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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Since this Note is mostly concerned with personal contacts and the origins of the
persons in the tale, I am bound also to speak of Lena, because if I were to leave
her out it would look like a slight; and nothing would be further from my thoughts ...
His most frequent visitors were shadows, the shadows of clouds, relieving the
monotony of the inanimate, brooding sunshine of the tropics. His nearest
neighbour—I am speaking now of things showing some sort of animation—was
an indolent ...
There are more spells than your commonplace magicians ever dreamed of.
Roughly speaking, a circle with a radius of eight hundred miles drawn round a
point in North Borneo was in Heyst's case a magic circle. It just touched Manila,
and he ...
It became the fashion with a good many to speak of Heyst as the Enemy. He was
very concrete, very visible now. He was rushing all over the Archipelago, jumping
in and out of local mail-packets as if they had been tramcars, here, there, and ...
He isn't the sort of man one can speak familiarly to. There's something in him.
One doesn't care to. “'But what's the object? Are you thinking of keeping
possession of the mine?' I asked him. “'Something of the sort, he says. “I am
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