Building on the formula of York Notes, this Advanced series introduces students to more sophisticated analysis and wider critical perspectives. The notes enable students to appreciate contrasting interpretations of the text and to develop their own critical thinking. Key features include: study methods; an introduction to the text; summaries with critical notes; themes and techniques; textual analysis of key passages; author biography; historical and literary background; modern and historical critical approaches; chronology; and glossary of literary terms.
Heart of Darkness, Joseph Conrad's fictional account of a journey up the Congo river in 1890, raises important questions about colonialism and narrative theory. This casebook contains materials relevant to a deeper understanding of the origins and reception of this controversial text, including Conrad's own story "An Outpost of Progress," together with a little-known memoir by one of Conrad's oldest English friends, a brief history of the Congo Free State by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, and a parody of Conrad by Max Beerbohm. A wide range of theoretical approaches are also represented, examining Conrad's text in terms of cultural, historical, textual, stylistic, narratological, post-colonial, feminist, and reader-response criticism. The volume concludes with an interview in which Conrad compares his adventures on the Congo with Mark Twain's experiences as a Mississippi pilot.
Ian Watt (1917–99) has long been acknowledged as one of the finest of post-War literary critics. The Rise of the Novel (1957) is still the landmark account of the way in which realist fiction developed in the eighteenth century and Watt's work on Conrad has been enormously influential. Conrad in the Nineteenth Century (1979) was to have been followed by a volume addressing Conrad's later work, but the material for this long-awaited second volume remains in essay form. It is these essays, as Frank Kermode points out in his foreword, which form the nucleus of Essays on Conrad. Watt's own worldview, as well as his insight into Conrad's work, was shaped by his experiences as a prisoner of war on the River Kwai. His personal, and painfully moving, account of these experiences forms part of his famous essay 'The Bridge over the River Kwai as Myth' which completes this essential collection.
New scholarship concerning the life of the British novelist augments a critical study of Conrad's early literary development that examines his work in light of nineteenth-century social ethics and such movements as Romanticism and Symbolism