The Sisters

The Sisters

The Sisters

The Sisters

Excerpt

I felt as if a beast from the jungle had suddenly leaped at me when first the executors of the late Mr. John Quinn, and then Mr. Crosby Gaige, asked me to finish a story by Joseph Conrad--a story called "The Sisters". For "The Sisters," along with a story published in "Tales of Unrest" and called "The Return," occupied a curious position in Conrad's psychology-- or at least in his psychological view of his own work. He seemed to regard them as something slightly obscene at which one could only peep in secret. Things kept in a locked drawer! I notice that in some notes he made for Mr. George Keating in a specially inscribed copy of "Tales of Unrest" Conrad writes:

'The Return' was begun immediately 'The Nigger of the Narcissus' was finished. A thorough change. It shares with one other story of mine the distinction of never having been serialized. No editor would accept it--and I don't wonder at their unanimity. One was good enough to write: 'Very fine. But I can do nothing with it.' Some cultured Scandinavians liked it in translation. Nothing would induce me to look at it again."

This must have been written in 1924 and it astonishes me to find that, even so late in life, Conrad retained his feeling . . .

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