Out of This World eOpinion Imagine if we didn t know anything about his past well we readers would probably judge him insensitive Personally I found Heyst absolutely fascinating As a young man Heyst was disappointed in life His dying father installed mistrust towards life into him resulting with the young man somewhat autistic attitude towards life He is content with only observing life However when Heyst stumbles against a desperate Portuguese man he decides to pay his depth This bounds him to his man both in friendship and in a feeling of responsibility For isn t a feeling of responsibility one of the defining characteristics of friendship This friendship is perhaps the very first connection between the reader and the protagonist because it is what makes usmphasize with Heyst and see him as a real person What follow is a sad but memorable tale The sadness of this novel is for most part subtle only reaching its peak towards the The Time It Never Rained end but for me that makes it none the less profoundI have read the Note to the firstdition written by Joseph Conrad himself but I m still not certain why this novel is called Victory Taking in consideration the The Child of the Soul and Other Stories ending and the atmosphere of Shakespearean tragedy one does wonder what the title is supposed to mean Conradxplained it as a some kind of omen saying that The last word of this novel was written on 29 May 1914 And that last word was the single word of the title Those were the times of peace Now that the moment of publication approaches I have been considering the discretion of altering the title page The word Victory the shining and tragic goal of noble ffort appeared too great too august to stand at the head of a mere novel There was also the possibility of falling under the suspicion of commercial astuteness deceiving the public into the belief that the book had something to do with warOf that however I was not afraid very much What influenced my decision most were the obscure promptings of that pagan residuum of awe and wonder which lurks still at the bottom of our old humanity Victory was the last word I had written in peace time It was the last literary thought which had occurred to me before the doors of the Temple of Janus flying open with a crash shook the minds the hearts the consciences of men all over the world Such coincidence could not be treated lightly And I made up my mind to let the word stand in the same hopeful spirit in which some simple citizen of Old Rome would have accepted the Omen Historical circumstances set aside the title still made me wonder Perhaps Conrad himself acted on an impulse when he choose it Not that it wasn t a good impulse Stil Who is really victorious I gave the matter some thought and an answer presented itself Why Lena Previously I read several works by Joseph Conrad Heart of Darkness Lord Jim Nostromo but never have I met with such a powerful female protagonist This was most refreshing Lena s capability for love and loyalty is all the impressive taken the circumstances of her life This is the first novel of Conrad s that I read featuring a female character that takes things into her hands Lena a young woman who finds herself growing up and living in the most unhappy of circumstances is anything but a victim Ultimately you could say she s the victim of life but haven t we all yet there is nothing about her that suggest a victim In other Conrad s works that I read female characters were almost always distant figures Lena takes not only her own life at her hands but she is ready to act to save the lives of others Needless to say I really warmed up to her Moreover this character is such an important part of this story Lena offers a fascinating study not only of relationship between the opposing sexes but between a society and an individual Despite being an outcast of some kind Lena has a very strong sense of morality of herself She is very much a defined character and an individualIf I remember the Author s note well Conrad xplain that he was inspired by an actual woman when he was creating Lena it was a brief but obviously memorable ncounter On one occasion Conrad saw a young women being pinched by her presumably mother while she was performing playing piano on stage This cruelty inflected by one woman to another moved him In a similar way the protagonist of this novel Heyst often called the Swede was moved by witnessing Lena s terror and the abuse inflected on her Like the actual young woman Lena was a performer against her will When the two Heyst and Lena meet there is than longing on
her part and pity on his part i part and pity on his part I it as a meeting of kindred spirits and was honestly moved by it Both of them are remarkably innocent Perhaps their innocence might seem absurd to the modern reader but it makes sense in the context of their lives Lena is attracted by Heyst because she senses that he is different from others and vice versa Aren t they clearly different from most people First of all they both lack motional attachment to other people due to circumstances than to their own personal capacity for such motions One could say that Heyst in unemotional yet his life proves it is not really the case His hermit life IS SOMETHING THAT NEEDS TO BE something that needs to be to be understood and it seems that Lena instinctively understands it perhaps we could call it female intuition Interestingly in their relationship Lena seems to be the active party she is the one who asks for help in a direct way than the Portuguese who had prayed to God but found Heyst instead Nevertheless I wouldn t say that Heyst is completely indifferent and passive If he was where would be the tragedy And there is a lot of tragedy in this novel As a character Heyst might appear passive but paradoxically I think he is a man of strong will It is just that his will was directed towards renouncing the world and now he finds it difficult to find his place in this world For all the good that xists in his heart and perhaps precisely because of it Heyst is unable to truly become a part of this world The author put it like this It is only when the catastrophe matches the natural obscurity of our fate that ven the
