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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The Chinaman could hear the voice of him who, when there were many people
there, was generally referred to as “Number One.” Wang was not able to
understand the words, but the tone interested him. “Where are you?” cried
But Heyst, once the Number One of this locality, while it was comparatively
teeming with mankind, appreciated the prolongation of early coolness, the
subdued, lingering half light, the faint ghost of the departed night, the fragrance .
of its dewy, ...
The great morning shadow was gone; and far away in the devouring sunshine
Wang was in time to see Number One and the woman, two remote white specks
against the sombre line of the forest. In a moment they vanished. With the
for immobility, an upright stillness, as when resting on the concert platform
between the musical numbers, her feet crossed, her hands reposing on her lap.
But in the intimacy of their life her grey, unabashed gaze forced upon him the
said Heyst, moving on. At the very outer edge of the belt he stopped short. Wang
halted behind him on the path, till the voice of Number One called him sharply
forward into the open. He obeyed. “Where's that boat?” asked Heyst forcibly.
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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