Chapter

Marlow: ‘Youth’ and the oral tradition

Paul Wake

in Conrad's Marlow

Published by Manchester University Press

Published in print October 2007 | ISBN: 9780719074905
Published online July 2012 | e-ISBN: 9781781701256 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7228/manchester/9780719074905.003.0002
Marlow: ‘Youth’ and the oral tradition

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This chapter draws on Genette's narrative theory in order to locate Marlow in the dual position of narrator and character through close readings of ‘Youth’ and Heart of Darkness, investigating the idea that Conrad's narratives are structured around the transmission of story, and questioning the possibility of sustaining the distinction between that which is transmitted and the means of transmission. With this established, it reads Marlow's role as a narrator in the oral tradition alongside Benjamin's ‘The Storyteller’ in order to introduce a connection between narrative authority and death. The chapter concludes with a reading of ‘Youth’ in which the narrative frame becomes central to a reading of Marlow's ‘central’ story.

Keywords: narrative theory; Marlow; Conrad's narratives; The Storyteller; Youth; Heart of Darkness

Chapter.  9493 words. 

Subjects: Literary Studies (20th Century onwards)

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