<i>Heart of Darkness</i> and death

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:
Heart of Darkness and death

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Questions surrounding the instant of death form the basis of this chapter which offers a reassessment of two influential readings of Heart of Darkness, those of Miller and Brooks. These readings are linked by a common recognition of the significance of death with regards to meaning, specifically, the death of Kurtz in Heart of Darkness. The discussion approaches this case with reference to Heidegger's notion of Dasein as Being towards death and his formulation of death as the ‘possibility of impossibility’ both of which appear in Being and Time. It then critiques Miller and Brooks's readings in relation to Derrida's Aporias which examines the possibility of the experience that is denoted by the phrase ‘my death’ and which poses a radical challenge to Heidegger's notion of death.

Keywords: death; Heart of Darkness; Heidegger; Being and Time; Aporias; Derrida

Chapter.  13882 words. 

Subjects: Literary Studies (20th Century onwards)

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