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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The reader therefore won't be surprised to hear that one morning I was told
without any particular emotion by the padrone of the schooner that the “Rich man
” down there was dead: He had died. in the night. I don't remember ever being so
It became manifest to me less than two minutes after I had set eyes on him for the
first time, and though immensely surprised of course I didn't stop to think it out. I
took the nearest short cut—through the wall. This bestial apparition and a certain
Suddenly Heyst spoke: “You understand that this was a case of odious
persecution, don't you? I became aware of it and ** It was a view which the
sympathetic Davidson was capable of appreciating. “I am not surprised to hear it.”
he said ...
Heyst, at his table, was surprised into a sympathetic start. He glanced quickly
round. Nobody was looking towards the platform; and when his eyes swept back
here again, the girl, with the big woman treading at her heels, was coming down
They looked at each other across a little round table with a surprised, open gaze,
self-consciousness growing on them so slowly that it was a long time before they
averted their eyes; and very soon they met again, temporarily, only to rebound, ...
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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 - LibraryThing
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