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Fiction

Book Style: HEART OF DARKNESS by Joseph Conrad

Brandi Bailey

Staff Writer

Brandi can be found writing about books and dreaming up outfits on her blog, Book Style. She'll probably be reading something with mythology, Brits, unicorns, a feisty heroine, or (ideally) all of the above. She has lived in too many cities, but has settled down in Portland with her awesome husband and almost-as-awesome cat. Follow her on Instagram @PinkBBWhiskey.

book style heart of darkness

Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness has proven to be perpetually controversial, first for its chastisement of colonialism and native subjugation and exploitation, and later for stereotyping race. Personally, while horribly racist in his description and treatment of native characters, I applaud Conrad for trying to bring attention to a horrible system, even if it focused a bit too much on the plight of the white protagonists/antagonists. A book like this will never be written again, for a variety of reasons, and, thanks in part to Apocalypse Now’s enduring popularity, it will continue to be read for years to come.

I wasn’t channelling a particular character this time around. This outfit is mostly inspired by this epically haunting cover design and the West African setting of the novel. The key elements of this outfit are an ethically sourced: an “Africa” print jacket and an easy, travel-friendly jumpsuit. Some “Congo” sandals and “Arrow” purse add the necessary (in my book anyway) gleam, while a silky scarf adds some warmth (or additional protection from mosquitos). In the jewelry category, we have a pair of ivory skull studs, Africa earrings, an ivory bangle, a rifle necklace, and a “Slave Chain” ring. A pop of “African Violet” nail lacquer finishes up this look.