Five fun facts about Joseph Conrad, author of the classic novella Heart of Darkness
1. In his twenties, Conrad resolved to kill himself with a gun – but miraculously he survived. Joseph Conrad – born Józef Teodor Konrad Korzeniowski in Russian-occupied Poland in 1857 – was a bit of a gambler in his youth. In 1878, up to his ears in gambling debts, the young Conrad attempted suicide by shooting himself in the chest. The bullet missed his heart, and he lived for the next 46 years, long enough to become one of the most important writers of his generation, with novels such as Heart of Darkness, Lord Jim, Nostromo, Victory, and The Secret Agent earning him the respect of critics and fellow writers (of which more below).
2. While serving in the British navy, Conrad befriended a pet monkey in India. Between 1878 and 1894, Conrad…
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