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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In his early years, long before he got so becomingly bald on the top, he went to
present a letter of introduction to Mr. Tesman of Tesman Brothers, a Sourabaya
firm—tip-top house. Well, Mr. Tesman was a kindly, benevolent old gentleman.
Morrison hadn't. He had only a little English gold, a few sovereigns, on board. He
had left all his spare cash with the Tesmans, in Samarang, to meet certain bills
which would fall due while he was away on his cruise. Anyhow that money would
We were more puzzled than dazzled, it is true; but even the most sober-minded
among us began to think that there was something in it. The Tesmans appointed
agents, a contract for government mail-boats secured, the era of steam beginning
He got the news in the Moluccas through the Tesmans, and then disappeared for
a time. It appears that he stayed with a Dutch government doctor in Amboyna, a
friend of his who looked after him for a bit in his bungalow. He became visible ...
The Tesmans washed their hands of it. The Government cancelled those famous
contracts. The talk died out, and pres– ently it was remarked here and there that
Heyst had faded completely away. He had become invisible, as in those early ...
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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 - LibraryThing
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