Written over a century apart, Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness and Mario Vargas Llosa’s Dream of the Celt both craft literary worlds that approach the brutalities of colonialism, the extension of personal responsibility and the limits of reason. Partly in the spirit of Jorge Luis Borges’s “Kafka and His Precursors,” we’ll consider how Vargas Llosa reframes Conrad through his tale of Roger Casement’s life in the Congo, Amazonia and Ireland.
Guide: Kelly Austin has graduate degrees in literature from Claremont, Cambridge and UCLA. Most recently she taught Modern and Contemporary Latin American Literature at the University of Chicago, focusing on poetry in the Americas and translation studies. She has also led literature seminars for the Illinois Humanities Council’s Odyssey Project, Newberry Library, and Chicago Humanities Festival.