'The Nellie, a cruising yawl, swung to her anchor without a flutter of the sails, and was at rest. The flood had made, the wind was nearly calm, and being bound down the river, the only thing for it was to come to and wait for the turn of the tide. The sea–reach of the Thames stretched before us like the beginning of an interminable waterway. In the offing the sea and the sky were welded together without a joint, and in the luminous space the tanned sails of the barges drifting up with the tide seemed to stand still in red clusters of canvas sharply peaked, with gleams of varnished sprits. A haze rested on the low shores that ran out to sea in vanishing flatness. The air was dark above Gravesend, and farther back still seemed condensed into a mournful gloom, brooding motionless over the biggest, and the greatest, town on earth.'Joseph Conrad, Heart of Darkness
Do you tend to remember the opening paragraph of your favourite novel? I do. I think many of us do remember it, especially those who make it a habit to reread their favourite novels. Have you ever noticed how when you see a certain film (taken that it is any good) for the second time, you notice some things you haven't noticed before? If the film is a masterpiece, you may even notice something new everytime you see it. Moreover, some movies are truly timeless classics and you can watch them a number of times without ever getting bored of them. It is the same case with books, if they are really good you can reread them countless times and always discover something new. Sometimes it feels like listenting to your favourite song. In that sense, reading the openining paragraph is like listening the beggining of a song you really love...and sometimes it makes your heart skip a beat.
Imate li sklonost pamtiti uvodne riječi vašeg omiljenog romana. Ja imam i mislim da puno nas pamti taj uvod, pogotovo oni koji imaju naviku ponovo čitati njihove omiljene romane. Jeste li ikad primijetili kako kada gledate određeni film (pod uvjetom da je dobar) po drugi put, primijetite neke stvari koje niste prije primijetili? Ako je pak film remekdjelo, onda možete primijetiti nešto novo svaki put kada ga pogledate. Štoviše, neki su filmovi zaista bezvremenski klasici koje možete gledati puno puta bez da vam ikada dosade. Ista je stvar s knjigama, ako su zaista dobre možete ih pročitati bezbroj puta i uvijek otkriti nešto novo. Ponekad je to kao slušanje svoje omiljene pjesme. U tom smislu, čitati uvodne riječi romana je kao slušati početak svoje omiljene pjesme....i ponekad vam od toga poskoči srce.
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As I was (re)reading the opening pages of Heart of Darkness while I was having coffee on this blissfully sunny and warm day in Mostar, I felt like my heart has skipped a beat. I remembered so clearly how this book made me feel every time I read it...it was a flashback into past...and I have read this novel at least a dozen times. Every reading was different, every reading revealed something new to me. Sometimes this book would make me feel furious and angry, at times it made me feel heartbroken and sad but there was never a time when it didn't evoke a whole storms of emotions within me. I do believe that if I were to read this book everyday, it would still continue to move me on everyday basis. Furthemore, I realized that over the years, it did more than that. I responded on it on many different levels, emotional being just one of them. This short novel influenced the way I think. I only now realized that it shaped many questions that still bother me today, that sometimes keep me up at night. I still wonder whether we really live in a postcolonial world or is our world still a colonial one?
Dok sam ponovo čitala uvodne riječi Srca tame dok sam pila kavu toga blaženo sunčanoga i toploga dana u Mostaru, osjetila sam da mi je srce poskočilo. Sjetila sam se tako jasno kako sam se osjećala svaki puta kada bi čitala ovu knjigu...bio je to povratak u prošlost, a ovaj roman sam pročitala barem desetak puta. Nekad bi se čitajući ovu knjigu osjećala gnjevno i bijesno, a ponekad bi osjećala tugu i onaj osjećaj da će vam se srce prelomiti. Kakogod sam se osjećala, uvijek je tu bila cijela oluja osjećaja, nikada nisam osjetila ravnodušnost i mislim da ovu knjigu čitam svaki dan, da bi me opet iznova dirnula. Nadalje, shvatila sam da je tijekom godina ova knjiga učinila i više od toga da me dirnula jer sam na nju reagirala na više razina, a emocionalna je samo jedna od njih. Ovaj kratki roman utjecao je na način na koji razmišljam. Tek sam sada shvatila da je oblikovao brojna pitanja koja me i danas muče i koja me ponekad drže budnom noću. Još uvijek se pitam živimo li doista u vremenu nakon kolonijalizma ili je svijet u kojem živimo još uvijek onaj u kojem vladaju kolonijalne sile?
