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 contemporaneous very short Author's Note which is preserved in this edition
bears sufficient witness to the feelings with which I consented to the publication of
the book. The fact of the book having been published in the United States early ...
There was no danger of any one taking seriously his dream of tropical coal, so
what was the use of hurting his feelings? Thus reasoned men in reputable
business offices where he had his entrée as a person who came out East with
letters of ...
He was honourable, too; and on this stressful day, before this amazing emissary
of Providence and in the revulsion of his feelings, he made his great renunciation
. He cast off the abiding illusion of his existence, “No, No. They are no good.
The Swede was as much distressed as Morrison; for he understood the other's
feelings perfectly. No decent feeling was ever scorned by Heyst. But he was
incapable of outward cordiality of manner, and he felt acutely his defect.
In this (highly creditable) tangle of strong feelings Morrison's gratitude insisted on
Heyst's partnership in the great discovery. Ultimately we heard that Morrison had
gone home through the Suez Canal in order to push the magnificent coal idea ...
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