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Cuore di tenebra

Cuore di tenebra

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Cuore di tenebra

valutazioni:
3/5 (4.814 valutazioni)
Lunghezza:
111 pagine
Pubblicato:
28 dic 2015
ISBN:
9788895720982
Formato:
Libro

Descrizione

QUESTO LIBRO È A LAYOUT FISSO

In un percorso circolare da Londra al Congo, il capitano Marlow racconta il devastante viaggio intrapreso lungo il fiume africano, che tanto aveva desiderato conoscere. Apparizioni inquietanti ed echi di schiavitù e violenza, emergono nella ricerca di Kurtz, leggendario commerciante d’avorio, divenuto una sorta di divinità oscura, anche lui vittima della solitudine e della follia della cultura occidentale destinata a frantumarsi quando entra in contatto con ciò che è diverso.
Un’esplorazione nel cuore dell’Africa Nera, alla scoperta di luoghi sconosciuti e delle profondità più oscure dell’animo umano.
Pubblicato:
28 dic 2015
ISBN:
9788895720982
Formato:
Libro

Informazioni sull'autore

Polish-born Joseph Conrad is regarded as a highly influential author, and his works are seen as a precursor to modernist literature. His often tragic insight into the human condition in novels such as Heart of Darkness and The Secret Agent is unrivalled by his contemporaries.


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Recensioni dei lettori

  • (4/5)
    The conquest of the earth, which mostly means the taking it away from those who have a different complexion or slightly flatter noses than ourselves, is not a pretty thing when you look into it too much - Heart of Darkness

    This is a book that is difficult to rate. On the one hand, it is very hard to read. The perspective of the book is a person listening to another person telling the story, which means that almost all paragraphs are in quotes, which can and will get confusing if the narrator starts quoting people, and gets worse once he starts quoting people who are quoting people themselves. Add to that the slightly chaotic narration, the long sentences and paragraphs, and an almost complete lack of chapters (the book is structured into only 3 chapters), and then add some jumps in causality in the narration for good measure, and you have a recipe for headaches.

    On the other hand, the book has a good story. It has no clear antagonist, all characters except for the narrator are in one way or another unlikeable idiots, brutal savages (and I am talking about the white people, not the natives). It is hard to like any of them, and, strangely, the character who is probably the worst of the lot was the one I liked best, just because he was honest about his actions and did not try to hide behind concepts like "bringing the civilization to these people". He was brutal, yes. He was (probably) racist, yes. But they all are. He seems to show an awareness of his actions, of the wrongness of it, in the end, while all the others remain focussed on their personal political and material gain.

    I am not a big fan of books that are considered "classics". They usually do not interest me, and being forced to read them by your teachers will probably not improve your view of the books. I am not sure if I liked this book, and that in itself is an achievement on the part of this book: I am unable to give it a personal rating compared to my other books, because it is so different.

    There are many people who have liked the book. There are many who have hated it. I cannot recommend it, because I know that many people will not like it. Some would say that these people "don't get it", but that would be wrong as well. You need a special interest in the topics of the book, or a special connection to the book itself, to properly enjoy it. But I also would not discourage anyone to read it either.

