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Tragedy and technique in the novels of Joseph Conrad : an examination of artistic development from Almayer's… Chippindale, Nigel K. 1970

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TRAGEDY AND TECHNIQUE IH THE NOVELS OF JOSEPH CONRAD An Examination of A r t i s t i c Development from Almayer's F o l l y to Lord Jim and Under Western Eyes by NIGEL K. CHIPPINDALE B . S c , Universi ty of B r i t i s h Columbia, 1961 A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF ARTS i n the Department of English We accept t h i s thesis as conforming to the r e qui r e d t and a THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA January, 1970 In p r e s e n t i n g t h i s t h e s i s in p a r t i a l f u l f i l m e n t o f the requirements f o r an advanced degree at the U n i v e r s i t y o f B r i t i s h Columbia, I agree t h a t the L i b r a r y s h a l l make i t f r e e l y a v a i l a b l e f o r r e f e r e n c e and s t u d y . I f u r t h e r agree tha p e r m i s s i o n f o r e x t e n s i v e copying o f t h i s t h e s i s f o r s c h o l a r l y purposes may be granted by the Head of my Department or by h i s r e p r e s e n t a t i v e s . I t i s understood t h a t copying o r p u b l i c a t i o n o f t h i s t h e s i s f o r f i n a n c i a l g a i n s h a l l not be a l l o w e d w i t h o u t my w r i t t e n p e r m i s s i o n . Department of E ngl i s h The U n i v e r s i t y o f B r i t i s h Columbia Vancouver 8, Canada Date A p r i l 29. 1970 i i ABSTRACT Tragedy and comedy are, i n Conrad's phrase, "but a matter of the v i s u a l angle . " Tragedy focusses on the i n d i v i d u a l , comedy on the human community, but each must partake of the other f o r completion. The aesthetic form of a work of l i t e r a t u r e represents an order which prevai ls against the chaos of events, producing i n the reader a tension between aloofness and involvement. Conrad's f a i l u r e to f i n d a technique capable of f u l l y achieving t h i s tension caused his early works to f a l l short of rendering a t ragic v i s i o n , but h is discovery of the p o s s i b i l i t i e s inherent i n the use of a narrator allowed his f i c t i o n from The Nigger of the "Narcissus" to Lord Jim to transcend his e a r l i e r l i m i t a t i o n s . By the time he wrote Under Western Eyes, Conrad no longer needed a narrator such as Marlow to achieve distance and was able to u t i l i z e h is narrator i n other ways. In doing so, he was able to create a more t r a d i t i o n a l tragedy. Almayer's F o l l y , the most successful of the "May-layan" novels, presents AlmayerTs tragedy as i r o n i c comedy, and only occasionally f a l l s into the cynicism to which i t s pessimistic philosophy i s prey. An Outcast of the Islands. i i i however, despite advances i n characterization and plot dev-elopment, i s too overt ly and d i s c u r s i v e l y phi losophical to succeed. And The Rescue, with i t s romantically t ragic philosophy and tone, proved to be a cul -de-sac . Breaking o f f from work on The Rescue. Conrad found, i n h is experience as a seaman and i n the employment of a narrator, means of l i b e r a t i o n that allowed him to write an almost wholly posi t ive work, a comedy of salvat ion through communal e f f o r t . The somewhat inconsis tent ly used narrator allows the reader to comprehend both the decadent influence of Wait, the "nigger", and the benign influence of Singleton, who "steered with care , " without l o s i n g sight of the ta le as aesthetic work. Marlow, narrator of "Heart of Darkness" and Lord Jim, performs somewhat the same funct ion, but i s tech-n i c a l l y consistent and stands i n a much more complex r e l a t i o n to the story. "Heart of Darkness" provides the t ragic point of view to complement The Nigger's comedy. Lord Jim represents Conrad's f i r s t achievement of a sustained tragic v i s i o n , yet i t i s not a tragedy; i t s center i s divided between Jim's t ragic experience and Marlow's t ragic awareness. The complex narrative method allows the reader to part ic ipate i n Marlow's search f o r understanding through recognition of Jim as "one of u s . " An image i s created which has the sculptural qual i ty of lacking inherent i v point of view, but