Joseph Conrad

Joseph Conrad, 1857–1924, English novelist, b. Berdichev, Russia (now Berdychiv, Ukraine), originally named Jósef Teodor Konrad Walecz Korzeniowski. Born of Polish parents, he is considered one of the greatest novelists and prose stylists in English literature. In 1874, Conrad went to sea and later joined (1878) an English merchant ship, becoming (1884) a master mariner as well as a British citizen. Retiring from the merchant fleet in 1894, he began his career as a novelist, and all of his novels are written in English, an acquired language. His notable early works include The Nigger of the Narcissus (1897), Lord Jim (1900), and the novellas Youth (1902), Heart of Darkness (1902), and Typhoon (1903). The novels Nostromo (1904), The Secret Agent (1907), Under Western Eyes (1911), and Chance (1913) are regarded by many as Conrad's greatest works. Of his later works, Victory (1915) is the best known. He also collaborated on two novels with Ford Madox Ford, The Inheritors (1901) and Romance (1903). Marked by a distinctive, opulent prose style, Conrad's novels combine realism and high drama. Their settings include nautical backgrounds as well as high society, and international politics. Conrad was a skilled creator of atmosphere and character; the impact of various situations was augmented by his use of symbolism. He portrayed acutely the conflict between non-western cultures and modern civilization. His characters exhibit the possibilities for isolation and moral deterioration in modern life.

See his complete works (26 vol., 1924–26); biographies by J. Baines (1960), F. M. Ford (1965), N. Sherry (1973, repr. 1997), F. R. Karl (1979), J. Meyers (1991), and J. Batchelor (1993); L. Davies et al., ed., The Collected Letters of Joseph Conrad (9 vol., 2008); studies by E. Said (1966), R. Curle (1968), J. A. Palmer (1968), B. Johnson (1971), N. Sherry (1971, 1980), and I. Watt (1980); bibliography by T. G. Ehrsam (1969).

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright© 2014, The Columbia University Press.

Selected full-text books and articles on this topic

A Joseph Conrad Companion
Leonard Orr; Ted Billy.
Greenwood Press, 1999
Joseph Conrad: A Critical Biography
Jocelyn Baines.
Weidenfeld and Nicolson, 1960
Essays on Conrad
Ian Watt.
Cambridge University Press, 2000
Rereading Conrad
Daniel R. Schwarz.
University of Missouri Press, 2001
Joseph Conrad
Oliver Warner.
Longmans, Green, 1951 (Revised edition)
The Inheritors: An Extravagant Story
Joseph Conrad; Ford Madox Ford.
University of Liverpool Press, 1999
Youth; Heart of Darkness; The End of the Tether
Joseph Conrad.
J. M. Dent and Sons, 1946
Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness
Harold Bloom.
Chelsea House, 1987
Librarian’s tip: This is a book of literary criticism
Lord Jim: A Tale
Joseph Conrad; John Batchelor.
Oxford University Press, 1983
Joseph Conrad's Lord Jim
Harold Bloom.
Chelsea House, 1987
The Strange Short Fiction of Joseph Conrad: Writing, Culture, and Subjectivity
Daphna Erdinast-Vulcan.
Oxford University Press, 1999
Conrad the Novelist
Albert J. Guerard.
Harvard University Press, 1958
Conrad and Women
Susan Jones.
Clarendon Press, 1999
Darkness at Heart: Fathers and Sons in Conrad
Catharine Rising.
Greenwood Press, 1990
Conrad and Impressionism
John G. Peters.
Cambridge University Press, 2001
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