Civilization vs. Barbarism
Modernism is trend in the art of XX century, characterized by a break with previous historical experience of artistic creativity and the desire to adopt new, unconventional start in the art, the continuous upgrading of art forms, as well as the convention (schematization, abstract) of style (Kolocotroni, Goldman and Taxidou 20). Modernist paradigm was one of the leading in Western civilization first half of XX century in the second half of the century it has been subjected deployed criticism. Joseph Conrad may be considered to be one of the great modernist writers.
In his works, Conrad was first to use narrative tool of "perspective" when the action is transmitted through the perception of several people. This tool is widespread in modern prose. For example, in the novel "Lord Jim", the story is on behalf of not only the title character, but also Captain Marlowe (he acts as narrator in "Heart of Darkness"), as well as other characters.
Joseph Conrad (real name - Józef Korzeniowski, 1857-1924) was classic of English literature of the twentieth century. He was born in the Russian Empire in a family of Polish patriots, members of anti-government protests. In 1874 he fled to Marseille, and worked as a cabin boy on the French merchant vessel, and three years later, during a voyage to the Pacific Ocean, for the first time began to learn English (Bloom 30). Eventually he became captain of the British passenger fleet, and maritime experience gave Conrad material for his literary works. After resigning, he devoted himself entirely to literature and the mid-nineties began to publish novels, novellas and short stories, once that found its readers. Conrad was able to enter into the first rank of writers of literature's oldest, established in the language, is not for his mother - it happens very rarely. Throughout the twentieth century, his reputation grew with each decade, because the clearer became his role as one of the founders of modernism. Conrad's supreme achievement is short novel "Heart of Darkness."
In 1890, Conrad got the job of captain in the Belgian trading company operating in Congo, then a Belgian colony. He rose on his boat at 230 miles up the river Congo, and a diary of this trip in June-August 1890 formed the basis for the novel "Heart of Darkness" (1899 - journal version, 1902 - publication of a book).
Joseph Conrad has his specific point of view on such concepts as civilization and barbarism in common meaning civilization can be differently explained: 1) general philosophical meaning - a social form of motion of matter, providing the stability and the ability to self-development through self-regulation of the exchange with the environment (human civilization on the scale of space unit) 2) historiosophical meaning – it is unity of the historical process and the collection of material and spiritual achievements of mankind in During this process (human civilization in Earth's history), 3) the stage of world-historical process of achieving a certain level of sociality (the stage of self-regulation and self-production and the relative independence of the nature of the differentiation of social consciousness), and 4) localized in time and space community. Local civilization is a holistic system, representing the complex economic, political, social and spiritual sub-systems and developing according to the laws of the vital cycles. Barbarism can be explained shorter – it’s rough, wild, and uncivilized behavior. But Joseph Conrad has different point of view on these concepts. And it can be easily observed in his book “Heart of Darkness”.
On the surface in front of us we see the story of the narrator Charlie Marlow about his journey into the depths of the equatorial Africa, the trading station of the European company to pick up the accumulated goods there - ivory - and take out the patient an agent of the company, Mr. Kurtz. Tale can be read as a story about the adventures of Marlowe in the heart of Africa, but it is distinguished by a complexity of organization that the story is perceived as both a philosophical tale, besides giving an opportunity to directly opposite and mutually exclusive readings (Panichas 39).
That is a fundamentally new feature of the literature coming of the twentieth century - an unprecedented degree of concentration problems and pluralistic, the ambiguity of their ideological and artistic decisions. After a century of domination of the positivist self-confidence when it seemed that science and literature have already been or are about to find definitive answers to all questions coming century epistemological doubts, doubts about the knowability of the world and the human soul. Peace in the literature of modernism is presented as eternally hostile to human chaos, knowing that peace is difficult, and in the fullness of his own and is not available, and only the art (and literature - the word) is a means of organizing the world. Only art, as Modernists believe, offers a holistic model of reality, and this model should be as complex as internally contradictory as life itself, as the secrets of the human soul. For this new concept of world and man needed new ways of artistic expression, new ways to interact with the reader. One of the founders of modernism - Conrad - combines a tendency for a spectacular adventure plot, which is typical for an ordinary adventure novel, with an astounding wealth of content and dramatic complexity of narrative structure.
What is Civilization?
Within many of my prior essays and articles, I have used the word “civilization” in the context of that which must be destroyed in the search of a more primitive society. However, many people still have this one very important question regarding my use of this word. That question is: “What exactly do you mean when you use the word civilization?” This word has many different layers of meaning in the context of global economic and societal structures. In this article, I will attempt to describe the true magnitude of this all-encompassing word.
If we take a quick look into the definition of this word, we can see that it is often described as a complex society characterized by urban development, social stratification, and a perceived separation from the natural world. Alas, there it is. In the definition itself, we can find that civilization is inherently separate and dominant over the natural world as a whole. We can derive from that definition that nature is the polar opposite of civilization. Hence, these two elements, nature and civilization, are incompatible, and will never be compatible as long as both of these two elements coexist on this Earth.
Perhaps we should look at the civilization conundrum from an etymological perspective instead of simply deconstructing its definition. If we examine the etymology of this word, we can see that it comes from the French Civilisation. This word can be broken up into two distinct parts. Firstly, we can take a look at Civil, which comes from the Latin Civilis. This first part of the word was often used to pertain to citizens of a nation state. In this context, Civis would be the singular, and Civilis would be the plural. Considering that this word is used to pertain to citizens of nation states, we can see that it is used in stark contrast to those savages who are not of a nation state. I have also seen the word Civilis used to describe those who are no longer barbaric, civilized, if you will. The suffix of the French word Civilisation is the ending -ation. This suffix is used to describe the result of an action or process. This should give some insight into what kind of word we are truly working with.
At this point, we should be able to see that if broken up and etymologically analyzed by looking at the root words, we can see what the word Civilization precisely means. If we bridge both etymological components of this word, we can take both Civilis and ation to create the French Civilisation. With Civilis meaning the citizens of a nation state, and ation meaning the result of an action or process, we can see that the definition of this word is not what many people would think of when thinking of civilization. Etymologically speaking, Civilisation means this:
“An action or process that results in becoming civilized.” What is this action or process? To find out, we must look at what has historically converted the human animal from hunter-gatherer tribes to city-dwelling troglodytes. There is only one possible solution. That is domestication. Civilization is what has caged the animal inside each and every one of us.
To conclude, civilization is not just the physical unsustainable cities in which we suppress our wild selves. Civilization also comprises a simple idea. This idea is the factor of domestication that has overtaken the human animal in the last 12,000 years. This idea is one that must be suppressed if we are to unlock the true capabilities of humanity. If we wish to thrive on this Earth, why must we restrain our true wild humanity from taking hold?