Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad is the first book that I had to read for my Postcolonialism class. For those of you who don’t know, postcolonialism is a way of reading texts where you look at the impact of colonialism or colonial powers on the text. (this is a very rough description, but cut me some slack, I just started the class) So what did I think of this widely-taught book? Well…
To be honest, I wasn’t a fan. Okay, to be even more honest, I disliked it (and gave it one star on goodreads…). I just could not get into it. Conrad’s writing feels like an old man rambling on if you ask me. Most of the time I had to read passages several times just to figure out who was talking. If I didn’t focus hard and read slowly, I wouldn’t know what was happening, which is why it took me way too long to get through this little novella.
Because I had difficulty focusing on the story itself, I couldn’t find it within me to care at all about the characters or what was coming up in the plot. If I don’t care about what’s going on in the story, it gets harder to focus on what I’m reading. You see the dilemma?
I know this book is widely studied for a reason, but that doesn’t mean I have to enjoy reading it. Frankly, that’s what I look for when I read-pleasure. If I can go on to analyze it after having enjoyed the process of reading it, that only increases my enjoyment taken from the book, but If I only analyze and don’t enjoy the process of reading, well than reading becomes a chore.
Anyways, I’m done reading it and have moved on to the next book for the class (which is much better).
Have you read Hear of Darkness? What were your thoughts?