    It is part of the public domain, so it is free. If you are interested, start reading it. You can still shout "this is bullsh*t" and drop it at any point.
  • (5/5)
    This book is so very well written that many aspects of it seem to me to verge on perfection. It springs to mind a hundred times in discussing writing craft, in discussing what a story should do, how framing can work, or indeed, when contemplating John Gardner's theory that novellas at their best have a "glassy perfection". This book manages to be an experience as well as a literary work, and the effect of its final pages is profound, worthwhile, and haunting.
  • (4/5)
    One of the finest novels of the twentieth century, "Heart of Darkness" is a moody masterpiece following a man's journey down the Congo in search of a Captain Kurtz. I saw the loose film adaptation "Apocalypse Now" before reading "Heart of Darkness" and feared seeing "Apocalypse Now" would detrimentally affect my reading experience. I need not have worried as the two are different enough to ensure the Congo's Kurtz was still full of surprises.
  • (5/5)
    Strange and excellent. Conrad's use of the language is masterful. Full of incredible symbolism, and a very powerful anti-colonial screed.
  • (2/5)
    This was pretty boring. The reader was fantastic but I just never could get into the story. Not my cup of tea.
  • (3/5)
    I was expecting a little more out of this. Overall, I felt it was a little lackluster. I needed more meat to the story, it lacked...... something that I can't quite verbalize. Heart of Darkness describes one captain's journey up the Congo River into the "heart of Africa." It's dark, brooding, and ominous; nothing goes according to plan. The narrator upon arriving at his African destination; has a strange fascination with a man named Kurtz, an English brute with odd ways who is no longer in control of all his faculties. Marlow, the captain, is in awe at the darkness that lurks in the jungle and in men's hearts. Sigh. I'm not doing a very good job describing it because I couldn't really get into it.
  • (2/5)
    I finished Joseph Conrad’s novella, “Heart of Darkness” this morning. I’m really a bit Ho-hum about it, can’t really recommend it.
  • (5/5)
    This book has been recommended to me by a friend and was sitting on my to read list for years. When I saw that most of its reviews are either 5 star or 1 star I was intrigued. The book did not disappoint. Beautiful, evocative, mesmerizing, horrifying, revolting, it describes an abyss of a human soul. A story within a story, narrator's description sets the stage and his story takes you away into then disappearing and now non-existent primal world thus forcing you to see the events through his lenses.
  • (5/5)
    I read this thirty-five years and didn’t get much out of it. After hearing Branagh’s reading, I think what I missed was not the obvious message, but the art. There is nothing like a great actor giving a great reading to bring a great work of literature to life.
  • (2/5)
    Most certainly would not recommend this book. It had a good theme, interesting characters, but I found it borderling painful to read.
  • (4/5)
    2005, Blackstone Audiobooks, Read by Frederick DavidsonHeart of Darkness, set in the early 1900s, is narrated by Marlow, a sailor who journeys to Africa under the employment of the Company, a Belgian outfit conducting trade in the Congo. Marlow’s journey is a journey into “the horror” of imperialism. Natives of the Congo are brutalized by Company agents and forced into Company service; the resplendent natural resources of the country are raped for profit. In the heart of the Congo, Marlow meets Kurtz, a reputed Company Chief who represents humanity’s capacity for evil.I think Conrad’s accomplishment with Heart of Darkness is that he called imperialism so well. Whatever benefit proponents of imperialism might have professed, the fact of the matter is that one race invaded the country of another, brutalized and made criminals of its people, and pillaged all that could be had for profit. Conrad’s style of writing is perfect for his subject; it is stark and frank, its images dark and grotesque.“A slight clinking behind me made me turn my head. Six black men advanced in a file, toiling up the path. They walked erect, and slow, balancing small baskets full of earth on their heads – and the clink kept time with their footsteps. Black rags were wrapped around their loins, and the short ends behind waggled to and fro like tails. I could see every rib; the joints in their limbs were like knots in a rope. Each had an iron collar on his neck, and all were connected together with a chain whose bights swung between them, rhythmically clinking … but these men could by no stretch of imagination be called enemies. They were called criminals, and the outraged law, like the bursting shells, had come to them, an insoluble mystery from the sea. All their meagre breasts panted together, the violently dilated nostrils quivered, the eyes stared stonily uphill. They passed me within six inches, without a glance, with that complete, deathlike indifference of unhappy savages.” (1/4)
  • (4/5)
    It's been a while since I have read this particular book, so I thought I'd give it another go. Actually, I listened to it as read by Scott Brick. The only thing I remembered going into the story was Kurtz and the fact that Kurtz was movitized by Marlon Brando in Apocalypse Now. I did not remember that the book was set in the African Belgian Congo or the fact that ivory played a large role. Also, I did not remember the character of Marlow - sad to say as he is the main character. Anyhow, I loved it. I remember loving it the time I actually read it as well. Conrad does a incredible job of enabling the reader to feel as if he/she is a part of what is going on. Fantastic wordage as well. I know there are other meanings to the book, but what I take away is that man (woman) is always only a hair away from madness. That is, we all have things that we would make that venture - into madness/darkness - to achieve. It was great listening to Brick read this tale. Ah, there is also a gratuitous use of the "N" word. It's not totally irrelevant as that was how things were back when the book was set. Anyway, just a warning for those who are bothered by such things.
