Conrad's Marlow: Narrative and Death in 'youth', Heart of Darkness, Lord Jim and Chance

Conrad's Marlow: Narrative and Death in 'youth', Heart of Darkness, Lord Jim and Chance

by Paul Wake


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Variously described as 'the average pilgrim', a 'wanderer', and 'a Buddha preaching in European clothes', Charlie Marlow is the voice behind Joseph Conrad's 'Youth' (1898), Heart of Darkness (1899), Lord Jim (1900) and Chance (1912).

Conrad's Marlow offers a comprehensive account and critical analysis of one of Conrad's most celebrated creations, asking both who and what is Marlow: a character or a narrator, a biographer or an autobiographical screen, a messenger or an interpreter, a bearer of truth or a misguided liar?

Reading Conrad's fiction alongside the work of Walter Benjamin, Maurice Blanchot, Jacques Derrida and Martin Heidegger, and offering an investigation into the connection between narrative and death, this book argues that Marlow's essence is located in his liminality - in his constantly shifting position - and that the emergence of meaning in his stories is at all points bound up with the process of his storytelling.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780719074905
Publisher: Manchester University Press
Publication date: 03/15/2008
Pages: 160
Product dimensions: 6.14(w) x 9.21(h) x (d)

About the Author

Paul Wake is Lecturer in the Department of English at Manchester Metropolitan University

Table of Contents


Introduction: Marlow, realism, hermeneutics

1. Marlow: 'Youth' and the oral tradition

2. Heart of Darkness and death

3. Lord Jim and the structures of suicide

4. Chance and the truth of literature

Epilogue: the sense of an ending


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