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 a girl. Her detachment from her task seems to me now to have equalled or
even surpassed Heyst's aloofness from all the mental degradations to which a
man's intelligence is exposed in its way through life. Silent and wide-eyed she ...
It may have been playfulness, yet the girl jumped up as if she had been stung by
a wasp. It may have been playfulness. Yet I saw plainly poor “dreamy innocence”
rub gently the affected place as she filed off with the other performers down the ...
It was my perfect idleness that had invested the girl with a peculiar charm, and I
did not want to destroy it by any superfluous exertion. The receptivity of my
indolence made the impression so permanent that when the moment came for
Whenever a coast village sighted the brig it would begin to beat all its gongs and
hoist all its streamers, and all its girls would put flowers in their hair and the crowd
would line the river bank, and Morrison would beam and glitter at all this ...
“When you say an English girl, Mrs. Schomberg, do you really mean a young girl
? Some of these orchestra girls are no chicks.” “Young enough,” came the low
voice out of Mrs Schomberg's unmoved physiognomy. Davidson, encouraged ...
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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