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Joseph Conrad Jozef Teodor Konrad Korzeniowski Joseph Conrad

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Text of Joseph Conrad Jozef Teodor Konrad Korzeniowski Joseph Conrad

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  • Joseph Conrad Jozef Teodor Konrad Korzeniowski Joseph Conrad
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  • Biographical Facts b. 1857 in Poland Only child of Apollo and Ewa Korzeniowski, members of Polish aristocracy
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  • 1861 father, intellectual, writer, and Polish patriot at a time when Poland was part of the Russian Empire; Apollo arrested for revolutionary activities; family is exiled to Russia; harsh climate causes hardships and illness (TB) 1865 Conrads mother dies in Chernigov, Russia; father, because of his own poor health, allowed to relocate with seven-year-old son in Austrian Poland
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  • 1869 father and son move to Krakow, where Apollo dies; eleven-year-old orphaned child becomes ward of mothers brother Tadeusz Bobrowski, apparently a kindly man
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  • Because doctors recommended a seaside environment for Josephs health, he moved to France. As a young man Conrad lived on his uncles funds and made several sea voyages as a sailor. 4
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  • 1874-77 Teenage Conrad goes to Marseilles, where he enters French merchant marine; during these years he completes a number of voyages to the Caribbean and in 1877 he may have engaged in some gunrunning on behalf of Spanish rebels. Marseilles, France 3
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  • 1878 In February Conrad is presumed to have shot himself in the chest, an incident that for years was disguised as a duel. Was this a drastic reaction to an unhappy love affair?
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  • More adventures at the age of 17 Conrad had signed on his first English shipserved on 18 different vesselsworked up the ranks: second mate, first mate, finally to captain In addition to smuggling guns, Conrad at one point had to run his ship aground to avoid capture for smuggling. Lost all his money gambling in Monte Carlo.
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  • Lost all his money gambling in Monte Carlo
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  • When he was second mate on a ship, it caught fire and sank; the crew survived in open boats until they reached land 1886 Conrad became a British citizen
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  • *1890 Conrad was in Belgium Congo as part of a European trading company but left before the year ended. He apparently was weakened by malaria and his psychological and moral senses were shaken by his witnessing the exploitation of the natives in Africa
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  • Despondent about working opportunities and earning small wages, Conrad began writing his first novel Almayers Folly. The book, which received favorable critical notice, describes the turmoil and adventures of his early years at sea.
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  • It is interesting to note that at this point in his life Conrad was conversing daily in Polish, writing letters in French, and thinking in English as he worked on the manuscript of Almayers Folly!
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  • Conrads middle years were peaceful and relatively uneventful. In 1896 he married Jessie George and the family rented a farm in Kent (England). The Conrads had two sons: Borys and John.
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  • Apparently Conrad was not especially close to his sons because of his aloof personality. Personal troubles included bouts of severe illness as well the anguish of writing. His writing was, however, critically well received. Conrad supplemented the family income by writing short adventure fiction for popular magazines.
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  • Conrad had eight books published in his lifetime declined a knighthood in 1924 died of a heart attack August 7, 1924, after years of ill health buried in Canterbury, England Canterbury, England (Kent)
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  • Conrad as an author Four major contributions to England and to world literature: 1.His unique style 2.The additions of new settings and genre to the world of literature 3.Creation of the psychological story 4.Creation of political fictionspy novel, espionage
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  • Conrad created excitement by putting the emphasis on the interior lives of his characters. Conrads work represents a remarkable feat because he was already an adult by the time he had learned to read and speak English.
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  • His work is also remarkable for the writers precise descriptions of exotic settingshowever the plot tends to be slow-moving. In Conrads era, the writings of Sigmund Freud and other psychological theorists opened new aspects of the human personality.
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  • Heart of Darkness was written in the years prior to World War I and represents a transition between Victorian literature and the Modern British literature of the post-war era. Popular Victorian adventure writers included Rudyard Kipling and H.R. Haggard, who took readers into exotic locales usually associated with the far-flung locations of the British Empire. In novels such as Heart of Darkness, events are filtered through the perceptions and minds of characters who are changed by what they see and experience.
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  • The result in the writings of Conrad is that much of the action is internal or psychological, which was to be more typical of Modern post-war British literature. Symbols to look for Darknessconsider multiple meanings Voyageanother journey theme; this is a quest but what type of quest?
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  • Fogliteral and figurative (impaired perception, lack of understanding) This lack of clarity of understanding is also more Modern than Victorian.
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  • Knitting womenwho are these females? Vegetationnote the references and associations with death Rivetsrepresent civilization; how effective are they?
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  • Bookleft beside a stack of firewood; whose is it? Watch for it Jungleisolation, animalistic side of mananything else? Structure: Framed narrative with shiftsbe alert for change in narrative voice or change in time/place Also be alert for IRONY Snakesrecurrent symbol; used mostly metaphorically; linked to biblical image of original sin
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  • Themes of the novel? Be alertwhat does the story have to say about evil, about humankind, about exploitation of others?
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  • What does the title mean? Heart of Darkness (Think about more than one explanation.)

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