#BEST REPRESENTATIVE OF THE RACE IS #representative of the race is to lose his detachment It is very obvious that on the arrival of the gentlemanly Mr Jones the single minded Ricardo and the faithful Pedro Heyst the man of universal detachment loses his mental self possession that fine attitude before the universally irremediable which wears the name of stoicism It is all a matter of proportion There should have been a remedy for that sort of thing And yet there is no remedy Behind this minute instance of life s hazards Heyst sees the power of blind destiny Besides Heyst in his fine detachment had lost the habit of asserting himself I don t mean the courage of self assertion ither moral or physical but the mere way of it the trick of the thing the readiness of mind and the turn of the hand that come without reflection and lead the man to Science, Technology and Culture excellence in life in art in crime in virtue and for the matter of thatven in love Thinking is the great No Beast So Fierce enemy of perfection The habit of profound reflection I am compelled to say is the most pernicious of all the habits formed by the civilized man I do recommend Victoryspecially if you re a fan of Joseph Conrad There are many complex messages and uestions hidden beneath its touching love story and adventurous plot There is much than meets the ye in this one At its core I would say that Victory is a profoundly sad novel with lements of pessimism but somehow it is also a novel that carries a message of hope You will have to wait patiently to get to the action part of the book the second half of the novel and Last Chance Bride even longer forverything to unfold the last few pages are the defining one in terms of characters destinies Nevertheless as readers you will be rewarded for your patience for this novel is not only beautifully written but written with great mastery care and thought Now and then we must leave the literature of our day and delve deeper in time and in literary style Joseph Conrad has survived time as a classic because his work is of classic uality I submerged into Victory as into cool deep water to Whos Cheatin Who? (Thoroughbred Legacy emerge refreshed and moved by the literaryxperience What is this for story I have completed it and I still do not know Is it a tale of adventure If that is what Conrad meant it to be it moves too slowly All of the action takes place at the nd Is it a romance a love story It cannot be classified as such ither The characters are too aloof too lukewarm toward ach other Is it meant to be a character study Perhaps but I felt not a thing toward any of the characters neither the primary nor the second My victory over. Once But his life alters when he rescues a young English girl Lena from Zangiacomo's Ladies' Orchestra and the vil innkeeper Schomberg taking her to his island retreat The affair between Heyst and Lena begins with her release but the relationship shifts as Lena. From BBC Radio 4 DramaThe world premiere of Harold Pinter s screenplay of Josef Conrad s last major novel in a special adaptation for radio by Sir Richard EyreIt s 1900 in the Dutch East Indies Disenchanted with life and humanity Heyst a mysterious Swedish Baron lives alone on a deserted islandHe believes he can avoid suffering by cutting himself off from others but his life is altered when he visits the neighbouring island for a doctor s check up Here he meets and falls in love with Lena a young English violinist travelling across the Pacific with a small commercial ladies OrchestraSurrounded by predatory older men including the hotel manager Schomberg she is drawn to Heyst and the sense of mystery that surrounds him Together in the middle of the night they scape by boat to his islandSound Design John Leonard and Wilfredo AcostaDirector Richard EyreNarrator Simon Russell Beale Although dreamlike this was a delicious journey through the dilemmas of xistence and fate I started this novel with no Dangerous Waters (Cold Case Files expectations as I often have recoiled from Conrad s works in the past However after reading his The Secret Sharer and Falk A Reminiscence recently I had become a bit curious His language is different in its swirls and syntax at the same time as he attempts to describe layers of the psychology of his characters intertwined with the pulsations of nature It is charming in its own uniue way The destinies of the Swede Heyst and Lena unfold in conjunction with the waves wind the blazing heat of the tropics and the seemingly majestic force of the trees plants and insects surrounding them Human lives seem to matter less in this almostternal setting of nature but Conrad yet attempts to focus on the patterns of The Husband (Smytheshire, Massachusetts, existence and motivation as different lives intersect The I read the curious I became about Joseph Conrad as he seemingly occupies his own uniue niche with his writing style as well as themes As the pages unfolded I becamengaged and appreciated the novel and Is this work about love fate or civilization and its discontents Or perhaps a combination of all and ultimately a reflection of aspects of our own inner lives and dreams Stellar I read pretty much verything Conrad wrote back in the 80 s but having booked a holiday in Indonesia I had to take one of his far astern novels Great to read about the dead calm Java Sea while looking out over the dead calm Java Sea Anyway1 No one writes better than Conrad in English Some are as good but different Pynchon Dickens An Italian Education even Updike but no one is better2 Only those that haven t read him associate him with adventure books for boys What he is really about is the psychology of life what it takes to be a man the nature of virtue and vice what integrity means how women usally result in something bad happening you know boy s own adventure stuff Otherwise what s going to happen to the Empire and how will you cope with the trenchesBut seriously I m not going to trivially outline the plot because that wouldn t add anything JC is a writer of immense stature