  • (2/5)
    Oh dear, I always feel so guilty when I don't care for a classic.I'm not sure how much difference there was between Joseph Conrad and his protagonist Marlow, but it is very difficult for my twenty-first century sensibility to get around the casual racism and misogynism which is further compounded by Marlow's unrelenting contempt for his fellow white men both in the Congo and in England. In fact, the only people he has any admiration for are Kurtz and Kurtz's "intended". We are told repeatedly about Kurtz's specialness, magnetism and great plans, but no details as to why this should be so, other than his talents as a musician, painter, and thinker. Furthermore, when Marlow meets Kurtz's fiancée, he waxes lyrically on her character and motives, all based only on a fleeting interview.There are some wonderful descriptive moments; I particularly liked the image of two station employees dragging their shadows behind them. Also, the ending, which I will not give away, has a certain poignancy. However, I have no plans to tackle this again.I should point out that this particular audio edition won awards, no doubt deserved. Otherwise, I might have loathed this book.
  • (5/5)
    Darkness in the dark reaches of Africa looking into the dark souls of man seeking the unknown, but finding darkness amongst the darkness.
  • (3/5)
    This is the tale of a man who's itchy feet & wanderlust lead him on a mission as a steamboat captain to a position in "the Company" along what I'm presuming is the Congo river in Africa. The clues are there, but the name is never given, so you have to infer it. In those days, the continent was rife with conflicts between the natives & the white men who came down to exploit the ivory trade. For a short book, & my shorter edition only had 72 pages, it's a deep book, the "darkness" in the title not only speaks of the interior of the at the time as a just being explored area, & not just the color of the skin of the natives, some of whom were fabled cannibals, but it speaks of the absolute darkness of the skies after nightfall, & the darkness inside a man's soul in conditions like that.....Not an "easy" read.....but one worth the time
  • (3/5)
    The day I met him, however, something was troubling him greatly. He began to speal as soon as he saw me. Even though I had arrived at the camp after walking 35 kilometres that day, he did not even invite me to sit down. The situation, he told me, is very serious. The up-river stations must be relieved. We cannot wait. We don´t even know who is alive and who is dead up there.
  • (4/5)
    “Your strength is just an accident arising from the weakness of others.”I remember reading this book many years ago when I realised that one of my favourite all-time books, Thomas Kenneally's "The Playmaker", had taken it's inspiration from it and I remember it having a powerful affect on me. Re-reading years later it still has that same affect.Most readers will know the story centres around Marlow and his journey up the Congo River where he meets Kurtz, an agent for the Belgian Government in Africa. Marlow is beguiled with the image of the River Congo and dreams of travelling up it. To fulfil this ambition he takes a job as a riverboat captain with a Belgian concern organized to trade in the Congo. On his travels Marlow encounters widespread inefficiency and brutality. The native inhabitants of the region suffer terribly from overwork and ill treatment at the hands of their European overseers. The cruelty and squalor of imperial enterprise contrasts sharply with the majestic jungle that surrounds the white man’s settlements, making them appear to be tiny islands amidst a vast darkness.This novella explores the issues surrounding imperialism. On his journey Marlow encounters scenes of torture, cruelty, and slavery. The men who work for the Company describe what they do as “trade,” and their treatment of native Africans is part of a benevolent project of “civilization.” In contrast Kurtz admits that he takes ivory by force nor does not hide the fact that he rules through violence and intimidation. His perverse honesty leads to his downfall, as his success threatens to expose the evil practices behind European activity in Africa. Africans in this book are mostly objects: Marlow himself refers to his helmsman as a piece of machinery so is not totally blameless on this point. However, the brutal honesty shown by Kurtz as compared with the hypocrisy shown by the other Europeans leads Marlow and thus the reader to begin to sympathize with Kurtz and view the Company with suspicion. The insanity that Kurtz is obviously suffering from is explicit and easy to see whereas that of the European Governments, whilst no doubt there, is much more implicit. In this book therefore, madness is linked to absolute power. Up country Kurtz has no authority to whom he answers to other himself and this comes to over-whelm him whereas it is more of a collective madness shown by the other Europeans.As such this book then becomes an exploration of hypocrisy, ambiguity, and moral confusion in as much Marlow is forced to align himself with either the hypocritical and malicious colonial bureaucracy or the openly tyrannical Kurtz. To try and describe either alternative as the lesser of two evils seems to be absolute madness.This is not some rip-roaring read and at times it is hard going but it does challenge some very uncomfortable truths and as such deserves to be regarded rightly as a true classic.
  • (2/5)
    One word to describe this book - woof. It isn't a story as much as an author's attempt to use metaphors and colorful language to make a point in 100 pages that could have been made in half of that. The basics of the book is that a man is telling his story of a trip to Africa for a company and he meets a white man who is kind of worshiped by the ignorant black people.

