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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He remained blocking half the doorway, with his back to the room, and was still
there when Davidson, after sitting still for a while, rose to go. At the noise he
made Schomberg turned his head, watched him lift his hat to Mrs. Schomberg
Was that a thing to do in a respectable hotel? The cheek, the indecency, the
impudence, the atrocity! Vagabond, impostor, swindler, ruffian, schwein-hund !
He had seized Davidson by a button of his coat, detaining him in the doorway,
taining him in the doorway, and exactly in the line of Mrs. Schomberg's stony
gaze. Davidson stole a glance in that direction and thought of making some sort
of reassuring sign to her, but she looked so bereft of senses, and almost of life, ...
Schomberg had reappeared in the doorway. He advanced. His bearing was
stately, but his nostrils were extraordinarily expanded, and he controlled his voice
with apparent effort. “Certainly. That was only business. I quoted him special
More lanterns, of the shape of cylindrical concertinas, hanging in a row from a
slack string, decorated the doorway of what Schomberg called grandiloquently “
my concert-hall.” In his desperate mood Heyst ascended three steps, lifted a
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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