Heart of Darkness (Case Studies in Contemporary Criticism)

Adopted at more than 1,000 colleges and universities, Bedford/St. Martin's innovative Case Studies in Contemporary Criticism series has introduced more than a quarter of a million students to literary theory and earned enthusiastic praise nationwide. Along with an authoritative text of a major literary work, each volume presents critical essays, selected or prepared especially for students, that approach the work from several contemporary critical perspectives, such as gender criticism and cultural studies. Each essay is accompanied by an introduction (with bibliography) to the history, principles, and practice of its critical perspective. Every volume also surveys the biographical, historical, and critical contexts of the literary work and concludes with a glossary of critical terms. New editions reprint cultural documents that contextualize the literary works and feature essays that show how critical perspectives can be combined.

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By Sonanova (Elgin, IL) · ★☆☆☆☆ · July 10, 2007
Proving yet again that doing a concept first will get you immortalized, while doing it WELL will make you an unknown and forgotten writer at best, I also learned that in Conrad's time, people could drone on and on with metaphors and it wasn't considered cliched, but "art." I blame this book and o... ...more
By Sarah (Bloomington, IN) · ★☆☆☆☆ · December 03, 2013
Never in all my life has 100 little pages made me contemplate suicide...violent suicide. i had to finish it. i had no choice (yay college!). every page was literally painful.

am i supposed to feel sorry for him? because i don't. i feel sorry for all of Africa getting invaded with dumbasses like th... ...more
By Richard (The United States) · ★★★★☆ · September 21, 2014
First of all, get this straight: Heart of Darkness is one of those classics that you have to have read if you want to consider yourself a well-educated adult. That’s the bad news; the good news is that this is a very easy book to read — tremendously shorter than Moby-Dick , for instance. An... ...more
By Jenny (The United States) · ★☆☆☆☆ · April 10, 2007
This guy's message is so subtle: Africans are depraved/we are all depraved/since I don't care about black people I'm going to let them serve as a metaphor for the depravity of human existence/I like writing sentences that yawn with the utter boredom of pretension, pomp, and waste/I have no heart/... ...more
By Riku (Bangalore, India) · ★★★★★ · February 28, 2015

This was probably the toughest book I had read till then.

Revisiting The Heart of Darkness

After passing past that Castle of Ego,

Laying siege on the very borders of Mind,

We entered the vast and bristling forests,

Of that strange, strange land, that Id,

Which doth divide the knowing, waking,

From the l... ...more
By Rakhi (New Delhi, 07, India) · ★★★★★ · February 24, 2014
“ Mistah Kurtz. He dead.”
-T.S. Eliot, The Hollow Men

He came, he saw, he conquered – and then he succumbed and died. Mistah Kurtz. An enigma, who ultimately came to signify the gloomy reality of sin, which closely lurks in the minds of mortal beings and keeps ready to pounce upon the heart and to... ...more
By Keely (Albany, NY) · ★★★★☆ · December 13, 2009
Like contemporaries Haggard and Melville, Joseph Conrad lived the adventures he wrote. He left his native Ukraine to escape the political persecution of his family and became a merchant marine in France, sailing to the West Indies and gun-running for a failed Spanish coup. Soon after, he learned... ...more
By Michalyn (The United States) · ★★★☆☆ · January 10, 2008
This is a book I read twice and will probably never read again. I try to see this as a "great" novel but I have always wished Conrad had achieved a greater separation between his own voice and Marlow's. For me his inability to do so made it difficult to stomach the inherent racism in the book. Th... ...more
By Leslie (Spring, TX) · ★★☆☆☆ · June 18, 2008
I know as an English major I am supposed to find this work brilliant and important, but I just don't. I hate it. I hated it the first time I read it, the second time I read it, AND the third time I read it. ...more
By Traveller (Ambergris, 11, Tuvalu) · ★★★★☆ · January 27, 2012
Many people seem to think that this story is just about racism, but that is missing the main point. It is true that much of Conrad's fiction seems racist in tone, but one must take that from whence it comes; he was writing at a time when European Colonialism, (and sadly racism too) was in full sw... ...more