    This is not a page turner, but I am glad I read it because it is a classic due to the time period in which it was written. Will I read it again? Probably not. But as a person who studies and teaches history, it was important to get through at least once. As literature, I was not fan.
  • (1/5)
    Read together with State of Wonder for book club. Heart of Darkness, set in the early 1900s, is narrated by Marlow, a sailor who journeys to Africa under the employment of the Company, a Belgian outfit conducting trade in the Congo. Marlow’s journey is a journey into “the horror” of imperialism. Natives of the Congo are brutalized by Company agents and forced into Company service; the resplendent natural resources of the country are raped for profit. In the heart of the Congo, Marlow meets Kurtz, a reputed Company Chief who represents humanity’s capacity for evil. They return to port and then onto Europe.Marlow listens to Kurtz talk while he pilots the ship, and Kurtz entrusts Marlow with a packet of personal documents, including an eloquent pamphlet on civilizing the savages which ends with a scrawled message that says, “Exterminate all the brutes!” The steamer breaks down, and they have to stop for repairs. Kurtz dies, uttering his last words—“The horror! The horror!”—in the presence of the confused Marlow. Marlow falls ill soon after and barely survives. Eventually he returns to Europe and goes to see Kurtz’s Intended (his fiancée). She is still in mourning, even though it has been over a year since Kurtz’s death, and she praises him as a paragon of virtue and achievement. She asks what his last words were, but Marlow cannot bring himself to shatter her illusions with the truth. Instead, he tells her that Kurtz’s last word was her name..
  • (5/5)
    A Journey We All Must Take: When Marlow begins his journey to find the mythical Kurtz in HEART OF DARKNESS, Joseph Conrad dares the reader to accompany Marlow on a voyage less into the physical jungles of darkest Africa and more into the mental labyrinth that human beings erect to protect themselves from the horrors that they themselves build. In this justly famous novella, Conrad depicts a pre-politically correct age when white men thought it only fair and inevitable that they plunder the riches of Africa all the while comforting themselves that they were uplifting the fallen state of a lowly people.

