"rather like a Kurtz waiting for his Marlow"

The Roi des Belges, Conrad's river steamer in the Congo
Public DomainThe Roi des Belges, Conrad's river steamer in the Congo - Credit: Delcommune, Alexandre
A reference to the novel Heart of Darkness, by Joseph Conrad, published in 1902. The short novel is based on Conrad’s own life, and chronicles the journey of Marlow, captain of a ferry on the Congo River. He sets off with the aim of transporting ivory and also finding Kurtz, another ivory trader, who is living in the wilds of Congo and needs to be returned to civilization. Kurtz is a wild, mysterious, sinister figure, who is waiting for Marlow at the end of the river in the ‘heart of darkness’. Changez is implying that he is expecting someone to come for him, in an attempt to return him to the ‘civilization’ from which he has fled.

Heart of Darkness has been made into a film, and was also the basis for the 1979 film Apocalypse Now.

A radio discussion of Heart of Darkness