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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I don't mean the courage of self-assertion, either moral or physical, but the mere
way of it, the trick of the thing, the readiness of mind and the turn of the hand that
come without reflection and lead the man to excellence in life, in art, in crime, ...
The convinced wave of the hand which accompanied the phrase suggested
tropical distances being impelled onward. In connection with the finished
courtesy of his manner, it was persuasive, or at any rate silencing —for a time, at
Putting down with a shaking hand a long glass emptied of its contents —paid for
by Heyst—he said, with that deliberate sagacity which no mere water-drinker
ever attained: | “Heyst's a puffect g'n'lman. Puffect! But he's a ut-utoutopist.
Morrison never had any spare cash in hand. With his system of trading it would
have been strange if he had; and all these debts entered in the pocketbook
weren't good enough to raise a milrei on—let alone a shilling. The Portuguese
And even Heyst could hardly keep incredulity out of his politely modulated voice
as he asked if it was a fact that Morrison had not that amount in hand. Morrison
hadn't. He had only a little English gold, a few sovereigns, on board. He had left
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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