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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He was out of everybody's way, as if he were perched on the highest peak of the
Himalayas, and in a sense as conspicuous. Every one in that part of the world
knew him, dwelling on his little island. An island is but the top of a mountain.
Morrison knew no more of Heyst than the rest of us trading in the Archipelago did.
Had the Swede suddenly risen and hit him on the nose, he could not have been
taken more aback than when this stranger, this nondescript wanderer, said with ...
He knew very well his inability to lay by any sum of money. It was partly the fault
of circumstances and partly of his temperament; and it would have been very
difficult to apportion the responsibility between the two. Even Morrison himself
You see? What was I always telling you? Aha! There was nothing in it. I knew it.
But what I would like to know is what became of that— Swede.” He put a stress
on the word Swede as if it meant scoundrel. He detested Scandinavians
It is to be noted that he knew very little of Heyst. He was one of those whom
Heyst's finished courtesy of attitude and intonation most strongly disconcerted.
He himself was a fellow of fine feeling, I think, though of course he had no more
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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