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 met a man once—the manager of the branch of the Oriental Banking
Corporation in Malacca—to whom Heyst exclaimed, in no connection with
anything in particular (it was in the billiardroom of the club): - “I am enchanted
with these islands!
Far from it; but he would have consented to almost any arrangement in order to
put an end to the harrowing scene in the cabin. There was at once a great
transformation act: Morrison raising his diminished head and sticking the glass ...
somebody asked him once with shallow scorn. “Drinks! Oh, dear, no!” The
innkeeper was not mercenary. Teutonic temperament seldom is. But he put on a
sinister expression to tell us that Heyst had not paid perhaps three visits
altogether to ...
Once they become convinced you deal straight by them, their confidence
becomes unlimited. You can do no wrong. So Davidson's old Chinaman
squeaked hurriedly: “All right, all right, all right. You do what you like, captain.”
And there was an ...
“I left school early,” he remarked once to Davidson, on the passage. “It was in
England. A very good school. I was not a shining success there.” The confessions
of Heyst. Not one of us—with the probable exception of Morrison, who was ...
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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