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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Thus dismissed, Davidson went on board his ship, swung her out, and as he was
steaming away he watched from the bridge Heyst walking shoreward along the
wharf. He marched into the long grass and vanished— all but the top of his white
At the noise he made Schomberg turned his head, watched him lift his hat to Mrs.
Schomberg and receive her wooden bow accompanied by a stupid grin, and
then looked away. He was loftily dignified. Davidson stopped at the door, deep in
Meantime Schomberg watched Heyst out of the corner of his eye. Towards the
unconscious object of his enmity he preserved a distant Lieutenant-of-the-
Reserve demeanour. Nudging certain of his customers with his elbow, he
begged 64 ...
His mind, cool, alert, watched it sink there with a sort of vague concern at the
absurdity of the occupation, till it rested at the bottom, deep down, where our
unexpressed longings lie. “You are English, of course?” he said. “What do you
He was rather pleased than otherwise and watched them out of the corner of his
eye with a malicious enjoyment of the situation—a sort of Satanic glee. For he
had little doubt of his personal fascination, and still less of his power to get hold ...
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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