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'Heart of Darkness' Quotes

Joseph Conrad's Famous Work

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Here are more quotes from Heart of Darkness, by Joseph Conrad.
  • "He declared he would shoot me unless I gave him the ivory and then cleared out of the country, because he could do so, and had a fancy for it, and there was nothing on earth to prevent him killing whom he jolly well pleased."
    - Joseph Conrad, Heart of Darkness, Part 3

  • "Whether he knew of this deficiency himself I can't say. I think the knowledge came to him at last--only at the very last. But the wilderness found him out early, and had taken vengeance for the fantastic invasion. I think it had whispered to him things about himself which he did not know, things of which he had no conception till he took counsel with this great solitude--and the whisper had proved irresistibly fascinating. It echoed loudly within him because he was hollow at the core."
    - Joseph Conrad, Heart of Darkness, Part 3

  • "I turned to the wilderness really, not to Mr. Kurtz, who, I was ready to admit, was as good as buried. And for a moment it seemed to me as if I also was buried in a vast grave full of unspeakable secrets. I felt an intolerable weight oppressing my breast, the smell of the damp earth, the unseen presence of victorious corruption, the darkness of an impenetrable night."
    - Joseph Conrad, Heart of Darkness, Part 3

  • "I did not betray Mr. Kurtz--it was ordered I should never betray him--it was written I should be loyal to the nightmare of my choice. I was anxious to deal with this shadow by myself alone--and to this day I don't know why I was so jealous of sharing with anyone the peculiar blackness of that experience."
    - Joseph Conrad, Heart of Darkness, Part 3

  • "I tried to break the spell--the heavy, mute spell of the wilderness--that seemed to draw him to its pitiless breast by the awakening of forgotten and brutal instincts, by the memory of gratified and monstrous passions. This alone, I was convinced, had driven him out to the edge of the forest, to the bush, towards the gleam of fires, the throb of drums, the drone of weird incantations; this alone had beguiled his unlawful soul beyond the bounds of permitted aspirations."
    - Joseph Conrad, Heart of Darkness, Part 3

  • "They had behind them, to my mind, the terrific suggestiveness of words heard in dreams, of phrases spoken in nightmares."
    - Joseph Conrad, Heart of Darkness, Part 3

  • "The horror! The horror!"
    - Joseph Conrad, Heart of Darkness, Part 3

  • "Never see him! I saw him clearly then. I shall see this eloquent phantom as long as I live, and I shall see her too, a tragic and familiar shade, resembling in this gesture another one, tragic also, and bedecked with powerless charms, stretching bare brown arms over the glitter of the infernal stream, the stream of darkness."
    - Joseph Conrad, Heart of Darkness, Part 3

  • "I raised my head. The offing was barred by a black bank of clouds, and the tranquil waterway leading to the uttermost ends of the earth flowed somber under an overcast sky--seemed to lead into the heart of an immense darkness."
    - Joseph Conrad, Heart of Darkness, Part 3

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