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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It was the last literary thought which had occurred to me before the doors of the
Temple of Janus flying open with a crash shook the minds, the hearts, the
consciences of men ali over the world. Such coincidence could not be treated
Several doors opened on to it, but all the screens were down. Not a soul was in
sight, not even a China boy—nothing but a lot of painted iron chairs and tables.
Solitude, shade, and gloomy silence—and a faint, treacherous breeze which
Schomberg, at the door, looking out, affected perfect indifference. He could not
keep it up, though. Suddenly he turned inward and asked with brusque rage: “
You wanted to see him?” “Why, yes,” said Davidson. “We agreed to meet ** “Don't
While he was staring at the poster, a door somewhere at his back opened, and a
woman came in who was looked upon as Schomberg's wife, no doubt with truth.
As somebody remarked cynically once, she was too unattractive to be anything ...
He wanted to see whether the mechanism would work again. It did. It said they
were not. They were of all sorts, apparently. It paused, with the one goggle eye
immovably gazing down the whole length of the room and through the door
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