Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Peter Brooks, An Unreadable Report: Conrad's Heart of Darkness

  • Narrative and organization is in the tradition of nineteenth century literature; however, it has a modernist twist because it includes "inconclusive solutions to... the problematic status."

  • Framed story restricts us from completly understanding Marlow and Kurtz

  • There is a disproportion between the ordering systems used and their effect, and that suggests that the realtionship between story and narrative plot is uncertain.

  • Marlow's narrative is like a detective's in that it attaches itself to another's story, retraces another's path, and repeats a journey already taken.

  • For Marlow, Kurtz is like the authority or "sanction" of narrative, so that Kurtz stands to help make sense of Marlow's life. Then end of the journey= ability to talk about the experience, a voice.

  • "The horror, " can represent the reversion to savagery (the fall of language) and/or express just how "unspeakable" the horrors are.

  • The nature of the frame story give it a never-ending quality, in that there is no end for Marlow. Since Marlow is "too late" in following Kurtz, the narrative suggests that no one can actually know the end.
  • Heart of Darkness has moderinst qualities because the story is being retold. the repetition of the story is "the product of failure" in the original telling ( Kurtz can't tell his own story and Marlow lies to Kurtz's Intended).
  • Emphasizes that Kurtz's story never ends, as it will continue to be retold.