Joseph Conrad--Comparative Essays

Joseph Conrad--Comparative Essays

Joseph Conrad--Comparative Essays

Joseph Conrad--Comparative Essays

Synopsis

This collection of essays continues Adam Gillon's comparatist approach to Joseph Conrad, which he exhibited in three previous books: The Eternal Solitary: A Study of Joseph Conrad (1960 and 1964), Conrad and Shakespeare and Other Essays (1976), and Joseph Conrad (Tawyne English Authors Series), 1982. In the present collection, Gillon extends his perspectives by examining the affinities between Conrad's descriptive art and painting and film. Gillon presents a variety of new views and insights as he traces the connections between Conrad and such writers as Henry James and Vladimir Nabokov and compares Conradian characters Prince Roman and Peer Ivanovitch. Gillon's Polish background looms large in this collection. His mastery of the Polish language is apparent in the discussion of two Polish novels about Conrad's early life and in his translation of excerpts from these novels. The first and last chapters offer moving glimpses of Gillon's own Polish footprints, his initiation into Conrad lore, and the visit to his native land after a long absence. The intimacy and wry humor of these recollections are evident also in his essay about adapting Conrad to film, which is illustrated with excerpts from his scripts Under Western Eyes and Dark Country, his screenplay inspired by Heart of Darkness and Conradian themes. A native of Poland, Adam Gillon is professor emeritus of English and comparative literature at the State University of New York, New Paltz. He has lectured at universities in Canada, Israel, and Europe. His numerous publications include critical studies of Conrad, fiction, poetry, translations, articles, and reviews. He has written award-winning plays for screen, stage, and radio. He wrote, directed, and produced a feature film, The Bet. Gillon is president of the Joseph Conrad Society of America and founder and senior editor of its newsletter, Joseph Conrad Today. Raymond Brebach is an associate professor of humanities at Drexel University. He is a contributing editor for the Cambridge Edition of the Works of Joseph Conrad and he edits Joseph Conrad Today, the newsletter of the Joseph Conrad Society of America. He has written on the collaboration of Joseph Conrad and Ford Madox Ford.

Excerpt

More than 4100 entries from forty-three countries throughout the world jostled for the attention of judges and jurors during the 26th Annual WorldFest International Film Festival, held in Houston, Texas, early in 1993. Because the WorldFest’s Discovery Program submits its winners to the top two hundred film festivals held throughout the world, the Festival is a particularly important venue for launching new talents and making new discoveries. The gold medal award for the best screenplay adaptation at the Festival went to Under Western Eyes, scripted by Adam Gillon whose first feature film The Bet, a work inspired by Anton Chekhov’s short story, was deemed a superb entry. It was described as a psychological thriller that is both a “feast to the eye and a tease to the mind.” Its writer, director, and producer was, however, no unseasoned newcomer fresh from film school. He was Adam Gillon, in yet one more of his many roles as critic and creator.

Production notes indicate that Gillon “has had writing and producing experience with the CBC and Kol Israel Networks … and is the author of five screenplays, two stage plays, three radio plays, and sixteen books of fiction, poetry and criticism.” Conradians may not know all these sides of Adam Gillon, but indeed they should, because they show not only the extent to which Gillon has grappled with the very problems Joseph Conrad confronted in creating his own short stories and novels . . .

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