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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I wonder what the point was. I never saw him again because I believe he went
straight on board a mail-boat which left within the hour for other ports of call in the
direction of Aspinall. Mr. Jones's characteristic insolence belongs to another man
Heyst crossed over, and said with a slight bow, and in the manner of a prince
addressing another prince on a private occasion: “What an unexpected pleasure.
Would you have any objection to drink something with me in that infamous ...
Polite attention, what's due from one gentleman listening to another, was what he
showed; and, as usual, it was catching; so that Morrison pulled himself together
and finished his narrative in a conversational tone, with a man-of-theworld air.
What was he, Morrison, doing there, talking like this? Morrison knew no more of
Heyst than the rest of us trading in the Archipelago did. Had the Swede suddenly
risen and hit him on the nose, he could not have been taken more aback than ...
Oh, yes; it had come, and anybody could see what would be the consequences—
the end of the individual trader, smothered under a great invasion of steamers.
We could not afford to buy steamers. Not we. And Heyst was the manager.
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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