Wednesday, February 13, 2008

February: Heart

This month's theme for the BAM Challenge is heart; suggestions included romances, books about cardiology, and titles containing the word "heart," including a long-standing book on my To Read list, Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad

Though the writing was somewhat inaccessible, this short novel was strangely compelling. The protagonist travels deep into the Belgian Congo, to a place so removed he likens it to entering prehistoric times. He is searching for Colonel Kurtz, who has gone over the edge, is killing for ivory, and living in a hut surrounded by human heads mounted on stakes. The strength of the story is not so much the plot but the atmosphere - whispering voices, the blur of running bodies just behind the trees, drums beating in the distances, and a vague sense of disorientation.

At the risk of sounding a bit less smarty-pants than I like to think I am, I have to admit that the entire time I was reading Heart of Darkness I kept thinking of Lost. The atmosphere is so similar: the whispered voices from nowhere, the crazy man who understands the jungle/island and doesn't want to leave, mysterious dark secrets just out of your grasp. Strangely, in last week's episode Sawyer referred to Locke as Colonel Kurtz, and then an article appeared in Entertainment Weekly comparing Lost with Heart of Darkness.

Is it a coincidence that I happened to be reading this book when these other events took place? Anyone on the island would say that it was fate...

"The horror! The horror!"

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