The Art of Joseph Conrad: A Critical Symposium

By R. W. Stallman | Go to book overview

NOTES
1.
Nigger of the "Narcissus", preface, p. XIII. Page references to Conrad are to the Kent edition, Garden City, N. Y., 1926. [Editor's note: The Kent edition of Conrad's collected works, published by Doubleday, has the same pagination as the Uniform Edition ( 1923) and the Present Collected Edition ( 1946) published by J. M. Dent and Sons Ltd.]
2.
Shadow Line p. 77. This quotation and the following ones give but a very insufficient insight into Conrad's style. These pictures, far from being exceptional, are the very tissue of the text.
3.
Equally to be noted is the procedure which consists in imagining scenes which the narrator did not witness. By this placing in the foreground of technical resources which the novelist ordinarily leaves out of sight, Conrad gives to his narratives an exquisite flavor of dream and of probity.
4.
See especially the admirable scene of the attempted poisoning in Chance.
5.
For Conrad own "J'ai vécu," see A Personal Record, p. 94. [Translator's Note]
6.
In this brief analysis of Conrad's art, I thought it appropriate to pass over in silence the criticisms one could apply to him. Flaubert didn't always have the best influence on him. His sentences are sometimes overwritten, and the inevitable and which precedes the final proposition makes them somewhat monotonous. Occasionally too this magnificent evoker of emotions falls into a purely descriptive art. But the vision called up is ordinarily independent of the wording which only becomes obtrusive when the inspiration slackens. Finally, however beautiful a novel like Nostromo, it seems to me to have an artificial air, a little laboured. I would say as much of the first part of Chance, so beautiful and so successful in other respects. I would subscribe wholeheartedly to this judgment of the Times Literary Supplement: "He never believed in his later and more highly sophisticated characters as he had believed in his early sea men."

JOHN SHAND


Some Notes on Joseph Conrad

*

JOSEPH CONRAD was a fine writer, and, I believe, some of his books will be regarded by posterity as part of the heritage in English literature. But he had many faults, and, in the later novels, his vices began to exceed his virtues. In The Arrow of Gold and in The Rescue, we find him ignoring and even adding to his literary sins. His prose, never very simple, became more and more ornate, and his trick of talking about his characters, instead of showing them to us directly, grew to the point of absurdity. Indeed it is noticeable that his style is most simple and direct in his epic tales of men's struggles with the sea, which are the stories most likely to last; and most clumsy and deliberately picturesque in his "psychological"

____________________
*
From The Criterion, III ( October 1924--July 1925), 6-14.

-13-

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The Art of Joseph Conrad: A Critical Symposium
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Acknowledgements vi
  • Table of Contents vii
  • Introduction ix
  • Part One 1
  • The Art of Conrad 5
  • Notes 13
  • Notes 13
  • Notes 19
  • Notes 35
  • Notes 45
  • Part Two 59
  • Notes 87
  • Notes 96
  • The Nigger of the "Narcissus" 121
  • On Lord Jim(an Excerpt) 140
  • On Lord Jim 142
  • Notes 154
  • Marlow's Descent into Hell 162
  • Conrad's Underworld 171
  • Three Notes On "Heart of Darkness" 179
  • Notes 186
  • On "Typhoon" and the Shadow Line 190
  • On Nostromo 191
  • Notes 198
  • Conrad's the Secret Agent 209
  • Notes 227
  • Notes 234
  • Adam, Axel, and "Il Conde" 253
  • Notes 254
  • Notes 275
  • Notes 275
  • The Secret Sharer 289
  • Joseph Conrad: Chance 296
  • Notes 304
  • The Hollow Men: Victory 313
  • The Knight: Man in Eden: the Arrow of Gold 317
  • On the Rescue 323
  • On the Rover and Suspense 330
  • Notes 331
  • Appendix I 337
  • Appendix II 345
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