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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Schomberg's hotel stood back in an extensive enclosure containing a garden,
some large trees, and, under their spreading boughs, a detached “hall available
for concerts and other performances,” as Schomberg worded it in his ...
His white teeth flashed agreeably below the coppery horizontal bar of his long
moustaches. I don't know whether it was his delicacy or his obesity which
prevented Davidson from clambering upon the wharf. He stood up in the boat,
and, above ...
Except that he stood drinks to people on suitable occasions, like any other man,
this observer of facts seemed to have no connection with earthly affairs and
passions. The very courtesy of his manner, the flavour of playfulness in the voice
There she paused, stumbled one pace forward, and stood still again, while the
other—the escort, the dragoon, the coarse big woman of the piano— passed her
roughly, and, marching truculently down the centre aisle between the chairs and
I am sure she pinched you just now, when she stood by your chair.” The girl
received this overture with the wide, motionless stare of profound astonishment.
Heyst, vexed with himself, suspected that she did not understand what he said.
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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