Heart of Darkness

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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?



5 thoughts on “Heart of Darkness

  1. semper September 12, 2014 / 2:58 pm

    I hope that one day you will even enjoy the tough ones.

    • kamahi September 12, 2014 / 3:01 pm

      It’s not simply that the book was tough. I’ve read other difficult books and enjoyed them, but I just didn’t feel I got much out of struggling through this narrative. I mean I understood the plot, but I just couldn’t find any motivation to care about the why behind the plot.

      Is this a book you enjoy?

      • semper September 12, 2014 / 3:47 pm

        I admit that the book is on my shelf, but I have not yet read it. I just saw your reply to my other comment as well. Thanks. I was thinking of the movie “Apocalypse Now”, it is set in Vietnam, but there is a man like Kurtz in the movie as well. Maybe there are some other ways this book is linked to the movie. Just keep on reading. 😉

  2. semper September 12, 2014 / 2:59 pm

    You might do a search on the internet to find out what a man like Chinua Achebe thought of this little book.

    • kamahi September 12, 2014 / 3:03 pm

      We read that criticism in class, and I was a big fan of how he looked at the book. I do think there is a multitude of interesting things to examine in the book, I simply felt the process of reading the book itself was not enjoyable.

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