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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We had with us also, lying prostrate in the dark and unspeakable cuddy of that
schooner, an old Spanish gentleman, owner of much luggage and, as Ricardo
assured me, very ill indeed. Ricardo seemed to be either a servant or the
Well, Mr. Tesman was a kindly, benevolent old gentleman. He did not know what
to make of that caller. After telling him that they wished to render his stay among
the islands as pleasant as possible, and that they were ready to assist him in his
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.
... like this, it was natural Later in the day, the fine paid, and the two of them on
board the brig, from which the guard had been removed, Morrison—who, besides
being a gentleman, was also an honest fellow—began to talk about repayment.
even. more. anxious. to. bind himself to silence. A gentleman would naturally
shrink from the part of heavenly messenger that Morrison would force upon him. It
made Heyst uncomfortable as it was. And perhaps he did not care that VICTORY
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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