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Heart of Darkness

Critique • Quotes

Heart of DarknessCritical edition, 1963
Publication details ▽ Publication details △

First publication

Literature form

Literary, historical fiction, intrigue

Writing language

Author's country

Approx. 38,500 words

Notable lines

The Nellie, a cruising yawl, swung to her anchor without a flutter of the sails, and was at rest.

— First line

"They were conquerors, and for that you want only brute force—nothing to boast of, when you have it, since your strength is just an accident arising from the weakness of others."


"I don't like work—no man does—but I like what is in the work—the chance to find yourself. Your own reality—for yourself, not for others—what no other man can ever know. They can only see the mere show, and never can tell what it really means."


"...No, it is impossible; it is impossible to convey the life-sensation of any given epoch of one's existence,—that which makes its truth, its meaning—its subtle and penetrating essence. It is impossible. We live, as we dream—alone...."


"'The horror! The horror!'"


"Mistah Kurtz—he dead."


The offing was barred by a black bank of clouds, and the tranquil water-way leading to the uttermost ends of the earth flowed somber under an overcast sky—seemed to lead into the heart of an immense darkness.

— Last line


Critique • Quotes