low shores that ran out to sea in vanishing flatness. The air was dark above Gravesend, and farther back still seemed condensed into a mournful gloom, brooding motionless over the biggest, and the greatest, town on earth. The Director of Companies was our captain and our host. We four affectionately watched his back as he stood in the bows looking to seaward. On the whole river there was nothing that looked half so nautical. He resembled a pilot, which to a seaman is trustworthiness personified. It was difficult to realize his work was not out there in the luminous estuary, but behind him, within the brooding gloom. Between us there was, as I have already said somewhere, the bond of the sea. Besides holding our hearts together through long periods of separation, it had the effect of making us tolerant of each other’s yarns—and even convictions. The Lawyer—the best of old fellows—had, because of his many years and many virtues, the only cushion on deck, and was lying on the only rug. The Accountant had brought out already a box of dominoes, and was toying architecturally with the bones. Marlow sat cross–legged right aft, leaning against the mizzen–mast. He had sunken cheeks, a yellow complexion, a straight back, an ascetic aspect, and, with his arms dropped, the palms of hands outwards, resembled an idol. The director, satisfied the anchor had good hold, made his way aft and sat down amongst us. We exchanged a few words lazily. Afterwards there was silence on board the yacht. For some reason or other we did not

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begin that game of dominoes. We felt meditative, and fit for nothing but placid staring. The day was ending in a serenity of still and exquisite brilliance. The water shone pacifically; the sky, without a speck, was a benign immensity of unstained light; the very mist on the Essex marsh was like a gauzy and radiant fabric, hung from the wooded rises inland, and draping the low shores in diaphanous folds. Only the gloom to the west, brooding over the upper reaches,...
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