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, ...
... not resume for my edification the exposition of his moral attitude toward life
illustrated by striking particular instances of the most atrocious complexion. Did
he mean to frighten me? Or seduce me? Or astonish me? Or arouse my
It was not a mean store. But he never did that. Afraid of mosquitoes, very likely.
Neither was he ever tempted by the silence to address any casual remarks to the
companion glow of the volcano. He was not mad. Queer chap—yes, that may ...
This was one of those things that don't happen—unheard of things. He had no
real inkling of what it meant, till Heyst said definitely: “I can lend you the amount.”
“You have the money?” whispered Morrison. “Do you mean here, in your pocket?
And perhaps he did not care that it should be known that he had some means,
whatever they might have been—sufficient, at any rate, to enable him to lend
money to people. These two had a duet down there, like conspirators in a comic
What people are saying - Write a review
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