Joseph Conrad’s Racial Idea

2017-05-22T06:11:00Z (GMT) by Tim Christensen
Following its publication in book form in 1902 as the second tale in Youth: A Narrative and Two Other Stories, Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness made a considerable impact on the literary world. Conrad biographer John Batchelor has claimed that for the last decade of his life, Conrad’s reputation was that of “the greatest living English novelist,” and that beginning with the criticism of F. R. Leavis and M. C. Bradbrook in the 1940s, Heart of Darkness took its place as a milestone of literary modernism (Leavis’s famous criticism of the novel for its “adjectival insistence” notwithstanding). And while the cultural and literary value of the novel has been sharply and consistently called into question for the past thirty years, this process of questioning has not affected the text’s “hyper-canonized” status.