Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad

I read this in college and was disappointed because the horrible events deep in the jungle weren’t revealed in much detail. Then there was Apocalypse Now, a version of Heart of Darkness that had its own strangeness and now colors any reading of the older work. Reading this again after 40 years, I’m again disappointed. Much is said about Kurtz, but not enough is revealed. It’s the problem with any work that purports to be about an extraordinary figure. The author can keep saying how extraordinary some character is, over and over again, but it is much more difficult to show that character being extraordinary.

You can argue that leaving the details to the imagination creates a more powerful experience for the reader (people say that radio dramas were scarier than the ones on TV), but in this case more details would have helped.  (12/18/10)