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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Were the trump of the Last Judgment to sound suddenly on a working day the
musician at his piano would go on with his performance of Beethoven's Sonata
and the cobbler at his stall stick to his last in undisturbed confidence in the virtues
... voices, the rattling of dominoes and the sounds of strident music. The orchestra
was rather smaller than the one that performed at Schomberg's hotel, had the air
more of a family party than of an enlisted band, and, I must confess, seemed ...
from table to table with the air of a sleep-walker and "with no other sound but the
slight rattle of the coins to Attract attention. It was long after the sea-chapter of my
life had been closed but it is difficult to discard completely the characteristics of ...
She was so unused to being addressed by customers that at the sound of his
voice she jumped in her seat. Davidson was telling us afterward that she jumped
exactly like a figure made of wood, without losing her rigid immobility. She did not
The fragmentary and rasping character of these sounds made their intrusion
inexpressibly tedious in the long run. Like most dreamers, to whom it is given
sometimes to hear the music of the spheres, Heyst, the wanderer 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