    Conrad uses a twin layer of narratives in order to achieve the needed objectivity that he felt required to place the reader at varying distances from the horror that Kurtz cried out at the end. The opening narrator is unnamed, possibly Conrad himself, who sets the stage by placing the reader at a safe distance from the evils which lay squarely ahead. Through this narrator we get a bird'e eyes view of the true narrator Marlow, who is depicted as somehow different from the four other men on the deck of the Nellie. This difference in physical attributes slowly increases to concomitant differences in perspective, attitude, and general authorial reliability. Marlow is a deeply flawed man who has the disadvantage of viewing the unfolding events from the prejudiced eyes of a white colonial civil servant who is sure that the blacks in Africa are little different from his preconceived notion of uncivilized cannibals. Further, Marlow makes numerous errors of judgment along the way, many of them seemingly insignificant, yet the totality of the reader's perspective is twisted through the equally twisted lens of an unreliable narrator. Conrad's purpose in melding the reader to a flawed narrator was to insure that the reader could never trust what he reads, thereby increasing his sense of unease in that the sense of safety that Marlow feels, first on the deck of the Nellie, and later in the jungle itself, is as flimsy as the signposts that guide Marlow toward his goal.

    The goal is Kurtz, a trader who set out to civilize the blacks into accepting a white version of civilization, but Marlow finds out that the reverse happened. The true horror that Kurtz sees is the horror that all would be conquerors find when they discover that the philosophy of racial supremacy which led them into conflict with a people whom they deemed unworthy is shown to be built on straw. Kurtz knows that the only difference between his brutal acts toward the natives and their own similar atrocities toward themselves is no difference at all. As corrupt as Kurtz must have been, in his closing cry of horror, he finds a small measure of redemption and closure. Marlow sees what Kurtz saw, knew what Kurtz did, and heard up close and personal Kurtz's swan song of pain, but Marlow learned nothing of lasting value. All he could think of was to maintain the image of the Kurtz that was: "I remained to dream the nightmare out to the end, and to show my loyalty to Kurtz once more." The journey that Kurtz took was a horror only because he became what he sought. The journey that Marlow took became a horror only because he learned nothing from what he sought. As you and I read HEART OF DARKNESS, we must decide which journey has the more meaningful signposts.
  • (4/5)
    The first time I read this novel, in high school, I really hated it. Having re-read it since then, however, I've come to actually appreciate and enjoy it. It seemed so much longer back in 11th grade! The writing is still awfully dense and confusing in places, but I've come to realize that this is rightfully considered a masterpiece.
  • (3/5)
    I hate to say it, but I really didn't like this book. I know that it is a metaphor for something, but full realization of that metaphor eludes me, and I am really not that interested in discovering it. It was mostly the descriptions of everything, from people to the jungle to the banks of the Thames, that entrapped me--I probably have several pages worth of highlighted sentences, phrases, and paragraphs. Conrad has easily captured the idea of the phrase "hauntingly beautiful" when describing his characters and their surroundings and ideas.
  • (3/5)
    Damn good catalyst.
  • (4/5)
    I understand the purpose of using this book for instruction, but I found that it had major flaws that ultimately led to my dislike of it. Not every book is for everyone, though, so don't pass it up on my account.
  • (4/5)
    Lush language is the key differentiator of this remarkable polemic against atrocity. The framed narrative distances the author from the views expressed so it is hard to know whether Conrad shared the racism and sexism of Marlow, his protagonist. Taken at face value, the account of white colonists going to collect ivory from a white manager who has ruthlessly suppressed his black suppliers endorses white supremacy but not the ill-treatment of the lesser beings. Marlow objects to Kurtz's abuse of the 'savages' in much the same way that the English of the time protected dogs and horses.
  • (3/5)
    I found Heart of Darkness very easy to read. My copy was only one hundred and twelve pages long, so there's that, but it's also written in a way that tugs you into the story. Actually, I think it's probably best read in one sitting, due to the way it's written -- the actual story is being told by a man called Marlow, to his companions, who mostly just sit quiet and listen, in one sitting. So to experience the book as it was written, it's probably best to settle down with it and read the whole story at once. I found the prose pretty easy, though that might just be that I'm somewhat used to that kind of slow, elaborate writing style. A lot of the imagery in the book is very vivid, which I liked.

    Maybe I should have read it a little more slowly and carefully, but I felt sometimes that it lurched from one point to another and it took me a minute to catch up.

