This blog is for everyone who uses words.

The ordinary-sized words are for everyone, but the big ones are especially for children.

Saturday, 6 October 2012

Saturday Rave: Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad.

It is the fate of some books to be hated passionately. It's usually because they have been inflicted on poor little children at school, or poor little students at university.

Heart of Darkness is one of those books.

It doesn't help that the first few pages of Heart of Darkness are brain-numbingly dull (well, I think so, anyway: it took me three attempts over the decades to get past the story-of-the-man-who-tells-the-story) and it doesn't help either that there are no hi-speed helicopters, no high schools, nor any noticeable humour.

Oh, but that heart of darkness. Once you've been there, once you've smelled it, once you've felt it close around you, the brightness of the outside world will forever be more vivid against its shadows.

And as for the shadows...oh, the shadows will never, never go quite away.

Word To Use Today: darkness. This is a wonderful word which needs more careful exploration than I have space for at the moment. It comes from the Old English word deorc which is related to the Old High Grerman terchennan, which means to hide.

1 comment:

  1. H of D is a book I loved when I read it. I was never made to read it and got to it when I was quite old but yes, haunting stuff. And you're quite right...darkness is a super word. ONe of those magic words you can never walk past if you see it in a title. Clever old Conrad, eh?