which i s never completely sharpened. Jim i s important to Marlow f o r the romantic i l l u s i o n to which he i s true and which seems to o f f e r a p o s s i b i l i t y of f i n d i n g d i g n i t y . S te in ' s b u t t e r f l i e s symbolize t h i s dream, while h i s beetles symbolize the c o u n t e r - i l l u s i o n of the r e a l i s t s l i k e Brown. Marlow, aware of the i l l u s o r y nature of both, seeks an integrated v i s i o n . The language teacher of Under Western Eyes i s used d i f f e r e n t l y from Marlow. He i s i r o n i c a l l y presented as an impartial recorder of events, helping to c l a r i f y the p o l i t -i c a l differences but human s i m i l a r i t i e s between Russia and the West. Razumov i s unlike Jim i n that he s tarts from a " r e a l i s t i c " i l l u s i o n of worldly success and i s brought by circumstances to a v i s i o n of human contact, a r a d i c a l t rans-formation, and one of which he i s f u l l y aware. T h e novel i s a tragedy i n the conventional sense and i s a profound treatment of the r e l a t i o n between a man and h i s society, yet, despite such effect ive techniques as the use of Chris t ian a l lusions to es tabl ish a shared set of values, i t lacks the richness of Lord Jim. Abstract approved V CONTENTS page INTRODUCTIONt THE CRITICAL APPROACH 1 CHAPTER I : THS FIRST DECADE 15 CHAPTER I I I LORD J I M ^3 CHAPTER I I I : UNDER WESTERN EYES 82 CONCLUSION 119 F O O T N O T E S • • • • • • • • • • • • • • « • • « • • • « « • # • • • * # • » « _ X 2 2 v i ACKNOWLEDGEMENT I wish to thank Lee M. Whitehead, D. Marc Beach and William Messenger, the members of my committee, f o r t h e i r assistance and encouragement i n the writ ing and r e v i s i n g of t h i s t h e s i s . More important, even, than their advice as scholars were their attitudes towards l i t e r a t u r e and the function of c r i t i c i s m . Their understanding of what I was attempting to achieve allowed me to go beyond the safely l imi ted topic I might otherwise have chosen and r i s k a larger one. For my successes they must share the c r e d i t ; the f a i l u r e s are a l l my own* In p a r t i c u l a r , I wish to thank Dr. Whitehead. Nowhere have I adequately acknowledged my debt to his doctoral d i s -sertat ion, for i t s influence on my ideas was too broad to allow a few spec i f i c references to indicate i t s scope. It was Dr. Whitehead's Conrad seminar i n 1968-69 that provided the impetus and di rec t ion for my work. And his personal assistance, during a year of sabbatical leave, contributed immeasurably to the completion of my work. INTRODUCTION: THE CRITICAL APPROAGH There are many p o s s i b l e ways of summarizing the c e n t r a l concerns of Conrad's a r t : the m o r a l i t y of the i s o l a t e d hero, the st r u g g l e f o r community, f i d e l i t y to a few simple values, the search f o r meaning i n a godless universe, "rendering the s i g n i f i c a n t on the surface of t h i n g s , " and so on. Lik e a l l attempts to r e v e a l s u c c i n c t -l y the s i g n i f i c a n c e In a complex and subtle experience, such formulae are t r u l y meaningful only to those who have already comprehended the experience. And a r t i s experience; i t i s not r e d u c i b l e . Being experience I t i s n e c e s s a r i l y sensuous and must be apprehended by the senses of some p a r t i c u l a r human being. As a consequence, there i s I n e v i t -ably some degree of s u b j e c t i v i t y i n our a p p r e c i a t i o n of a r t , and t h i s i s not something to be r e g r e t t e d . The c r i t i c must approach h i s task In a s p i r i t of generosity, seeking not to expose the f a i l i n g s of h i s subject and to rank h i s works i n some grand and absolute h i e r a r c h y , nor to a c t as a p o l o g i s t (perhaps with the Intention of r e o r d e r i n g the h i e r a r c h y ) , but attempting to a s s i s t the reader i n more f u l l y experiencing the work. As Susan Sontag says of what she considers some examples of good c r i t i c i s m , "These are essays which r e v e a l the sensuous surface of a r t without mucking about i n i t . " 1 2 The idea that the c r i t i c helps the reader to ex-perience a work of l i t e r a t u r e leads to a r e j e c t i o n of h i