Sexuality and the Erotic in the Fiction of Joseph Conrad
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.
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In the case of James's novella I side with those who have argued that James
constructed his tale in such a way as to make it impossible to decide between
these two readings,” but it seems to me that the dissemination of the knowing
It is noteworthy that Henry James's Preface to volume XII of the New York edition
of his works – which includes The Turn ... of the capture of the merely witless
being ever but small), the jaded, the disillusioned, the fastidious' (James 1999,
to the Count, whereas in the case of James's novella the tabooed forms of
sexuality are (deliberately) not defined by James. The fact that the reader of
Conrad's tale must consider the possibility of the Count's homosexuality in order
to read the ...
Of course, many readers not just of James but also of Forster and Lawrence
failed for many decades to detect hints of ... The fiction of all three writers has
been recognized as opaque and full of hidden depths, and James's fiction in
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2 The exotic and the erotic in An Outcast of the Islands and Heart of Darkness
3 The erotics of cruelty in A Smile of Fortune The Planter of Malata The Secret Agent Victory and Freya of the Seven Isles ...
4 Voyeurism in The ShadowLine and Under Western Eyes