Independently Published, Mar 31, 2018 - 140 pages
Victory (also published as Victory: An Island Tale) is a psychological novel by Joseph Conrad first published in 1915, through which Conrad achieved "popular success."The New York Times, however, called it "an uneven book" and "more open to criticism than most of Mr. Conrad's best work."The novel's "most striking formal characteristic is its shifting narrative and temporal perspective" with the first section from the viewpoint of a sailor, the second from omniscient perspective of Axel Heyst, the third from an interior perspective from Heyst, and the final section.It has been adapted into film a number of times.Through a business misadventure, the European Axel Heyst ends up living on an island in what is now Indonesia, with his Chinese assistant, Wang. Heyst visits a nearby island when a female band is playing at a hotel owned by Mr. Schomberg. Schomberg attempts to force himself sexually on one of the band members, Alma, later called Lena. She flees with Heyst back to his island and they become lovers. Schomberg seeks revenge by attempting to frame Heyst for the "murder" of a man who had died of natural causes and later by sending three desperadoes (Pedro, Martin Ricardo and Mr. Jones) to Heyst's island with a lie about treasure hidden on the island. The three die (Wang kills one) but Lena dies as well and Heyst is overcome with grief and commits suicide.In Notes on My Books: Easyread Edition, Conrad wrote of his "mixed feelings" about the initial reception of the book which had been published while Europe had been engaged in fighting the great war. The initial reception of the work had considered it "a melodramatic, rather Victorian novel, representing Conrad's artistic decline." However, later critiques have described it as "a highly complex allegorical work whose psychological landscape and narrative structure lay the groundwork for the modern novel."AuthorJoseph Conrad (3 December 1857 - 3 August 1924) was a Polish-British writer regarded as one of the greatest novelists to write in the English language. He joined the British merchant marine in 1878, and was granted British citizenship in 1886. Though he did not speak English fluently until his twenties, he was a master prose stylist who brought a non-English sensibility into English literature. He wrote stories and novels, many with a nautical setting, that depict trials of the human spirit in the midst of an impassive, inscrutable universe.Conrad is considered an early modernist, though his works still contain elements of 19th-century realism. His narrative style and anti-heroic characters have influenced numerous authors, and many films have been adapted from, or inspired by, his works. Numerous writers and critics have commented that Conrad's fictional works, written largely in the first two decades of the 20th century, seem to have anticipated later world events.Writing in the heyday of the British Empire, Conrad drew on, among other things, his native Poland's national experiences and his own experiences in the French and British merchant navies, to create short stories and novels that reflect aspects of a European-dominated world including imperialism and colonialism and that profoundly explore the human psyche.In 1894, aged 36, Conrad reluctantly gave up the sea, partly because of poor health, partly due to unavailability of ships, and partly because he had become so fascinated with writing that he had decided on a literary career. His first novel, Almayer's Folly, set on the east coast of Borneo, was published in 1895. Its appearance marked his first use of the pen name "Joseph Conrad"; "Konrad" was, of course, the third of his Polish given names, but his use of it - in the anglicised version, "Conrad" - may also have been an homage to the Polish Romantic poet Adam Mickiewicz's patriotic narrative poem, Konrad Wallenrod.
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