The Cambridge introduction to Joseph Conrad by John G. Peters

By John G. Peters

Joseph Conrad is likely one of the such a lot fascinating and demanding modernist novelists. His writing keeps to preoccupy 21st-century readers. This advent by way of a number one pupil is aimed toward scholars coming to Conrad's paintings for the 1st time.

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Almayer’s Folly Almayer’s Folly is Conrad’s first novel, and the first of a reverse trilogy – that is the first written but the last in the chronology of events that take place in The Rescue, An Outcast of the Islands, and Almayer’s Folly. The novel deals with Almayer, a trader in a remote region of the Malay Archipelago, who has married his mentor Tom Lingard’s adopted Sulu daughter with the promise that one day he would become Lingard’s heir. By the time the novel opens, though, Lingard has lost his money and disappeared to Europe, and Almayer’s wife has retreated back to her cultural roots.

Anarchism and Socialism had some important similarities, particularly in their view of capitalist economics and the issue of property. Nevertheless, significant diVerences existed as well, and in the 1870s a major split arose. Despite their diVerences, however, various revolutionary wings of the Socialist movement advocated methods akin to those of the violent wings of the Anarchist movement, and the political assassinations carried out, particularly by the Russian Socialists, were remarkably similar to those carried out by their Anarchist counterparts.

As a consequence of his experiences as a child and as a young man, Conrad had long held a profoundly skeptical view of the inviolability of civilization and the perfectibility of humanity. Nevertheless, World War I did reinforce Conrad’s already dark view of the world. Although Modernist literature is often characterized as being relatively isolated from political, historical, and cultural events and as focusing instead on the individual, Conrad’s works run an important middle course, as he consistently focuses on the individual – but always in the midst of political, historical, and cultural forces.

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