Joseph Conrad: Some Aspects of the Art of the Novel

Joseph Conrad: Some Aspects of the Art of the Novel

Joseph Conrad: Some Aspects of the Art of the Novel

Joseph Conrad: Some Aspects of the Art of the Novel

Excerpt

Before he died Joseph Conrad had the English public at his feet; now it has gone elsewhere and some time may pass before it takes him to its heart: the empty period is with us now between adulation and settled regard. Much has been written about him and a great deal more will come, most of it addressed to a wider public than can ever be reached by this study, a public eager to know. This book is neither a contribution to knowledge nor an exhaustive survey or recapitulation of known facts. It must content itself with suggestion.

The general situation as I see it is that even among his friends Conrad is still very widely read, not as a novelist in his own right but as a kind of exotic romancer who has made a corner in sea and jungle. With the reading public as a whole his reputation even as a writer of sea-stories is diminished, his work too often dismissed with a wave of the hand. It is my belief that when he is restored to his proper place, to the front rank, that is, of English novelists of all ages, it will not be as anything so confined as a writer of exotic romances but as a great novelist unclassified. Meanwhile he suffers from his label as other men have suffered in the past from theirs. His future reputation will depend, as he himself would wish, less on his purely . . .

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