• Roberta Cimarosti Università degli Studi di Padova


Heart of Darkness has been the first distinct specimen in the increasing flocks of literary works that may be identified today as migration literature in English by writers for whom English developed as a foreign language. I will explore the way in which Heart of Darkness contains the story of Conrad’s naturalized English, and the way in which the novella was received in the work of four contemporary writers who move natively within the transcultural, hyphenated world of English, empowered by the energy of their plural identity. How have they reacted to the novella and the indelible track it left in their skies? Does the track feel like a wound, like a remote route, like an orienting pathway, or just like poison polluting the migratory way? We’ll find this out, along with an attempt to understand Conrad’s use of English, in Chinua Achebe’s well-known essay An Image of Africa: Racism in Conrad’s Heart of Darkness, David Dabydeen’s novel The Intended, Derek Walcott’s lines from Omeros and White Egrets, Caryl Phillips’ ‘video-narrative’ Bends in the River.



A. Primary Sources

Achebe, C. (2010), An Image of Africa: Racism in Conrad’s Heart of Darkness [1975], London, Penguin.

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Conrad1, J. (2000), Heart of Darkness [1902], London, Penguin.

Conrad2, J. (1994), “Author’s Note” to a A Personal Record [1919], in Alicia Pausada, “The Multilingualism of Joseph Conrad”, English Studies, 75 (4) 1994: 335-49.

Dabydeen1, D. (2006), The Intended [1991], Leeds, Peepal Tree Press.

Dabydeen2, D. (2011), “From Care to Cambridge”, in Pax Britannica, Kingston, University of the West Indies Press.

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Phillips1, C., (1999), Introduction to Heart of Darkness, New York, Modern Library Edition, pp. xi-xviii.

Phillips2, C. (2011), “Out of Africa”, in In Colour Me English, New York London, The New Press.

Phillips3, C. and Johny Pitts (2013), Bends in the River at http://abendintheriver.artangel.org.uk/

Walcott1, D. (2003), Omeros. [1990], Milano, Adelphi.

Walcott2, D. (2010), White Egrets, New York and London, Faber and Faber.

Woolf, V. “Joseph Conrad” (2015 ). [1924], The Common Reader, web edition by eBooks@Adelaide. https://ebooks.adelaide.edu.au/w/woolf/virginia/w91c/index.html Last updated Sunday, March 27, 2016.

B. Secondary Sources

Canagarajah, S. (2013), Translingual Practice: Global Englishes and Cosmopolitan Relations, London, Routledge.

Freud, S. (2007), Mourning and Melancholia [1917] London, Penguin.

Freud, S. (2005 ), The Uncanny [1919] London, Penguin.

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Said1, E.W. (2002), “Reflections on Exile”, in Reflections on Exile and Other Essays, Cambridge Mass, Harvard U.P., 138-49.

Said2, E.W., (1993), “Two Visions of Heart of Darkness”, in Culture and Imperialism, London, Vintage: 22-31.

How to Cite
Cimarosti, R. (2016). MIGRATORY BIRD TAKES SECOND CHANCE: READING "HEART OF DARKNESS" WITH CHINUA ACHEBE, DAVID DABYDEEN, DEREK WALCOTT, CARYL PHILLIPS. RiCOGNIZIONI. Rivista Di Lingue E Letterature Straniere E Culture Moderne, 3(5), 35-52. https://doi.org/10.13135/2384-8987/1719