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One of the things I admire about Conrad is how he introduces the question of colonialism right from the start of the novel. Upon first reading, you may not even notice it, but the more times you read this novel, the more you realize the evils of colonialism and just how pointless all justifications for it really are...and pointing that out from the start seems important for this novel. His famous character Marlow, the narrator of the story in question, starts off his tale with reminder that for Romans, this 'biggest and greatest' city in the world was a place of darkness. What is darkness after all? What is light? I believe that there is always a choice and it is up to us to stand by the light or by the darkness, to choose good or evil. Darkness exists in every corner of this world. Those nations and countries that call themselves great do not escape it. On the contrary, often the civilized places are the cruelest to live in. The expression urban jungle has its sinister meaning as well. Or do you think that an average homeless person has it easy? Believe me, a homeless person endures what no beasts can, because he has to both struggle for survival and be judged by the society who despises him for his poorness. What is civilization after all? Is it as one writer said, just an art of living in cities? What service are we doing to the world by living in cities and what gives us the right to look upon those who don't? Those so called 'undeveloped nations' (one of those expressions I personally hate) are often more developed in matter of humanism and have the right to look down on more developed nations, if for nothing else, to return the favour and because they (so called developed nations) happen to be the ones that pollute this world the most. Know this, if you have ever looked down upon anyone it is not because they stand lower than you, it is because you want them to stand lower. Believing something doesn’t make it true and there is always a price to pay for trying to make others seem less significant than what they are.
Jedna od stvari zbog kojih se divim Conradu je kako uvodi pitanje kolonijalizma od samoga početka romana. Kada ga prvi put čitate, možda to i ne primijetite, ali što više čitate ovaj roman, shvaćate svo zlo kolonijalizma i koliko su besmislena opravdanja istoga, a ukazivanje na to od početka je veoma važno za ovaj roman. Njegov poznati lik Marlow, koji priča ovu priču, počinje s posjetnikom da je stare Rimljane 'taj najveći i veličanstven grad ' (u engleskom great se ne odnosi samo na veličinu u fizičkom smislu) nekada bio mjesto tame. Što je na kraju krajeva tama? Što je svijetlo? Vjerujem da uvijek postoji izbor i mi sami biramo hoćemo li izabrati tamu ili svijetlo. No, tama se krije u svakom kutku svijeta. Ne bježe njoj one nacije i zemlje koje se diče veličinom. Naprotiv, često su civilizirana mjesta okrutna za život pa i taj izraz gradska džungla nije bez razloga i ima strašno značenje. Vjerujte, jednom beskućniku nije nimalo lakše nego divljoj zvijeri, zapravo mu je i teže jer mu često okolina oduzima dostojanstvo i prebacuje siromaštvo. Što je na kraju krajeva civilizacija? Je li to kao što je jedan pisac rekao, umijeće življenja u gradovima? Kakvu uslugu činimo svijetu živeći u gradovima i odakle nam pravo da na one koji ne žive tako gledamo s visoka? One zemlje koje se nazivaju nerazvijenima (mada osobno mrzim taj izraz ovdje ga namjerno koristim) su često više razvijene u pitanjima ljudskosti i imaju pravo gledati s visoka na razvijene zemlje, ako zbog ničega drugoga onda zbog toga da vrate uslugu i jer su one ( takozvane razvijene zemlje) najveći zagađivači svijeta. Znajte i to da ako ste na nekoga nekad gledali s visine, to nije stoga jer su oni zaista niže od vas, nego jer biste vi željeli da budu. Vjerovanje u nešto ne čini to istinom i uvijek se plaća cijena za to da pokušamo druge učiniti izgledom manje značajnima nego što jesu.
