Heart of Darkness

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Published in 1902, Heart of Darkness is a short novel by the Polish-British writer Joseph Conrad. It contains only about 38,000 words.

In this novella (short novel), a man named Marlow recounts a trip to Africa, where he gradually learns about a very mysterious man named Kurtz, encountering many horrifying events along the way. Heart of Darkness is a harsh criticism of European imperialism.

It is available in the public domain,[1] and is required reading for many high school students. English was not Conrad's first language, and he had some odd linguistic habits such as using a high number of words ending in "-less".[2] On occasion, the book contains some long-winded paragraphs.

In 1979 Francis Ford Coppola released a film adaption of Heart of Darkness set during the Vietnam War titled Apocalypse Now.


  1. https://www.gutenberg.org/files/219/219-h/219-h.htm
  2. http://www.academypublication.com/issues/past/tpls/vol03/03/08.pdf