Friday, April 21, 2017

Heart of Darkness - A Journey through Unfamiliar Terrain

An account executive with Informatica, LLC, Leonard Yakhnich has driven major enterprise transactions in diverse areas of the technology sphere, from big data to business intelligence. Leonard Yakhnich is an avid reader who enjoys writers such as Tennessee Williams and Gunter Grass. One of his favorite works is Joseph Conrad’s modernist classic Heart of Darkness.

Number 32 on The Guardian’s 2014 list of the 100 best novels, Heart of Darkness is described as one of the first novels to explore the cultural and psychological conflicts that arose from European colonialism. The story begins with a sailor named Marlow recounting a harrowing tale of a journey down the Congo River, where Conrad himself had been as a young Polish seafarer. Marlow’s mission was to travel upriver from the relatively developed coast, to a part of the continent that was almost untouched by Western notions of culture and morality. The ultimate objective was retrieving the legendary Kurtz, who had left the West behind. The book ends with his famous deathbed exclamation “The horror! The horror!”

The novel is noteworthy in that it represented Conrad, for whom English was not a first language, trying to place in ambiguous words the sense of dread felt when traveling deep into a culture that was not his own.

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