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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What influenced my decision most were the obscure promptings of that pagan
residuum of awe and wonder which lurks still at the bottom of our old humanity.
Victory was the last word I had written in peace time. It was the last literary
I wonder what the point was. I never saw him again because I believe he went
straight on board a mail-boat which left within the hour for other ports of call in the
direction of Aspinall. Mr. Jones's characteristic insolence belongs to another man
We were too indifferent to wonder over-much. You see we had on the whole liked
him well enough. And liking is not sufficient to keep going the interest one takes
in a human being. With hatred, apparently, it is otherwise. Schomberg couldn't ...
It was as exciting, for the mere wonder of it, as trying to converse with a
mechanism. A smile played about the fat features of Davidson; the smile of a man
making an amusing experiment. He spoke again to her: “But the other members
of that ...
Indeed, the wonder was that they had been left alone so long. The drowsy
afternoon was slipping by. Footsteps and voices resounded on the verandah —I
beg pardon, the piazza; the scraping of chairs, the ping of a smitten bell.
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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