By Richard Niland
This ebook examines the philosophy of background and the topic of the country within the literature of Joseph Conrad. It explores the significance of nineteenth-century Polish Romantic philosophy in Conrad's literary improvement, arguing that the Polish reaction to Hegelian traditions of historiography in nineteenth-century Europe inspired Conrad's interpretation of background. After investigating Conrad's early profession within the context of the philosophy of background, the publication analyses Nostromo (1904), the key Agent (1907), and lower than Western Eyes (1911) in gentle of Conrad's writing approximately Poland and his sustained curiosity within the topic of nationwide id. Conrad juxtaposes his trust in an inherited Polish nationwide identification, derived from Herder and Rousseau, with a sceptical wondering of contemporary nationalism in ecu and Latin American contexts. Nostromo provides the construction of the fashionable state nation of Sulaco; the key Agent explores the topic of 'foreigners' and nationality in England; whereas lower than Western Eyes constitutes a scientific try to undermine Russian nationwide id. Conrad emerges as an writer who examines seriously the forces of nationalism and nationwide id that stricken Europe through the 19th century and within the interval sooner than the 1st international conflict. This results in a attention of Conrad's paintings throughout the nice conflict. In his fiction and newspaper articles in the course of the battle, Conrad discovered a fashion of facing a clash that made him conscious about being sidelined at a turning element in either sleek Polish and smooth ecu historical past. eventually, this ebook re-evaluates Conrad's past due novels The Rover (1923) and Suspense (1925), a long-neglected a part of his occupation, investigating Conrad's sustained remedy of French historical past in his final years along his life-long fascination with the cult of Napoleon Bonaparte.
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Additional resources for Conrad and History (Oxford English Monographs)
The Polish response to Hegel captured in Cieszkowski’s work polarised history and theory, direction and destruction, evolution and revolution. ’37 The shift in Polish culture can be seen in microcosm in the experience of Conrad’s family. The effect of Ewa’s death on Korzeniowski and on the young Conrad cannot be overestimated, and Conrad later wrote that his father felt ‘the deadly blow of her loss’ (PR, x). Apollo’s distraught reaction to the death in a letter to Kazimierz Kaszewski expresses a sense of absolute desolation, directly evoking Conrad’s later representation of the widowed Giorgio Viola in Nostromo: And I am here so very much alone: no other company but this silent grave, bewitched in silence, deaf to prayers, unresponsive to tears, harder even than Adam’s stone, for a tear will not seep through it.
84 81 Porter, When Nationalism Began to Hate, 46. Prus quoted in Porter, When Nationalism Began to Hate, 50. 83 Czartoryski quoted in M. Kukiel, Czartoryski and European Unity: 1770–1861 (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1955), 3. , Conrad’s Polish Background, 153. 82 46 Conrad and History Bobrowski’s letters to Conrad read like a Bible of the Positivist doctrine, capturing the later mentality of ‘Typhoon’s’ Captain MacWhirr, who is ‘faithful to facts, which alone his conscience reﬂected’ (T, 14).
Conrad emphasised this point again during the Great War, when he wrote a memorandum for the Foreign Ofﬁce entitled ‘A Note on the Polish Problem’ (1916), stating: ‘The Poles whom superﬁcial or ill-informed theorists are trying to force into the social and psychological formula of Slavonism are in truth not Slavonic at all. In temperament, in feeling, in mind, and even in unreason, they are Western, with an absolute comprehension of all the Western modes of thought, even of those which are remote from their own historical experience’ (NLL, 109).