Conrad, Joseph

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.

Nostromo: Selected full-text books and articles

Nostromo: A Tale of the Seaboard
Joseph E. Conrad; Keith E. Carabine.
Oxford University Press, 1984
Joseph Conrad's Nostromo
Harold Bloom.
Chelsea House, 1987
Librarian’s tip: This is a book of literary criticism
Twirling Moustaches and Equestrian Statuary: Polish Semiotics in Condrad's 'Nostromo.'
Szczypien, Jean M.
Mosaic (Winnipeg), Vol. 28, No. 3, September 1995
Peer-reviewed publications on Questia are publications containing articles which were subject to evaluation for accuracy and substance by professional peers of the article's author(s).
A Joseph Conrad Companion
Leonard Orr; Ted Billy.
Greenwood Press, 1999
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 8 "Nostromo (1904)"
Joseph Conrad, the Way of Dispossession
H. M. Daleski.
Holmes & Meier, 1977
Librarian’s tip: Chap. Five "Nostromo"
Conrad and Empire
Stephen Ross.
University of Missouri Press, 2004
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 3 "Our Man in Sulaco"
Conrad in the Twenty-First Century: Contemporary Approaches and Perspectives
Carola M. Kaplan; Peter Mallios; Andrea White.
Routledge, 2005
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 8 "Connoisseurs of Terror and the Political Aesthetics of Anarchism Nostromo and A Set of Six"
Society in the Novel
Elizabeth Langland.
University of North Carolina Press, 1984
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 6 "Society as Protagonist in Nostromo and Barchester Towers"
Joseph Conrad and the Fictions of Skepticism
Mark A. Wollaeger.
Stanford University, 1990
Librarian’s tip: Chap. Five "Nostromo and The Secret Agent: The Ethics of Form"
Conrad, Language, and Narrative
Michael Greaney.
Cambridge University Press, 2001
Librarian’s tip: Chap. Seven "Nostromo and Anecdotal History"
Conrad's Mythology
Robert Wilson.
Whitston, 1987
Librarian’s tip: "Nostromo: A Tale of the Seaboard (1904)" begins on p. 68
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