s p o s s i b l e r o l e as " i n t e r p r e t e r " . He i s not to be seen as transforming a work so as to make i t "r e l e v a n t " f o r a modern reader by showing that i t s various elements " r e a l l y " mean something other than what they seem to mean, according to some scheme f o r decoding the work. Experience i s not to be decoded? I t i s not a message. Atta c k i n g the demands of some c r i t i c s that c r i t i c i s m be a "more adequate rendering" of the a r t i s t ' s intended meaning, Susanne Langer says, "A 'more adequate r e n d e r i n g ' would be more, not l e s s , p o e t i c ; i t would be a b e t t e r poem."3 Stephen Spender says, quoting S h e l l e y , that the a r t i s t ' s task i s to help us to "imagine that which we know,"^ and Conrad speaks of i t s being "to make you hear, to make you f e e l — i t i s , before a l l , to make you see. The c r i t i c ' s task, then, i s to help us to imagine, to f e e l , to see. Since t h i s i s hardly the occasion on which to attempt "a b e t t e r poem," what can the pages that f o l l o w do to r e v e a l something of the "sensuous su r f a c e " of Conrad's work? A surface has q u a l i t i e s besides simply texture. The texture of a piece of w r i t i n g i s revealed by a close t e x t u a l a n a l y s i s , but an a p p r e c i a t i o n of i t s 3 l a r g e r features r e q u i r e s an examination of the underlying s t r u c t u r e s ; the s c u l p t o r must understand the anatomy of h i s subject to capture i t s s u r f a c e . In t h i s paper, I am attempting to e l u c i d a t e some of Conrad's b a s i c concepts, to r e l a t e them to the forms and textures of two of h i s major works, and to show something of the changes that took place i n h i s a r t i s t i c method and t h i n k i n g as he matured and overcame problems which he chose to t a c k l e . Even the most casual reader of Conrad's f i c t i o n , or of h i s l e t t e r s and essays, must soon be struck by the frequency of appearance of two words, "tragedy" and " i l l u s i o n " , and of t h e i r synonyms and v a r i a n t s . When one comes to examine any s u b s t a n t i a l body of Conrad's work, one discovers that the two words o f f e r an important key to an understanding of the conceptual core around which the a r t i s developed. For Conrad, the tragedy of human l i f e l i e s i n the paradox that i t i s man's i l l u s i o n s — h i s dreams and nightmares, h i s i d e a l s — t h a t give meaning to h i s l i f e , but which, because of t h e i r u n v e r i f i a b l e nature, threaten always to c o l l a p s e under the a c t i o n of m a t e r i a l circumstances, l e a v i n g him d i s i l l u s i o n e d , des-troyed. In large p a r t , man's humanity l i e s i n h i s having a choice of dreams, "a choice of nightmares," In terms of which to create the meaning of h i s world. Only by renouncing a l l but the i d e a l of animal s u r v i v a l can man 4 be safe from the p o s s i b i l i t y of d i s i l l u s i o n m e n t , but, even i f t h i s were more than a t h e o r e t i c a l p o s s i b i l i t y , by doing so he would be renouncing h i s humanity. This T i e w depends, of course, on the d e n i a l of the existence of absolute values such as those embedded i n a r e l i g i o u s v i s i o n of man's f a t e . I f there were a God, man could escape the absurdity of h i s existence, though not necessar-i l y i t s tragedy. Underlying Conrad's sense of the tragedy of l i f e i s an a l l - p e r v a d i n g sense of the f r a g i l i t y of man's be-l i e f s and even of the r e a l i t y of the worlds " L i f e i s a Dream," he quotes from Calderon.