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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Captain Davidson, coming by from the westward, saw him with his own eyes.
Something white on the wharf; so he steamed in and went ashore in a small boat.
Heyst, right enough. Put a book into his pocket, always very polite. Been strolling
Captain Davidson. What I want to know is what he gets to eat there. A piece of
dried fish now and then—what? That's coming down pretty low for a man who
turned up his nose at my table-d'hôte!” He winked with immense malice. A bell
IV A FEw of us who were sufficiently interested went to Davidson for details.
These were not many. He told us that he passed to the north of Samburan on
purpose to see what was going on. At first, it looked as if that side of the island
had been ...
Thus dismissed, Davidson went on board his ship, swung her out, and as he was
steaming away he watched from the bridge Heyst walking shoreward along the
wharf. He marched into the long grass and vanished— all but the top of his white
So Davidson's old Chinaman squeaked hurriedly: “All right, all right, all right. You
do what you like, captain.” And there was an end of the matter; not altogether,
though. From time to time the Chinaman used to ask Davidson about the white ...
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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