- Conrad, Joseph
- (1857–1924)Born Teodor Józef Konrad Korzeniowski, Polish-born British novelist Joseph Conrad used his experiences of more than 16 years in the British merchant marine and as a steamboat captain on the Congo River to give him the material for such novels as An Outcast of the Islands (1896), The Nigger of the Narcissus (1897), Heart of Darkness (1899), and Lord Jim (1900). Today widely considered one of the greatest modern writers in the English language, Conrad was one of an increasing number of serious writers who, in the late nineteenth century, made themselves intermediaries of the collision between the European world and the overseas indigenous cultures into which it encroached. In Conrad’s work this involved immensely disturbing accounts of the brutalities committed in the pursuit of commerce or in the name of advancing civilization. The Congo Free State he characterized as “the vilest scramble for loot that ever disfigured the history of human conscience.” It served equally as the setting for Conrad’s Heart of Darkness as it did for Roger Casement ’s report on abuses in the Upper Congo River rubber trade.See also <
>; < >.FURTHER READING:Sherry, Norman. Conrad ’ s Western World. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1971.CARL CAVANAGH HODGE
Encyclopedia of the Age of Imperialism, 1800–1914. 2014.