' No one took the trouble to grunt even; and presently he said, very slow—“I was thinking of very old times, when the Romans first came here, nineteen hundred years ago—the other day. . . . Light came out of this river since—you say Knights? Yes; but it is like a running blaze on a plain, like a flash of lightning in the clouds. We live in the flicker—may it last as long as the old earth keeps rolling! But darkness was here yesterday. Imagine the feelings of a commander of a fine—what d’ye call ’em?—trireme in the Mediterranean, ordered suddenly to the north; run overland across the Gauls in a hurry; put in charge of one of these craft the legionaries—a wonderful lot of handy men they must have been, too—used to build, apparently by the hundred, in a month or two, if we may believe what we read. Imagine him here—the very end of the world, a sea the colour of lead, a sky the colour of smoke, a kind of ship about as rigid as a concertina—and going up this river with stores, or orders, or what you like. Sand–banks, marshes, forests, savages,—precious little to eat fit for a civilized man, nothing but Thames water to drink. No Falernian wine here, no going ashore. Here and there a military camp lost in a wilderness, like a needle in a bundle of hay—cold, fog, tempests, disease, exile, and death—death skulking in the air, in the water, in the bush. They must have been dying like flies here. Oh, yes—he did it. Did it very well, too, no doubt, and without thinking much about it either, except afterwards to brag of what he had gone through in his time, perhaps. They were men enough to face the darkness. And perhaps he was cheered by keeping his eye on a chance of promotion to the fleet at Ravenna by and by, if he had good friends in Rome and survived the awful climate. Or think of a decent young citizen in a toga—perhaps too much dice, you know—coming out here in the train of some prefect, or tax–gatherer, or trader even, to mend his fortunes. Land in a swamp, march through the woods, and in some inland post feel the savagery, the utter savagery, had closed round him—all that mysterious life of the wilderness that stirs in the forest, in the jungles, in the hearts of wild men. There’s no initiation either into such mysteries. He has to live in the midst of the incomprehensible, which is also detestable. And it has a fascination, too, that goes to work upon him. The fascination of the abomination—you know, imagine the growing regrets, the longing to escape, the powerless disgust, the surrender, the hate.'Joseph Conrad, Heart of Darkness
“Mind,” he began again, lifting one arm from the elbow, the palm of the hand outwards, so that, with his legs folded before him, he had the pose of a Buddha preaching in European clothes and without a lotus–flower—“Mind, none of us would feel exactly like this. What saves us is efficiency—the devotion to efficiency. But these chaps were not much account, really. They were no colonists; their administration was merely a squeeze, and nothing more, I suspect. They were conquerors, and for that you want only brute force—nothing to boast of, when you have it, since your strength is just an accident arising from the weakness of others. They grabbed what they could get for the sake of what was to be got. It was just robbery with violence, aggravated murder on a great scale, and men going at it blind—as is very proper for those who tackle a darkness. The conquest of the earth, which mostly means the taking it away from those who have a different complexion or slightly flatter noses than ourselves, is not a pretty thing when you look into it too much. What redeems it is the idea only. An idea at the back of it; not a sentimental pretence but an idea; and an unselfish belief in the idea—something you can set up, and bow down before, and offer a sacrifice to. . . .”Joseph Conrad, Heart of Darkness
Outfit/ Odjevna kombinacija
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|mr.photographer/ gospodin fotograf|
|a.k.a mr. husband/ poznat i kao gospodin muž :)|
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I do admire how brave Conrad was at calling European colonialism what it really was, an explotation of natural resourcess, a ruthless run for the profit, a merciless bussiness of getting the money, a genocide upon the African population...No wonder this novel wasn't praised when it was originally published! I suspect that among critics there were those who didn't understand it but also those who understand it perfectly. I'm sure there were those for whom the truth was too much to handle and critized this novel for that very reason..... and yet even it todays world, the facts are not being faced, the history is being rewritten. However, one can't escape the truth. Deep inside we always know when something we do is wrong.
Doista se divim Conradovoj hrabrosti da nazove europski kolonijalizam pravim imenom, eksploatacijom prirodnih resursa, nemilosrdnom trkom za novcem, okrutnim poslom dobivanja novaca pod svaku cijenu i genocidom nad Afričkom populacijom. Nije ni čudo što ovaj roman nije bio hvaljen kada je tek izdan! Imam osjećaj da je među kritičarima bilo i onih koji ga nisu kritizirali zato što ga nisu razumjeli, već upravo zato što su ga posve shvatili i jer je istina za njih bila previše..a opet u današnjem svijetu, činjenice se zanemaruju, povijest se iznova piše. No, istini se ne može pobjeći. Duboko u sebi uvijek znamo kada griješimo.