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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Joseph Conrad. He went himself in that boat, which was manned, of course, by
his Malay seamen. Heyst, when he saw the boat pulling towards him, dropped
his signalling-pole; and when Davidson arrived, he was kneeling down engaged
It was easy to be taciturn with Heyst, who had plunged himself into an abyss of
meditation over books, and remained in it till the shadow of Wang falling across
the page, and the sound of a rough, low voice uttering the Malay word “makan,” ...
“Malay man, eh?” Wang made a slight negative movement with his head. “Do you
hear, Lena?” Heyst called out. “Wang says there is a boat in sight—somewhere
near, apparently. Where's that boat, Wang?” “Round the point,” said Wang, ...
Wang explained in Malay that he had gone to the shore end of the wharf, to get a
few lumps of coal from the big heap, when, happening to raise his eyes from the
ground, he saw the boat—a white man boat, not a canoe. He had good eyes.
The last words having been spoken in Malay, he explained courteously that he
had given directions for the transport of the luggage. Wang had melted into the
night in his soundless manner. “My word! Rails laid down and all,” exclaimed ...
What people are saying - Write a review
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