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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They were there, they had to come out; and this is a sufficient excuse for a writer
of tales who had taken to his trade without preparation, or premedita. tion and
without any moral intention but that which perwades the whole scheme of this
tion, he was by no means certain that it prevented Heyst from being a perfect
gentleman, as before. He confronted our open grins or quiet smiles with a serious
round face. Heyst had taken the girl away to Samburan; and that was no joking ...
All at once, without a transi. tion, he detested her. But only for a moment. He
remembered that she was pretty, and, more, that she had a special grace in the
intimacy of life. She had the secret of individuality which excites—and escapes.
tion, with uneasiness, with an intimate pride—and with a peculiar sinking of the
heart. “I am not easily knocked out by any such thing as heat,” she said decisively
. “Yes, but I don't forget that you're not a tropical bird.” “You weren't born in these ...
... gave him one of her deep-gleaming smiles. “It isn't me, so it must be Wang.
You ought to make him give it back to you.” Heyst said nothing to that naive and
practical sugges. 5 tion, for the object that he missed from the drawer VICTORY
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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