Photojournalist's Dialogue in His Three Scenes

Text in bold red are lines from Heart of Darkness.
HD#__ is the paragraph in any edition of Heart of Darkness.
See my Heart of Darkness Online.
Lines from Rudyard Kipling's "IF".
Lines from T.S. Eliot's "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock".
Lines from T.S. Eliot's "The Hollow Men".

Scene #1: Entrance to Kurtz's Compound


"It's all right, it's all right. (HD #107).You're all being approved."
CHEF "Ain't coming in there. Them bastards attacked us." PHOTOJOURNALIST "Zap 'em wit your siren, man, zap 'em with your siren"(HD #109) There's mines over there, there's mines over there, (HD #108) and watch out those goddam monkeys bite, I'll tell ya. Eh, that's a pretty one. Move in right in towards me... Im an American ! Yeah, American civilian. Hi yanks... American, american civilian. It's all right. And you got the cigarettes, that's what I've been dreaming of." WILLARD "Who are you ?" PHOTOJOURNALIST "Who are you ... ? I'm a photojournalist. I've covered the war since 64. I've been in Laos, Cambodia, 'Nam... Ill tell you one thing, this boat is a mess, man."(HD #109) WILLARD "Who are all these people ?" PHOTOJOURNALIST "Yeah, well... They think you have come to take him away.(HD #111) I hope that isn't true." WILLARD "Take who away ?" PHOTOJOURNALIST "Him. Colonel Kurtz. These are all his children, as far as you can see." WILLARD "Could we, uh, talk to Colonel Kurtz?" PHOTOJOURNALIST "Hey, man, you don't talk to the Colonel. You listen to him. (HD #109) The man's enlarged my mind. (HD #111) He's a poet-warrior in the classic sense. I mean sometimes he'll, uh, well, you'll say hello to him, right? And he'll just walk right by you, and he won't even notice you. And suddenly he'll grab you, and he'll throw you in a corner, and he'll say do you know that if is the middle word in life? If you can keep your head when all about you are losing theirs and blaming it on you, if you can trust yourself when all men doubt you (Kipling's "If")-- I mean I'm no, I can't -- I'm a little man, I'm a little man,(HD #117) he's, he's a great man. I should have been a pair of ragged claws scuttling across floors of silent seas (T.S. Eliot's "Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock")-
I mean --" WILLARD "Stay with the boat." PHOTOJOURNALIST "Hey, uh, don't go -- don't go without me, OK? I want to get a picture." He can be terrible (HD #115), he can be mean, he can be right. He's fighting the war. He's a great man. I mean... I wish I had words. I can tell you the other day he wanted to kill me.(HD #115)" WILLARD "Why did he want to kill you ?" PHOTOJOURNALIST "Because I took his picture. He said if I take his picture again - I'm gonna kill you. And he meant it ! So you just lay it cool, lay back, dig it... He gets friendly again, really does (HD #115). But you don't judge him like an ordinary man.(HD #115) OK, now watch it. They are americans... americans. Can you feel the vibe of this place ? Let me take a picture. Hey, hello... hello. Would you hold it for a minute." Willard sees a group of american soldiers : WILLARD "Colby." PHOTOJOURNALIST "The heads. You're looking at the heads. I, uh -- sometimes he goes too far, you know -- he's the first one to admit it!" CHEF "He's gone crazy!" PHOTOJOURNALIST "Wrong! Wrong! If you could have heard the man, just two days ago, if you could have heard the man!(HD #134) You going to call him crazy?" CHEF "Fucking A!" WILLARD "I just want to talk to him." PHOTOJOURNALIST "Well man, he's gone away. He's gone away. He disappeared into the jungle with his people..." WILLARD "I'll wait for him." PHOTOJOURNALIST "... he feels comfortable with his people. He forgets himself with his people. He forgets himself..." (HD #115)

Scene #2: Willard in the Cage--Willard's Mission


"Why ? Why would a nice guy like you wanna kill a genius ? You know that the man really likes you. He likes you, he really likes you. He's got something in mind for you. Aren't you curious about that ? I'm curious, I'm very curious. You curious ?There's something happening out there, man. You know something, man, I know something that you don't know. That's right, jack. The man is clear in his mind, but his soul is mad (HD #141--Marlow's line.) .

Oh yeah. He's dying, I think. He hates all this, he hates it! (HD #115) But ... the man's ... uh ... he reads poetry out loud, alright? (134) ... And a voice! A voice. (HD #122--Marlow's line.) ...

He likes you because you're still alive. He's got plans for you. Nah, nah, I'm not going to help you, you're going to help him, man. You're going to help him. I mean, what are they going to say, man, when he's gone, huh? Because he dies, when it dies, man, when it dies, he dies. What are they going to say about him? What, are they going to say, he was a kind man, he was a wise man, he had plans, he had wisdom? Bullsh-t, man!

Am I going to be the one, that's going to set them straight? Look at me: wrong! ...You!"

Scene #3: Photojournalist with Willard listening to "The Hollow Men"


"Do you know what the man is saying? Do you? This is dialectics. It's very simple dialectics. One through nine, no maybes, no supposes, no fractions -- you can't travel in space, you can't go out into space, you know, without, like, you know, with fractions -- what are you going to land on, one quarter, three-eighths -- what are you going to do when you go from here to Venus or something -- that's dialectic physics, OK? Dialectic logic is there's only love and hate, you either love somebody or you hate them."

Kurtz throws a book angrily at him :

PHOTOJOURNALIST "This is the way the fucking world ends! Look at this fucking shit we're in, man! Not with a bang, with a whimper. (T.S. Eliot's "The Hollow Men") And with a whimper, I'm fucking splitting, jack!"