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Main page » Fiction literature » Victory: An Island Tale By Joseph Conrad (Jozef Konrad Korzeniowski)


Victory: An Island Tale By Joseph Conrad (Jozef Konrad Korzeniowski)

 
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"Victory" is structurally more accessible than some of Conrads other novels. The narrative technique does not obscure things as much as in some others. Second: the story can be read as a thriller and works well as such. Maybe most important: the hero is a positive guy. Heyst is an oddball, an outsider, but he is likable. He is no fallen angel like Kurtz, no contemptible fool like Almayer, no low life like the secret agent.

Heyst lives on an island in the Java sea, where he had been manager of a failed coal mining company. He rescues a young English woman from miserable circumstances in Surabaya, making an enemy in her hotelier suitor in the process. That man is besieged by a trio of international gangsters, whom he manages to deflect: he turns them against Heyst by spinning yarns about his alleged hidden wealth. The gang goes for Heyst...

There is more to it than meets the eye, but even the surface is strong enough. There are ways to read it as a variation on the Tempest.
It is certainly a masterpiece in its use of slanderous gossip as narrative device.
If you don't know Conrad yet, Victory is maybe a good place to start.



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Tags: Heyst, There, narrative, Conrad, Victory