"Heart of Darkness" is a novella by Joseph Conrad. It was originally published as a three-part story in Blackwood’s Magazine in 1899 before being collected into a book in 1902.
The novel is primarily narrated by Charlie Marlow, a uniquely wise and talkative seaman, as he recounts his experiences as a steamship captain on expedition through the expanses of the Congo River basin. Enthralled by the opportunity to explore the wilds of this huge, winding river, Marlow signs on with a French trading company that claims several stations along the Congo from which they export ivory. Many of the people he meets along the way, like the ivory trader Kurtz, serve as a reminder of the consequences of human greed and suffering since so many are enticed by the opportunity for wealth, even at the expense of themselves and others. Over the course of his journey, he also learns that Europeans may not be as civilised and advanced as they would like to think.
Ever since its publication in the early 20th century, Joseph Conrad's semi-autobiographical ''Heart of Darkness'' has been both praised and criticised, but it is still recognised as one of the most influential and eye opening works of modern English literature.