^ Perhaps a s i g n i f i c a n t f a c t o r i n causing Conrad to be so acutely aware of r e a l i t y as i l l u s i o n was h i s t r i l l n g u a l l s m j i t i s commonly observed by those who choose to l i v e t h e i r l a t e r l i v e s i n a language other than that of t h e i r childhhod that t h e i r sense of r e a l i t y and i d e n t i t y i s profoundly a f f e c t e d . ? Be that as I t may, what I am concerned with i n t h i s paper i s the process of development which Conrad's a r t underwent as he struggled to give expression to h i s v i s i o n of the world. I do not mean to imply by t h i s that he had i n h i s mind, when he so c a s u a l l y began Almayer's F o l l y one morning Q a f t e r breakfast, some c l e a r conceptual seheme which he then proceeded to work out i n f i c t i o n ; r a t h e r , the attempt to set f o r t h the concrete d e t a i l s of a p a r t l y remembered, 5 p a r t l y imagined episode i m p l i c i t l y demanded the gradual development of a reasonably coherent set of ideas. That imagination and reason, form and content, v i s i o n and idea are inseparably l i n k e d i s a major premise of t h i s paper. I have r e f e r r e d i n my t i t l e to "tragedy and tech-nique," intending by t h i s to suggest j u s t sueh a l i n k i n g as I asserted above. The word "tragedy" can be taken i n two senses i n my t i t l e and i n such d i s c u s s i o n s as I w i l l engage i n regarding Conrad's work. F i r s t , i t can r e f e r to a p a r t i c u l a r a t t i t u d e towards l i f e or to a p a r t i c u l a r c l a s s i f i c a t i o n of l i f e ' s events. In i t s simplest sense, we use "tragedy" i n regard to unexpected d e a t h — a " t r a g i c " a c c i d e n t — o r even to l e s s e r m i s f o r t u n e s — t h e " t r a g i c l o s s of h i s l i f e savings." But outside of t h i s very l i m i t e d context f o r the word, we normally imply some kind of discrepancy between the v i c t i m ' s a s p i r a t i o n s and h i s achievements, a discrepancy which nevertheless lends a degree of meaning to h i s l i f e . More g e n e r a l l y , we use the word "tragedy" to r e f e r to the "human c o n d i t i o n , " the i n e v i t a b i l i t y of death, the ultimate f a i l u r e of dreams. "A man's reach should exceed h i s grasp," we say, and the very f a c t that t h i s statement has become a p l a t i t u d e i n d i c a t e s the extent to which i t s meaning has been i n c o r -porated i n t o a popular Western value-system. 6 But i n l i t e r a r y d i s c u s s i o n "tragedy" has a d i f f e r e n t r e f e r e n t . This second sense, while c l o s e l y r e l a t e d to the f i r s t , i s much more s p e c i f i c , and y e t i n many ways harder to d e f i n e . In i t s most l i m i t e d usage, "tragedy" r e f e r s to a mode of drama, and many c r i t i c s would have i t used only i n t h i s sense i n c r i t i c i s m . But, while r e c o g n i z i n g the v i t a l d i f f e r e n c e s between drama and f i c t i o n , to so r e s t r i c t the word would, f o r my purposes here, simply f o r c e me to adopt an approximate synonym. Therefore, henceforth I w i l l use the term i n i t s l i t e r a r y sense to r e f e r to c e r t a i n p o s s i b i l i t i e s which f i c t i o n shares with drama; 1 t r u s t that the reader w i l l bear i n mind the l a c k of an exact correspondence, and w i l l compensate a c c o r d i n g l y . The problem of d e f i n i n g tragedy i n t h i s l i t e r a r y sense could w e l l form the subject of a paper much longer and more s c h o l a r l y than t h i s one. Such an examination would l e a d i n t o questions of c r i t i c a l h i s t o r y and philosophy which are f a r beyond the present aims. Bather, I have chosen to r e l y on the reader's general understanding of the term, and only to make c e r t a i n c r u c i a l assumptions e x p l i c i t . Taken together, my a s s e r t i o n s about tragedy do not add up to a d e f i n i t i o n , but do provide a b a s i s f o r an understanding of some important aspects of Conrad's f i c t i o n . Such a semi-empirical approach seems to me quite 7 j u s t i f i a b l e , s i n c e i t i s an imaginative grasp of the works, and some notion of t h e i r r e l a t i o n s to one another and to Conrad's a r t i s t i c development, that we are here seeking, r a t h e r than a c r i t i c a l - h i s t o r i c a l p l a c i n g of them. The method w i l l be e c l e c t i c , drawing upon whatever seems to contri b u t e to a c h i e v i n g t h i s end? s c h o l a r s h i p and c r i t i c a l theory are not here to be considered as ends i n themselves. What then does make f o r a predominantly t r a g i c work, as opposed to a work i n v o l v i n g t r a g i c consequences? F i r s t , to d i s t i n g u i s h tragedy from comedy, the t r a g i c focusses on an i n d i v i d u a l and h i s own concept