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Heart of Darkness 
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Penelope wrote:

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I don't think the British were so terribly nasty in India either.



Your posting is full of interesting thoughts.
I, too, have read about India, and have come to the same conclusions as yours.

I once spent a week with an Indian family in London. During the course of a conversation, one family member mentioned with a smile that the British "had plundered India left, right, and centre" and he told me that by and large there was no resentment.

It would be interesting to know why things ended differently in Africa.
From what I read, the British were arrogant and racist while in India. They put people in jails for endless amounts of time when they protested.

Yet perhaps there were some affinities between the two peoples and cultures which enabled them to be friends after the Raj.


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Sun Feb 03, 2008 10:25 am
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The Wonderful Mahatma Gandhi came to Blackburn. My mother was a cotton spinner and my husband's mother was a cotton weaver - and I am so proud to have a connection with Babaji - isn't that what the Indian people called Gandhi?

A special person.....who judged as he found people as individuals..not as a race, colour or creed.

I think that is what racism really is. Lumping people into a pile. I intensely dislike patriotism. How can we be proud to be born into a certain country at a certain time? We just happen to be born there....it is nothing to do with our intellect or choosing. I hate flags...national emblems...sigheil sigheil. Conditioning by repetition.....brainwashing!

Conrad was so brilliant with words.....he 'puts' you there...I can see the world from his angle. But also because he saw himself as 'separate', an observer.....as do I.



Sun Feb 03, 2008 11:36 am
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Quoting RobertTulip:

Today cocoa is picked by slave children, a cruel trade permitted by ignorance.


I 'fairly' recently watched a TV program about 'Slavery' BBC. Apparently there is more slavery in the world today then ever in history!!!!

They covered children weaving carpets in India etc. But the cocoa plantations were riveting....in that they seemed to come from a different time/space scenario. Cocoa production, via slavery....it was implied....was upheld by the World Banking system!!!! The man speaking for the Cocoa plantations - asked us to try to buy 'Fair Trade' chocolate.

However, he said, 'Please don't stop buying chocolate or we wont just have slavery, we will have starvation'.

Oh Robert, what do you do to stop from going crazy??

Do you think, perhaps, it is a feeling of helplessness, as in say, Arnold Wesker plays....that makes us become like Conrad.....isolated observers?



Sun Feb 03, 2008 12:03 pm
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Hands Up who feels like a metaphysically displaced person - ie in the wrong time-space continuum---

I put my hand up for Jospeh Conrad and Me!



Sun Feb 03, 2008 12:41 pm
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I read heart of darkness my senior year of high school (last year). So its still pretty fresh in my mind. I was forced to read it and to be honest I didn't find it horrible. I like reading the classics, well some of them. It was short and that was probably one aspect that kept me reading, if it was longer I don't believe I would have made it through the book. It was interesting. Dark yet extremely insightful. The depth was wonderful.



Tue Feb 05, 2008 11:40 am
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Audrey - How awful to be forced to read 'Heart of Darkness'. It would have meant nothing to me in those circumstances.

I think it is the sort of book one should choose to read....I think that is the answer - the choosing.....Look at Ophelia's leading questions.....

I have become brain-addled with domestic trivia.

I am reading and studying the book for a different reason.

Conrad was a depressive (well I think so) - but a very gifted and compassionate person.



Tue Feb 05, 2008 12:53 pm
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In a way I believe that it should be a book that you choose to read, that would make it easier to get through, because then you would know what you are getting yourself into. However, on the other hand, if i wasn't forced to read this book then I might not have ever read it.

Now concerning Ophelia's questions.

Yes, I think Conrad is racist. It is prevalent through his male character in the book. How else can one show so much hate toward a certain group of people? Treating them as if they are inferior savages. Yet, I think he shows his racism as a means of showing the evils of the world. I believe his views on race leads to another moral: no matter how strong the values civilization can cause evil.



Tue Feb 05, 2008 1:26 pm
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Audrey - I might be wrong - I often am.....but the thing with books...with sharing thoughts and ideas....

If I am not ready for them....I read them, and they are just opaque

If I am ready for a book, or a person....they just seem to plop into my lap and I can absorb it like a sponge....

If you are doing a course of study....and the book is on the curriculum..then I can't think of a better way to examine your intellectual ability. But some books, some people even, are spiritually discerned and not intellectually understood.

Here speaks a half-educated thinker.



Tue Feb 05, 2008 2:37 pm
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You are right, sometimes you have to be ready when sharing your thoughts and I am the same way. Yet, things changed a little in high school when I was forced to read book, well not only read them, but consume and understand them.

I am in complete agreement with you about the being ready for things and that is why I did not enjoy all of the books I was forced to read such as: Wuthering Heights and A Tale of Two Cities, just to name two.

I noticed that other people in the class also did not have the appreciation for the book and that was upsetting.



Wed Feb 06, 2008 9:01 pm
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Audrey - You must remember that Wuthering Heights is a very silly book but very wonderful also.

The servant in Kathy's house says that Heathcliffe is very 'Fleysome' that is phonetic spelling on my part. But Fleysome - means 'Fearsome' and that is a Lancashire/Yorkshire dialect word. The only person I ever heard use it in conversation, was my mother-in-law aged 98. She said the thunder and lightening was very 'fleysome'. Isn't that great???



Thu Feb 07, 2008 12:59 pm
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I just wish I could of had the enjoyment that the rest of the class seemed to have with the book. I guess I'll just have to wait a while and then retry reading it (this time for enjoyment) :)

That is pretty great! I don't believe I've ever heard that word in my life. Is it crazy how dialects seem to change?



Thu Feb 07, 2008 3:28 pm
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Post I've just read the first couple of pages . . .
I don't remember reading it before - mine's a slim hardcover - the old fashioned bookie kinda' thing . . .

Narrative? Hoo boy!

You have to keep your mind on it from line to line - very wordy.

Something like Steinbeck - he goes on and on with the narrative too.

Carly :-0



Thu Feb 07, 2008 3:46 pm
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Audrey - I am very interested in dialect and the roots of language - after all - that is how we communicate!

I don't want words in dialect to die out. .

Words are inadequate to express our emotions. We need all the nuances and help we can get.

And that is why I think music is so often important to the young. ;-)



Thu Feb 07, 2008 3:53 pm
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Carly - A lot of people in UK voted Wuthering Heights their favourite novel of all time.

I think it is a silly book. BUT - I do wonder how a very small spinster lady who died at a tragically young age - knew about all that passion!!

Kathy and Heathcliffe - I wanted it to be true love, once.....but now I am glad that I know it is just the wonderful imagination of a very gifted young woman.

Seductive idea, but dangerous. :P



Thu Feb 07, 2008 4:05 pm
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Post Wuthering Heights.
I love Wuthering Heights!

What I remember of it is not the love story, but the setting, the wind on the moors, the excess in everything that great isolation brings.

This is one of those books that I was lucky enough to be able to read (here, re-read) where it had been written.
A few years ago, I went to Haworth, where the Bronte sisters lived. I had a wonderful Bed and Breakfast room with a view on the landscape, and I read from there.
Also, I took walks with a friend (and visited tea-rooms, one of the highlights of my trips to Britain).
Unforgettable experience.


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Thu Feb 07, 2008 5:34 pm
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