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This "story within a story" technique is called a "frame story". Other examples of frame stories are "The Taming of the Shrew" and "The Princess Bride".
The narrative technique used in "Heart of Darkness", is one of a story within a story. Although the primary narrator is Marlow, there is a second narrator, unnamed, who tells us about Marlow telling his story. There is also a third voice added to this narration which can be considered the author himself, who is really telling the whole story.
"Beyond these three dominant points of view are the individual viewpoints of the book's major characters. Each has a different perspective on Kurtz. These perspectives are often conflicting and are always open to a variety of interpretations."
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