December 2013 Greenlight First Editions Club Selection
In Conrad's haunting tale, Marlow, a seaman and wanderer, recounts his physical and psychological journey in search of the enigmatic Kurtz. Travelling to the heart of the African continent, he discovers how Kurtz has gained his position of power and influence over the local people. Marlow's struggle to fathom his experience involves him in a radical questioning of not only his own nature and values but the nature and values of his society. Joseph Conrad was a Polish-born novelist who spent most of his adult life in Britain. He is regarded as one of the greatest English novelists, which is even more notable because he did not learn to speak English well until he was in his 20s. Conrad is recognized as a master prose stylist. Some of his works have a strain of romanticism, but more importantly he is recognized as an important forerunner of Modernist literature. Writing during the apogee of the British Empire, Conrad drew upon his experiences in the British Merchant Navy. In 1894, at the age of 36, he left the sea to become an English author. His first novel, Almayer's Folly, set on the east coast of Borneo and was published in 1895.