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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Ricardo seemed to be either a servant or the confidant of that aged and
distinguished-looking invalid, who early on the passage held a long murmured
conversation with the friar, and after that did nothing but groan feebly, smoke
“Yes, rather.” His feelings were, he told us, those of bewildered resignation; but of
course that was no more visible to the others than the emotions of a turtle when it
withdraws into its shell. “It seems unreasonable,” he murmured thoughtfully.
Heyst murmured to himself. But there is an unholy fascination in systematic noise.
He did not flee from it incontinently, as one might have expected him to do. He
remained, astonished at himself for remaining, since nothing could have been ...
The murmuring noise of conversations carried on with some spirit filled
Schomberg's concert-room. Nobody remarked Heyst's movements; for indeed he
was not the only man on his legs there. He had been confronting the girl for some
... blue eyes looking into her own. He saw the stony amazement in hers give way
to a momentary alarm, which was succeeded by an expression of resignation. “I
am sure she pinched your arm most cruelly,” he murmured, rather disconcerted ...
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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