    I don't really "get" this book, I guess. I can see how to analyse it and pick it apart -- this bit of imagery refers also to that, and this reflects that, and the racism springs from the culture it was written in, and blahblahblah. I can see how you can pick all kinds of special meaning out of it. But... I'm not so impressed that I want to.
  • (3/5)
    Like most people, I was familiar with Heart of Darkness, both as an acclaimed work of literature and as the inspiration for the remarkable movie Apocolypse Now. For some reason, I recently decided to make an attempt at reading it, despite my concern that it was written at a level beyond my capacity to understand. Upon receipt of the volume from Amazon, I was initially under the impression that I had mistakenly ordered the Cliff's Notes version of the work. I had no idea that the book was essentially a short story, easily readable in 2-3 hours. Even more surprising, was the ease with which I was able to follow and understand the story, though admittedly written in a slightly dense prose. Perhaps this was due to having seen Apocolypse Now and being familiar with the broad outline of the story and having read other works of history on the Belgian Congo. In any event, it was a decent story, filled with some beautifully descriptive language and imagery. I must say, however, that I was not bowled over. Steamship Captain pilots a ragged boat up the Congo, accompanied by colonial agents and support staff (cannibals and other natives) in an attempt to relieve a long stranded station agent (Kurtz) who has "gone native" and become the insane source of worship for the local natives. If you've seen Apocolypse Now, you know the story, just replace the Mekong with the Congo. I go back to my first paragraph in which I related a concern over my ability to understand what is considered a classic work of literature. I fully understood it, but was perhaps not qualified to fully appreciate it.
  • (4/5)
    While I enjoy Kenneth Branagh as an actor, his voice in this audiobook was soporific to the point that I struggled to finish this quite short book. Next time I will read it in print.
  • (5/5)
    The main argument of this story, is that without society's pressure to determine good and evil and an appropriate way to behave, there is the potential to act in a truly evil way. This story is a good analogy to unchecked power as well. The story itself doesn't carry the weight since I watched Apocalypse Now before reading this story. The elements are there and the unchecked aggression and evil are great, but there is a difference between controlling an area for profit, to obtain ivory, and a soldier using natives to butcher an enemy. My perception is a bit tainted because of the order. However, even without the extreme elements, it is a demonstration of how those who have power unchecked can lead to horrible behavior. Favorite Passages:"You should have heard him say, 'My ivory.' Oh yes, I heard him. 'My Intended, my ivory, my station, my river, my--' everything belonged to him. It made me hold my breath in expectation of hearing the wilderness burst into a prodigious peal of laughter that would shake the fixed stars in their places. Everything belonged to him--but that was a trifle. The thing was to know what he belonged to, how many powers of darkness claimed him for their own. That was the reflection that made you creepy all over. It was impossible--it was not good for one either--trying to imagine. He had taken a high seat amongst the devils of the land--I mean literally. You can't understand. How could you?--with solid pavement under your feet, surrounded by kind neighbors ready to cheer you or to fall on you, stepping delicately between the butcher and the policeman, in the holy terror of scandal and gallows and lunatic asylums--how can you imagine what particular region of the first ages a man's untrammeled feet may take him into by the way of solitude--utter solitude without a policeman--by the way of silence, utter silence, where no warning voice of a kind neighbor can be heard whispering of public opinion? These little things make all the great difference. When they are gone you must fall back upon your own innate strength, upon your own capacity for faithfulness. p. 123They only showed that Mr. Kurtz lacked restraint in the gratification of his various lusts, that there was something wanting in him--some small matter which, when the pressing need arose, could not be found under his magnificent eloquence. Whether he knew of this deficiency himself I can't say. I think the knowledge came to him at last--only at the very last. But the wilderness had found him out early, and had taken on him a terrible vengeance for the fantastic invasion. I think it 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. p. 200And for a moment it seemed to me as if I was also buried in a vast grave full of unspeakable secrets. I felt an intolerable weight oppressing my breast, the smell of the damp earth, the unseen presence of victorious corruption, the darkness of an impenetrable night...p. 170"Anything approaching the change that came over his features I have never seen before, and hope never to see again. Oh, I wasn't touched. I was fascinated. It was as though a veil had been rent. I saw on that ivory face the expression of somber pride, of ruthless power, of craven terror--of an intense and hopeless despair. Did he live his life again in every detail of desire, temptation, and surrender during that supreme moment of complete knowledge? He cried in a whisper at some image, at some vision,--he cried out twice, a cry that was no more than a breath--"'The horror! The horror!'p. 223
  • (2/5)
    Quite difficult to read, had it's charms but in the end not really a book I'd like to read again some day.