The first part of the book comprises a survey of the criticism that has been done on Conrad's novel. Psychoanalytical, political and stylistic aspects are covered. In the second part the author pursues a reading based on discourse theory and assesses the place of the book in a post-colonial world. The book presupposes a tradition of thinking about the literary text which is post-structuralist. This means that the relationship of text, history and criticism work in a way that always needs careful understanding. The author shows how the readings of Leavis and Achebe have been a direct and, at times, all too obvious product of their personal mores and circumstances. It is his contention that our own readings, while they cannot ignore the imperatives of the post-colonial age we live in, must to some extent incorporate a sense of what the book meant to its creator.
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