RARA-AVIS: Apocalypse Now

From: Larson, Craig ( Craig.Larson@tsjc.cccoes.edu)
Date: 30 Apr 2002

Much as I love the movie and I did see the Redux version recently, there's no way on earth that it's a better story than Joseph Conrad's "Heart of Darkness"! Just to say so is, in itself, a heresy. Also, as an aside, you might be interested to know that Conrad's main character in the story is Marlowe, which ties into our discussion neatly. Conrad came to English late in life--it was his third or fourth language--and became one of the supreme stylists in the language. I've always been amazed by that. The archetypal trip up the river to pull out Kurtz is the supreme anti-colonial story and the actual state of Kurtz, a hollow shell of his former self, is fitting, as, throughout the story, we're told to expect great things and we're expecting to find a figure of greatness when Marlowe finally finds him. That Kurtz dies without much of a struggle fits the story, as we're left to ponder on what brought him to this state. Marlowe himself sees how easy it would be to succumb to the call of nature and take Kurtz's place.

Sorry, but I just had enough of this talk that Coppola somehow better one of the all-time great stories. Sure, it was neat that he managed to dovetail it with Vietnam, but you're somehow overlooking that fact that he lifts the story pretty much wholesale from Conrad. Without Conrad, there is no Apocalypse Now.

Craig Larson Trinidad, CO

# To unsubscribe from the regular list, say "unsubscribe rara-avis" to
# majordomo@icomm.ca.  This will not work for the digest version.
# The web pages for the list are at http://www.miskatonic.org/rara-avis/ .

This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : 30 Apr 2002 EDT