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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Thereafter he mooned about the Java Sea in some of the Tesman's trading
schooners, and then vanished, on board an Arab ship, in the direction of New
Guinea. He remained so long in that outlying part of his enchanted circle that he
Davidson's existence too, running the Sissie along the Java Sea and back again,
was distinctly monotonous and, in a sense, lonely. He never had any sort of
company on board. Native deck-passengers in plenty, of course, but never a
At this season the Java Sea is a pond. I have an excellent, safe boat—a ship's life
-boat—carry thirty, let alone three, and a child could handle her. You wouldn't get
a wet face at this time of the year. You might call it a pleasure-trip.” “And yet ...
VII THE explanation lay in the two simple facts that the light winds and strong
currents of the Java Sea had Ulrifted the boat about until they partly lost their
bearings; and that by some extraordinary mistake one of the two jars put into the
boat by ...
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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