In Victory (1915) Conrad returns to the Malay Archipelago, to the setting of his first mature novel, Lord Jim, and in Axel Heyst he creates a hero who is in many ways similar to Jim, a noble altruist destroyed by his ideals. Heyst is emotionally crippled by the influence of his dead father, a sceptical philosopher who has bequeathed to Heyst an attitude to life summed up in the father's dying words: 'Look on - make no sound.' Despite this injunction Heyst allows himself to become inextricably involved with an English Cockney girl whom he rescues from Giancomo's Travelling Ladies' Orchestra and carries off to his isolated retreat on the island of Samburan. His action incurs the fatal wrath of Schomberg, the island's innkeeper, who sends in pursuit of Heyst three demonic strangers whose invasion of his island paradise leads rapidly to the novel's violent and tragic close.
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... and marched off, turning his back on the wharf and the great world beyond,
represented by the steamer waitng for her boats. Heyst learned presently that
Wang had persuaded one of the women of the Alfuro village, on the west 468
of the women of the Alfuro village, on the west shore of the island, beyond the
central ridge, to come over to live with him in a remote part of the company's
clearing. It was a curious case, inasmuch as the Alfuros, having been frightened
by the ...
It is to \oe presumed that if he suffered constraint, he made up for it with the Alfuro
woman. He always went back to her at the first fall of dusk, vanishing from the
bungalow suddenly at this hour, like a sort of topsy-turvy, day-hunting Chinese ...
Far away to the right Wang's hut, or rather its dark roof of mats, could be seen
above the bamboo fence which insured the privacy of the Alfuro woman. The
Chinaman looked that way swiftly. Heyst paused, and then stepped back a pace
“Wang's not here, of course?” Heyst said suddenly. She answered as if in her
sleep. “He put this light down here without stopping, and ran.” “Ran, did he? H'm !
Well, it's considerably later than his usual time to go home to his Alfuro wife; 232
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LibraryThing ReviewUser Review - DanielSTJ - www.librarything.com
Conrad managed to develop characters, imperfect, that all drove themselves forward on their own agendas to the story's conclusion- facilitating and enabling it along the way. He manages to keep the ... Read full review
LibraryThing ReviewUser Review - Cecrow - www.librarything.com
In the first part we get an outsider's view of Axel Heyst's character, actions and motives without being certain who he is or what actually drives him. I found this off-putting until the second part ... Read full review