So today’s lecture was about Chinua Achebe’s Things Fall Apart, but really it just felt like a lot about the issue of racism between Conrad and Achebe.
Now I’m not complaining. I think it’s an interesting topic, and one I focused my whole Conrad essay on. But, I do wish this lecture had been done before we wrote about Conrad.
Having chosen the topic of “Is Marlowe a Racist?”, I got many more ideas for my essay from this lecture, then the one that was actually about Conrad. Since this one actually focused on my topic, I found a lot of the arguments that Jon brought forward in favour of Achebe’s view were one’s I hadn’t focused on in my essay. My essay was in favour of Conrad, as in that Marlowe is not a racist, so much of lecture I was thinking of rebuttals to what Jon was saying. Although I do not know if I would change my essay, it would have been nice to have these questions and this knowledge at the time of writing.
Which brings me to a larger dilemma. I like the concept of remaking and remodelling. But, as was discussed today, often I find it hard to find such connections. Yes, I can see the relationship between certain books quite easily, Like Antigone versus Antigone’s Claim, but some of these pairings are not as well done as I would have liked. For example, Conrad’s Heart of Darkness can be paired with so many great things, such as Dante’s Inferno or Apocalypse now. Instead it is paired with Wollstonecraft, which although I enjoyed her writing, honestly has the most vague connections. Past the concept of “The Other”, everything is a far stretch. Just as with this week’s pairing of Achebe and Apocalypse Now I can manage to make the connection (Achebe is responding to Conrad, Conrad’s book inspired Apocalypse Now) but why not literally connect those, instead of splitting them up into odd pairings.
As we saw today, the lecture focused so much on Conrad versus Achebe. Why not read them together? I know it would have helped me out.
Now, honestly, I love Arts One and I am truly going to miss it. I even loved this stream (although it wasn’t my first choice), and am glad I ended up in it.
It’s just moments like these I become frustrated when there are some beautiful pairings that could be done, and are ignored. Maybe they are too obvious, or too easy, but like Jon said today: “When a book is too easy, you need to complicate it”.