Awarded third place for The Adam Gillon Book Award in Conrad Studies 2009
The book presents a sustained critique of the interlinked (and contradictory) views that the fiction of Joseph Conrad is largely innocent of any interest in or concern with sexuality and the erotic, and that when Conrad does attempt to depict sexual desire or erotic excitement then this results in bad writing. Jeremy Hawthorn argues for a revision of the view that Conrad lacks understanding of and interest in sexuality. He argues that the comprehensiveness of Conrad's vision does not exclude a concern with the sexual and the erotic, and that this concern is not with the sexual and the erotic as separate spheres of human life, but as elements dialectically related to those matters public and political that have always been recognized as central to Conrad's fictional achievement. The book will open Conrad's fiction to readings enriched by the insights of critics and theorists associated with Gender Studies and Post-colonialism.