Re: RARA-AVIS: Conrad, Coppola, (cats)

From: William Hagen (
Date: 04 May 2002

Miker writes,

apocalypse now endorses pyrotechnic destruction? thats an interesting
>idea. what made you think that? i didn't think the movie "endorsed"
>anything. i didn't even think it was a commentary on the vietnam war.
>the war was just a great setting to play out the story between kurtz and
> >marlow.

Yeah, my "endorsed" does sound too much like it came out of some committee rather than a film. But let's acknowledge the adrenaline rush in the air assault sequence, the fiery destruction of the compound in the 35 mm version that appeal to our appetites for destruction, at the same time we're confronted by the futility of it all (if we follow Willard's thinking).

>and expanding on your comment on the novel being about a "moral
>awakening to the heart of darkness of europe", i would say its about
>a wonderful amoral spot that lies firmly rooted within the primal soul
>of us all. cormac plays in that sandbox so very well.

Good point. Course Conrad twists the knife so that Europeans recognize that they're not so damn superior; the cannibal crew of Marlow's steamer has a higher morality than the white "pilgrims" who shoot natives for sport.

To bring it back to list concerns, Conrad shapes a good background for hard-boiled/noir fiction in his suggestion that none of us knows how badly she or he would act in given circumstances, separated from the good folks that keep us in line.

Bill Hagen

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