Heart of Darkness and death
in Conrad’s Marlow
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Questions surrounding the instant of death form the basis of this chapter which offers a reassessment of two influential readings of Heart of Darkness, those of Miller and Brooks. These readings are linked by a common recognition of the significance of death with regards to meaning, specifically, the death of Kurtz in Heart of Darkness. The discussion approaches this case with reference to Heidegger's notion of Dasein as Being towards death and his formulation of death as the ‘possibility of impossibility’ both of which appear in Being and Time. It then critiques Miller and Brooks's readings in relation to Derrida's Aporias which examines the possibility of the experience that is denoted by the phrase ‘my death’ and which poses a radical challenge to Heidegger's notion of death.

Conrad’s Marlow

Narrative and death in ‘Youth’, Heart of Darkness, Lord Jim and Chance


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