andverybody should read him Protecting the Colton Bride Coltons Cowboy Code even women who in myxperience don t really get him I read Carol Shields now it s your turn I njoyed this novel from the pen of Joseph Conrad it may be my favorite of his works although Conrad has the knack for writing consistently good novels that makes it hard to rank them Victory s most striking formal characteristic is its shifting narrative and temporal perspective with the first section from the viewpoint of a sailor the second from omniscient perspective of Axel Heyst the third from an interior perspective from Heyst and the final section I found the character of Axel interesting primarily due to his complexity On a superficial level the novel reads like a melodrama suited to a muddled opera libretto than a serious work of literature But upon reflection the allegorical and psychological implications of the action landscape and narrative structure redeem it as a modern novel worthy to be included with the best of Conrad I am always impressed when the author can make a serious work of literature appear on the surface to be merely a good story g Moby Dick The story line follows through a business misadventure the European Axel Heyst nds up living on an island in what is now Indonesia with a Chinese assistant Wang Heyst visits a nearby island when a female band is playing at a hotel owned by Mr Schomberg Schomberg attempts to force himself sexually on one of the band members Alma later called Lena She flees with Heyst back to his island and they become lovers Schomberg seeks revenge by attempting to frame Heyst for the murder of a man who had died of natural causes and later by sending three desperadoes Pedro Martin Ricardo and Mr Jones To Heyst S Island With A Lie Heyst s island with a lie treasure hidden on the island The nsuing conflict does not Forbidden Stranger end well and has been compared to thending of an Elizabethan drama where the stage is littered with corpses The robust romanticism of Axel and Lena s story continues to haunt the reader long after one puts the novel downAnother of my favorite writers Joan Didion had this to say about VictoryI often reread Victory which is maybe my favorite book in the world The story is told thirdhand It s not a story the narrator Snowy River Man even heard from someone whoxperienced it The narrator seems to have heard it from people he runs into around the Malacca Strait So there s this fantastic distancing of the narrative Night Moves (Harlequin Blaze except that when you re in the middle of it it remains very immediate It s incredibly skillful I have never started a novel I meanxcept the first when I was starting a novel just to start a novel I ve never written one without rereading Victory It opens up the possibilities of a novel It makes it seem worth doing From a 2006 interview in The Paris Review If you feel like reading a complex psychological novel that will make you ponder the meaning of life this is a book for you Not that you will be provided with any definite answers mind you Victory strikes me as a rather ambiguous work one that is intentionally left open to interpretations Conseuently if you like clear uestions and answers this is not a novel for you for there is a lot to ponder in this one Nevertheless I must hurry to add the novel is not written as a meditativephilosophical ssay or anything like that Not at all This philosophical aspect of the novel is what first comes to my mind because it is what personally interests me the most but really there is the main story sub stories plot and all for some perhaps this main story is the most important aspect of the novel For me it is the character study but these things are always subjectiveSo
If I were to be objective I would have to add that thereI were to be objective I would have to add that there a romantic story within this novel On surface it is a love story with lements of adventure You have a typical damsel in distress syndrome a young lady in love with a man who offered her protection plus a whole cast of villains to spice things up That does sound like an adventure doesn t it There is than romance and adventure to this novel though Once the action picks up Victory turns into a psychological thriller In a way perhaps it is possible to say *There Are Elements Of * are Malakai (Wicked Games, elements of thriller from the very start but naturally this is open to interpretation I won t attempt to put this novel into any fixed category However I will say that if you go into this onexpecting Conrad to weave infinite meaning into a story and show off this mastery over language well you won t be disappointed Basically many typical Conrad The Carpenters Wife and Heart of Stone elements and formulas are present in this one In Victory you will find an impressive cast of characters introduced and described within a complicated narrative that somehow manages to feel intimate I always wondered how Conrad manages to do that but now that I think of it he s hardly the first English author who has used a complicated narrative voice think of Wuthering Heights and managed to make it sound plausible Conrad is a great writer no doubt about that and as I already said Victory is written in his signature style Typically for Conrad the protagonist of the novel will face moral dilemmas and rexamine his view of the world The setting for this novel is a tropical destination inhabited by both locals and Europeans Hence there are some colonial references I would say that a motif of cultural and civilization clash is present but not very prominent The nding might appear rushed but I think it was actually carefully planned The slow introduction is necessary because of the detailed character study The protagonist of this novel Heyst needs a long introduction because it is the only way we can truly understand his actions in my. Axel Heyst a dreamer and a restless drifter believes he can avoid suffering by cutting himself off from others Then he becomes involved in the operation of a coal company on a remote island in the Malay Archipelago and when it fails he turns his back on humanity.