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 receptivity of my indolence made the impression so permanent that when the
moment came for her meeting with Heyst I felt that she would be heroically equal
to every demand of the risky and uncertain future. I was so convinced of it that I ...
Morrison had pulled himself together, but one felt the snapping strain on his
recovered self-possession. Heyst was beginning to say that he “could very well
see all the bearings of this unfortunate—” when Morrison interrupted him jerkily.
So, instead of going on his knees, as he felt inclined to do, Morrison stretched out
his hand, which Heyst grasped with formal alacrity and a polite murmur in which “
Trifle—delighted—of service,” could be just distinguished. “Miracles do happen ...
But he was incapable of outward cordiality of manner, and he felt acutely his
defect. Consummate politeness is not the right tonic for an emotional collapse.
They must have had, both of them, a fairly painful time of it in the cabin of the brig.
The poster stated that they had had the honour of playing their select repertoire
before various colonial excellencies, also before pashas, sheiks, chiefs, H. H. the
Sultan of Mascate, etc., etc. Davidson felt sorry for the eighteen lady-performers.
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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