Download Conrad: Almayer’s Folly to Under Western Eyes by Daniel R. Schwarz (auth.) PDF

By Daniel R. Schwarz (auth.)

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Every aspect' is as applicable to the narrator of The Nigger of the 'Narcissus' as it is to Marlow in 'Heart of Darkness' and Lord Jim: 'The artist descends within himself, and in that lonely region of stress and strife, if he be deserving and fortunate, he finds the terms of his appeal' (pp. vii-viii). The parallel to the hero's descent into hell indicates Conrad's own need, as he moved from a life of action to a life of writing, to defme the artist in terms of the classical hero. Conrad's sailor-tellor has also lived in stress and strife.

I am a prey to remorse. I should not have written that thing. It's criminal' (8 Oct. 1897; Garnett, p. 108). Ifhe regarded 'The Return' as a bad action, it was because he could neither control his tone towards his characters nor clearly render his characters' psychology. Conrad was unusually explicit about how he wished the story to affect the reader: Unrest JI I wanted to produce the effect of insincerity, of artificiality. Yes! I wanted the reader to see [the husband] think and then to hear him speak-and shudder.

Yet these basic humanistic values are often at odds with the artistic tentativeness and moral confusion that derive from Conrad's uncertainty and anxiety. The unresolved tension between, on the one hand, Conrad's own personal concerns and, on the other, his attempt to objectify moral issues is revealed in conflicts between the values expressed by the narrator and the implications of his plot and setting. At times, one of the narrator's comments may very well be in some conflict with another. Or one of his comments may be more an outburst of intellectual energy than a reasoned through discussion of the novel's action.

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