Re: RARA-AVIS: Conrad/Hemingway

From: Juri Nummelin (
Date: 03 Mar 2000

On Fri, 3 Mar 2000, Etienne Borgers wrote:

> By its modernity Conrad was certainly influential on
> many writers of the 20th century, and is certainly
> also one of the missing links that could make
> something like Noir novels possible (I don't try to
> tell you,however, that he was at the origin of Noir-
> even if one of his major character's name was Marlow
> -Youth and Darkness)

This is exactly the point James Naremore makes in his wonderful book
"More Than Night": if Orson Welles had directed "Heart of Darkness", like he had planned, it would've been called truly the first film noir.

But since we are on Conrad (I'd say he's off-topic, but who am I to judge?), I'd like to say that in "Heart of Darkness" he did what every writer should do: make more out of less. It's so little, yet so big. Everything is there, from fear to rise and fall of capitalism and imperialism. And racism, of course, but who can think of a adventure book written in 1902 that is totally without racism?


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