Of course Conrad’s “Heart of Darkness” is simply astounding. The kind of book that you can read and re-read through a lifetime and never reach the ‘heart’ of it – that’s if it has a heart that’s reachable, of course…
What was most interesting was re-reading it using my old, 70p new, Penguin Modern Classics version that I had at University. Virtually every page marked up in pencil with comments, phrases underlined, asterisks everywhere. There must be a long-forgotten essay of mine somewhere – do Universities keep them at all, and if so, for how long?!
And it struck me more than once that I had underlined the wrong phrases, or missed important things; that I had tackled the book without enough ‘life’ of my own to do other than scratch the surface academically. How much better a job might be done now, how much more might be garnered from a literature degree after all this time..?
Anyway, you should read this – slowly, and more than once. There’s no excuse not to.
I’ve been telling you what we said – repeating the phrases we pronounced – but what’s the good? They were common everyday words – the familiar, vague sounds exchanged on every waking day of life. But what of that?