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"Invasion is a Structure Not an Even"

Lit Hub (Joseph Conrad)


Polish-British writer, Joseph Contrad (1857-1924) was orphaned as an 11-year-old boy. He subsequently lived with his grandmother and an uncle became his guardian

In this LitHub article G Parkinson explores Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness, setting it in the context of what is now called “settler colonialism”.

Heart of Darkness, writes Parkinson, has “come to be regarded as an essential book about European imperialism and what the exploitation of Africa revealed about human nature.”

He goes on to say:

“When he reflected on the consequences of empire, Conrad saw no logic or teleology. He saw mayhem. There is no surety in Heart of Darkness; everything that happens in the novella suggests absurdity and bewilderment…
In the 1890s, Conrad faced imperialism’s bewildering effects. He watched how some Europeans tried to sow even more confusion to maximize their own rewards, a strategy that further compounded the violence. He tried to render it the best way he knew, through fiction, and the resulting sentences evoked the incomprehension that is inherent to imperial encounter.”

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