Of Joseph Conrad, H.L. Mencken has written: ‘There was something almost suggesting the vastness of a natural phenomenon. He transcended all the rules. There have been perhaps, greater novelists, but I believe that he was incomparably the greatest artist whoever wrote a novel.’
Originally published in 1957, the year of the centenary of Conrad’s birth, and although he was firmly established among the world’s great literary figures, little was known about him generally, beyond the fact that he was himself once a sailor, and that the language he handled with such mastery was not the one to which he was born. This was described as the definitive biography, written by one of Conrad’s closest friends, to whom the novelist willed his personal papers. It took many years to prepare and the author travelled extensively in the lands that Conrad knew and wrote about. He writes with clarity, compassion and understanding of Conrad’s childhood in Russia (where the father was exiled for Polish nationalist activities); of how the youth of fifteen, who had never seen the sea before, became a sailor; of how at twenty-nine he became a British subject and master of his own ship; of how in 1894 he became a novelist almost by accident, rose rapidly to literary fame, found new friends and established himself in literary history.
This is a record of the strangest and most enigmatic of lives, fascinating and authoritative at the same time.
Foreword. 1. The Polish Cradle (1857-1874) 2. French Days (1874-1878) 3. Youth (1878-1883) 4. Landfalls and Departures (1883-1886) 5. Meeting Almayer (1887) 6. First Command (1888) 7. The Pearl of the Ocean (1888) 8. Heart of Darkness (1889-1890) 9. ‘Twixt Land and Sea (1891-1894) 10. Within the Tides (1894-1896) 11. The Weight of the Burden (1897-1904) 12. Under Western Eyes (1905-1914) 13. Poland Revisited (1914) 14. Last Days (1915-1924). Appendix. Bibliography.
Joseph Conrad (1857-1924) is widely considered one the great modern writers in English literature. This 21-volume set contains titles, originally published between 1976 and 1990 as well as a biography from 1957 written by one of his closest friends. The first 18 books are a set of concordances and indexes to Conrad’s printed works, which were part of a project directed by Todd K. Bender at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, USA and are among the first attempts to use the power of computers to enhance our reading environment and assist in lexicography, scholarly editing, and literary analysis. The set also contains a meticulously compiled bibliography of writings on Joseph Conrad, as well as an original and powerful analysis of his major work.