Second Saturday Book Group “Heart of Darkness,” by Joseph Conrad

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Date(s) - 12/10/2022
10:00 am - 12:00 pm

Via Zoom


Second Saturday Book Group
2022-2023 Theme:
UUA’s 4th Principle:
A Free and Responsible Search for Truth and Meaning!

Date: Saturday, December 10th
Time: 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. via Zoom
Selection: Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad
First published: 1899
Leader: Dorie Maxwell – or 561-301-4204
If you haven’t recently received emails from me  about our book group activities and wish to receive a Zoom invitation for this discussion, please contact me. – Dorie

This story begins with five male friends sitting pensively on an idle yawl at dusk, waiting for the tide of the Thames River southeast of London to turn so they can resume their journey.  As the sun sets and the quiet evening becomes dark and gloomy, one of the men— Marlow— begins sharing a yarn about a time long ago when he had sailed up another river, one that took him into the dark heart of still little explored country, one he had been eager to see.  He had finally secured an assignment as a riverboat captain with a Belgium trading company which had taken him down the coast of Africa and then far up the Congo River, searching for Mr. Kurtz, a great ivory hunter.

This novella is just around 100 pages long, depending on your copy, but don’t plan on speeding through it at the last minute.  Author Joseph Conrad is known for his unique propensity for ambiguity, purposefully making this hard to read.  He tells his adventure conversationally.  Long paragraph/sentences. Then fragments. Lots of metaphors and symbolism.  This is a story within a story. In his “frame story,” sitting there on the Thames River, Marlow recalls the time when England itself was a place of darkness, and Romans came and conquered, bringing light to it.  In his main story on another great river in the middle of Africa, the tide has turned, and Englishmen and others have become the conquerors.

Yes, he goes searching for Kurtz, but what does he find?  What truth and meaning does he discover?

Members and friends are welcome to join our discussion— whether you’ve finished the book or not.  After the discussion on Zoom, those who wish to meet at Brio’s in the Gardens Mall for lunch and fellowship are welcome.

Want to plan ahead for next month On January 14—the next second Saturday— we’ll discuss Hores by Geraldine Brooks (416 pp), published in 2022. In this novel, a present-day interracial couple search for answers to the mysteries of the 1850s record-breaking racehorse Lexington and his enslaved groom.