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 remember ever being so moved by the desolate end of a complete
stranger. I looked down the skylight, and there was the devoted Martin busy
cording cowhide trunks belonging to the deceased whose white beard and
hooked nose ...
“Eh?” A mist seemed to roll away from before Davidson's eyes, disclosing
something he could not believe. “You can't mean it!” he cried. “He's not the man
for it.” But the last words came out in a faint voice. Mrs. Schomberg never moved
Or could it be that she was moved by that disinterested passion for delivering a
woman to a man which in respectable spheres is called matchmaking? —a
highly irregular example of it! “It must have been a very small bundle,” remarked ...
And though he had made up his mind to retire from the world in hermit fashion,
yet he was irrationally moved by this sense of loneliness which had come to him
in the hour of renunciation. It hurt him. Nothing is more painful than the shock of ...
She had not moved. Her arms hung down; her eyelids were lowered. Heyst laid
down his half-smoked cigar and compressed his lips. Then he got up. It was the
same sort of impulse which years ago had made him cross the sandy street of the
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