Critical Topic: In your own words and based on your reading of the “Preface to The Nigger of Narcissus explain to a friend what you think Conrad is trying to say about the need for “art” in the world today.
Conrad begins by unfolding our hardened, unfeeling and protected nature. He uses the metaphor of a “vulnerable body within a steel armour” to illustrate the idea that we protect our feeling and cover it over with unflinching fact. Conrad argues that this is where the artist digs to appeal to humanities emotions and creativity. He argues that this is what endures, as it “is a gift not an acquisition” whether it’s wanted or not, that the part of us that is not dependent upon wisdom remains. Therefore here is where art must be attempted to appeal to. Art must appeal to a world wrapped in fact to uncover emotion and draw out people’s senses and help us to uncover different truths. He puts forward his own aims as surrogate to a fraction of the need for art today “to make you hear, to make you feel- it is before all to make you see”