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Conrad's MarlowNarrative and Death in 'Youth', Heart of Darkness, Lord Jim and Chance$
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Paul Wake

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780719074905

Published to Manchester Scholarship Online: July 2012

DOI: 10.7228/manchester/9780719074905.001.0001

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Marlow: ‘Youth’ and the oral tradition

Marlow: ‘Youth’ and the oral tradition

Chapter:
(p.16) 1 Marlow: ‘Youth’ and the oral tradition
Source:
Conrad's Marlow
Author(s):

Paul Wake

Publisher:
Manchester University Press
DOI:10.7228/manchester/9780719074905.003.0002

This chapter draws on Genette's narrative theory in order to locate Marlow in the dual position of narrator and character through close readings of ‘Youth’ and Heart of Darkness, investigating the idea that Conrad's narratives are structured around the transmission of story, and questioning the possibility of sustaining the distinction between that which is transmitted and the means of transmission. With this established, it reads Marlow's role as a narrator in the oral tradition alongside Benjamin's ‘The Storyteller’ in order to introduce a connection between narrative authority and death. The chapter concludes with a reading of ‘Youth’ in which the narrative frame becomes central to a reading of Marlow's ‘central’ story.

Keywords:   narrative theory, Marlow, Conrad's narratives, The Storyteller, Youth, Heart of Darkness

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