It is many years since I read Conrad’s “Heart of Darkness”. However this post kindles in me a wish to reread it.
“Mistah Kurtz-he dead” (The Hollow Men. Line 1)
Conrad’s Kurtz seems, by no means, what Kipling had defined “the best ye breed”, the perfect product of Western civilization, all Europe, in fact, had contributed to the making of Kurtz, as his mother was half-English, while his father was half-French. Painter, musician, writer and even philanthropist, he exercises a powerful influence on people with his charisma, in fact, whoever has ever known him would bet that he is destined to success. Yet, in this case “Nomen” is not “omen”, as this promising future of greatness is not reflected by his name, which, ironically, hints at a certain smallness of the man. Kurtz, in fact, means short in German.
Kurtz truly believes in the civilizing mission of the white man. Not only he had supported it in a pamphlet he wrote, but he had also given form to his ideas…
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