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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“Young enough,” came the low voice out of Mrs Schomberg's unmoved
physiognomy. Davidson, encouraged, remarked that he was sorry for her. He
was easily sorry for people. “Where did they go to from here?” he asked. “She did
not go with ...
But, looking at the physiognomy above him on the wharf, he was obliged to
dismiss the notion of common, crude lunacy. It was truly most unusual talk. Then
he remembered—in his surprise he had lost sight of it—that Heyst now had a girl
Heyst had been interested by the girl's physiognomy. Its expression was neither
simple nor yet very clear. It was not distinguished—that could not be expected—
but the features had more fineness than those of any other feminine countenance
But nothing lasts in this world, at least without changing its physiognomy. So,
after a few weeks, Schomberg regained his outward calm, as if his indignation
had dried up within him. And it was time. He was becoming a bore with his
inability to ...
He was no great judge of physiognomy. Human beings, for him, were either the
objects of scandalous gossip or else the recipients of narrow strips of paper, with
proper bill-heads stating the name of his hotel.—“W. Schomberg, proprietor ...
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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