R Zhuwarara


The standing of Joseph Conrad as a major novelist of his time has been for a long time unassailable. F.R. Leavis certainly regards Conrad as rightfully belonging to 'The Great Tradition' of English literature- minor misgivings notwithstanding. It is argued that he is one of those artists who have extended the frontiers of the novel and created more space and more possibilities for the exploration and depiction of human experience. This view is confirmed by David Daiches who in his book The Novel and the Modern World acknowledges the technical possibilities heralded by Conrad's multiple points of view in the art of story-telling. Albert Guerard's assessment of Conrad's work is in the same vein but at times uncomfortably specific. He regards Heart of Darkness as being 'among the half-dozen greatest short novels in the English language' (Guerard, 1978:9). This commendation is in fact far from being an eccentric one uttered by an over-enthusiastic critic. F.R. Leavis, who is generally a rigorous and censorious critic, writes 'Heart of Darkness is, by common consent, one of Conrad's best things' (Leavis, 1973:174).



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