Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Pretty dark, really

Just what was Conrad up to in his Heart of Darkness, 1899.

Yes, yes.

He opposed the massive hypocrisy of imperialism.

But not necessarily imperialism, nor even colonialism, judging just by this book.

Though obviously he saw and loathed all the horror of the Congo.

Via this book, he and white people in general have nevertheless been angrily denounced for racism.

As to the latter, racism - specifically, the idea of the racial inferiority of blacks to whites - has historically been used as an excuse for the most unspeakable crimes and the most inhuman rapacity.

That doesn't make it false, though it may well be that.

And it is certainly possible Conrad believed in the racial inferiority of blacks without for a moment buying it as an excuse.

In any case, he was a profound pessimist, atheist, amoralist, and even nihilist.

So what was he up to?

And a very fine writer.

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