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The Case of Kurtz

Charlie sets off from Europe on a 30-day cruise

to the mouth of the Congo River, from where,
as the captain of a small steamer of a Belgian company,
he flows up this enigmatic, primeval river.

Far away, in the jungle, there is a certain Kurtz -

the best "sales representative" of the company,
who systematically delivers to it ivory stacks.

Kurtz is surrounded by a nimbus of solidary,

almost pious admiration from his colleagues in the company:
he is always an employee of the month...
He easily tears out the precious raw material from the wild continent,
because received the status of a white idol
in the tribal community of black warriors in the jungle.

However, the untamed, dark equatorial forest

does not finally recognize the "reign" of the brisk trade agent;
Charlie and his crew are to transport him
(along with a substantial load of ivory)
to the company's headquarters for treatment. Kurtz with clear dislike
separates himself from his supernatural status

... We get to know this story from the novella of an anglicized Pole 1,
who captured it with a suggestive and tattered narrative,
in some places with an exalted language. Its echo spread, however,
in the world of literature
like the inscrutable sound of African drums.


1 Joseph Conrad (1857-1924), Heart of Darkness (1899)