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 I suppose those two considerations, the practical and the mystical, prevented
Heyst—Axel Heyst— from going away. The Tropical Belt Coal Company went
into liquidation. The world of finance is a mysterious world in which, incredible as
Heyst, perched on it immovably, was surrounded, instead of the imponderable
stormy and transparent ocean of air merging into infinity, by a tepid, shallow sea;
a passionless off-shoot of the great waters which embrace the continents of this ...
Putting down with a shaking hand a long glass emptied of its contents —paid for
by Heyst—he said, with that deliberate sagacity which no mere water-drinker
ever attained: | “Heyst's a puffect g'n'lman. Puffect! But he's a ut-utoutopist.” Heyst
This meant ruin for Morrison; and when Heyst hailed him across the street in his
usual courtly tone, the week was nearly out. Heyst crossed over, and said with a
slight bow, and in the manner of a prince addressing another prince on a private
Heyst. You know us all; you have seen how we live. Now you shall have the
opportunity to see how some of us end; for it is the end, for me. I can't deceive
myself any longer. You see it,-don't you?” Morrison had pulled himself together,
but one ...
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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