Tag: Heart of Darkness

Is It Okay to Judge a Book by Its Cover?

I have a confession to make: I judge books by their covers. I know, I know, it’s a cardinal sin⁠—but I can’t help it.  When I see a book with big shiny letters and a chiseled man toting a gun, I think spy novel. When I see two lovers clasping each other over a curly cue font, I think bawdy romance. When I see an artsy photo with minimalist typeface, I think indie novel.

 

Heart of Darkness

Image via amazon

 

A good cover hints at what to expect from a book. It is, effectively, a marketing tool. But it’s also much more than that. The cover of a book can affect the way you read it. When I read Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness, for example, I was haunted by the emaciated figure on the book’s jacket. The cover stuck with me throughout my reading, and I came to associate the plot with this disturbing image.

 

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone

image via amazon

 

Think about the first Harry Potter book (the US edition). Many fans of the series fell in love with that scruffy haired wizard on the cover as they pictured him embarking on his adventures. Book jackets can be visual aids to the reader, and they can also be cultural touchstones. If I were to ask you to visualize The Catcher in The Rye, chances are the iconic image of the red carousel horse on the front cover would pop up in your head. This cover draws special attention to The Catcher in The Rye’s climactic scene and encapsulates the novel’s loss of innocence theme. It comes to represent the story as a whole.

 

The Catcher in the Rye

image via goodreads

 

A book’s cover shouldn’t be disregarded as a marketing tool. It is, effectively, part of the book itself. By no means does a cover reflect the quality of writing found in a book, but, whether we like it or not, it does change the way we read it.

 

 

 

Featured Image Via Get Literary

Joseph Conrad’s ‘Heart Of Darkness’ Is Getting The Animated Treatment

“I love the smell of napalm in the morning”

Joseph Conrad’s classic novella, Heart of Darkness is getting adapted into an animated feature. The book has previously inspired quotable films such as Apocalypse Now and, dare I say, Tropic Thunder? The narration is experimental-ish. An unnamed narrator tells the story of Charles Marlow who ends up telling another story. #framednarrative.

Marlow’s story begins with him explaining to his shipmates how he became captain of the Nellie, a steamboat for an ivory trading company. He tells the story of his journey down the Congo into the heart of Africa as well as his weird obsession with the ivory trader/visionary (not really) Kurtz, whose legend only seems to grow as the novella progresses.

Basically, he’s just a crazy person who convinces a bunch of natives he is a God. The novella was originally distributed as a three-part serial story, Conrad’s story took a hard look at British imperialism and racism. His argument was that there really isn’t much difference between the civilized world and the seemingly “uncivilized.”

Image result for heart of darkness

Image Via Medium.com

According to the Hollywood Reporter, actors Michael Sheen (married Kate Beckinsale once), Matthew Rhys (The Americans), and Andrew Scott (Sherlock) are set to voice the animation with award-winning director Gerald Conn will be at the helm. Apparently, some sort of sand will be used in the film’s depiction. Very appropriate given the setting. Sheen will voice Kurtz, Scott a Russian sailor, Rhys a relative of Marlow’s while Marlow himself is yet to be cast. The adaption has been written by Mark Jenkins and Mary Kate O Flanagan; it is set to premiere at the European Film Market in Berlin next month.

Image result for Film Market in Berlin variety

Image Via Variety.com

Other than Apocalypse Now, nothing too significant has been done with Conrad’s story in recent memory. The Francis Ford Coppola directed Apocalypse Now was a very loose adaption that revolved around the Vietnam War—-Marlon Brando, Martin Sheen, Dennis Hooper, Robert Duvall, Harrison Ford I vaguely remember Harrison Ford being in there at some point. It will be cool to see what Conn and company do with the animated approach. I doubt song and dance will be involved.

martin sheen swamp GIF

Image Via Giphy.com

 

 

Featured Image Via Vam.ac.uk