Heart Of Darkness

“No use telling you much about that. Paths, paths, everywhere; a stamped in network of paths spreading over the empty land, through long grass, through burns grass, through thickets, down and up chilly ravines, up and down stony hills ablaze with heat; and a solitude, a solitude, nobody, not a hut.”

Joseph Conrad, “Heart of Darkness”, in Heart of Darkness and Other Tales (New York: Oxford University Press Inc., 2002).

For the first time (I believe), the narrator almost addresses his excessiveness. As the novel opened, the other men on the boat knew that they were about to hear about on of his “inconclusive experiences,” which sounds like they either have no point or have no end. He was almost staying “I know I’ve been explaining a lot, but it’s all necessary, I swear.” Now he says “It isn’t necessary to tell you about this part,” and yet in the same breath, he goes on about it. It almost reminds me of how James envelopes his work in excess to make us work to understand it.

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