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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Her detachment from her task seems to me now to have equalled or even
surpassed Heyst's aloofness from all the mental degradations to which a man's
intelligence is exposed in its way through life. Silent and wide-eyed she went
from table ...
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
have been said, and in fact was said; but there is a tremendous difference
He had been wandering with a dry throat all over that miserable town of mud
hovels, silent, with no soul to turn to in his distress, and positively maddened by
his thoughts; and suddenly he had stumbled on a white man, figuratively and
even. more. anxious. to. bind himself to silence. A gentleman would naturally
shrink from the part of heavenly messenger that Morrison would force upon him. It
made Heyst uncomfortable as it was. And perhaps he did not care that VICTORY
He dragged after him up and down that section of the tropical belt a silent,
frightened little woman with long ringlets, who smiled at one stupidly, showing a
blue tooth. I don't know why so many of us patronized his various establishments.
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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