1st Edition

Conrad, Autobiographical Remembering, and the Making of Narrative Identity

By Xiaoling Yao Copyright 2023

    Drawing on recent studies on life writing, memory, the narrative turn, and psychology, Conrad, Autobiographical Remembering, and the Making of Narrative Identity is the first major work that extensively explores the dynamic interplay between Conrad’s autobiographical remembering and storytelling in relation to his identity construction within a historical and cultural context. This unique perspective makes the book particularly attractive for students, teachers, and researchers of Conrad. Contrary to the prevalent "achievement-and-decline" paradigm that implies a decline in quality of Conrad’s works in his later period, this volume contends that Conrad’s later works continue to engage with the complex questions of memory, identity, and culture, demonstrating a sustained commitment to exploring the intricacies of the human experiences. Essential reading for Conrad enthusiasts, but also for those who seek to explore how memory studies in literature intersect with psychology, philosophy, and cultural studies.

    Introduction: Conrad as a Poetic Rememberer

    Chapter One: Future-oriented Remembering: Almayer’s Folly and A Personal Record

    Chapter Two: Memory as An Interpretative Feat: "An Outpost of Progress," Heart of Darkness, and the Other

    Chapter Three: Community-mediated Memory: Remembering Lord Jim

    Chapter Four: Emotion-mediated Memory: The Conflation of Past and Present in The Shadow-Line

    Conclusion: A New Metaphor of Memory


    Xiaoling Yao is Lecturer of English at East China Normal University in Shanghai, China. She obtained her PhD in English Literature from Nanyang Technological University, Singapore. Her research interests include memory, narrative identity, spatiality, and modernist literature and culture.