of s e l f , while the comic emphasizes the i n d i v i d u a l ' s r e l a t i o n to the c o n t i n u i t y of community. This suggests that tragedy and comedy are e s s e n t i a l l y d i f f e r e n t treatments of the same human phenomena, and t h i s i s f o r me a b a s i c premise. A dynamic system can be described by reference to an i n f i n i t y of p o s s i b l e coordinate systems, but b a s i c a l l y these are e i t h e r moving with the system or f i x e d i n space. A moving coordinate system allows the observer to concen-t r a t e on the behaviour of one or a few elements of the system against a moving background of passing events; t h i s corresponds roughly to the t r a g i c view, A f i x e d coordinate system emphasizes the flow of the system as a whole, and, while i t s t i l l allows i n d i v i d u a l elements to 8 be I d e n t i f i e d and described, subordinates t h e i r p a r t i c u l a r motions and c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s to the c o n t i n u i t y of the t o t a l system? t h i s corresponds roughly to the comic, The two approaches are equivalent i n t h e i r c a p a b i l i t y to describe a given s e t of events, but the imaginative v i s i o n s presented are quite d i f f e r e n t . This i s e q u a l l y true i n science and i n l i t e r a t u r e . Tragedy, then, f o l l o w s the f a t e of an i n d i v i d u a l human being, allows us to see the world from h i s point of view and r e q u i r e s that we share something of h i s dreams and values, even though a t the same time i t f o r ces us to see him against a background of s o c i e t y . The movie camera of our imaginations tracks him i n the crowd, keeping him most of the time i n the center of i t s f i e l d , and f o c u s s i n g on h i s surroundings only to provide an environment f o r h i s a c t i o n . In comedy, the wide-angle v i s i o n predominates, though i t zooms In f r e q u e n t l y to show the i n d i v i d u a l . A second major premise of my d i s c u s s i o n Is t h a t the t r a g i c q u a l i t i e s of a work derive from t r e a t m e n t — i n Conrad's term, the " r e n d e r i n g " — n o t simply from the a t t i t u d e to l i f e or the general point of view. The tragedy i s , above a l l , a work of a r t , and i t i s the a e s t h e t i c distance from the subject created by the i n -volvement of the reader i n the work as -art that f o r c e s him into the state of tension c h a r a c t e r i s t i c of the 9 experience of a r t . Drawn towards i d e n t i f i c a t i o n with the t r a g i c hero, the reader i s r e s t r a i n e d by i n t e l l e c t u a l and emotional response to the work as a r t ; threatened by the c o l l a p s e of the hero's dreams, the reader's sense of order i s supported by h i s awareness of the form of the work w i t h i n which they are presented. Murray K r i e g e r suggests that . . . so long as tragedy remained a defined l i t e r a r y form, the fearsome chaotic n e c e s s i t i e s of the t r a g i c v i s i o n would have to surrender f i n a l l y to the higher u n i t y which contained them. . . . The d i s c i p -l i n i n g and r e s t r i c t i n g demands upon a e s t h e t i c contemplation made by the rounded a e s t h e t i c whole . . . e f f e c t the c a t h a r s i s demanded by A r i s t o t l e . . . . This roundness, t h i s com-pleteness, c a r r y i n g 'aesthetic d i s -tance ' with i t as i t brings us i t s formal order as a token, a s e c u r i t y —something given i n h a n d — t o guarantee the cosmic order beyond the turbulence i t has conquered.9 Conrad's world, with i t s p r e v a i l i n g sense of i l l u s i o n and ever-present chance of d e s t r u c t i o n , needs t h i s c o u n t e r v a i l i n g a r t i s t i c harmony, l e s t i t s presenta-t i o n become sentimentally p e s s i m i s t i c , or d i s c u r s i v e l y , but not imaginatively, t r a g i c (as happens i n An Outcast of the I s l a n d s ) . On the other hand, the balance can f a i l through the c r e a t i o n of a form so complex and overpowering that the reader has d i f f i c u l t y seeing the work as other 10 than a virtuoso performance. Such, I f i n d , i s the case with Chance, a novel which even a reader as sympathetic to technical complexity as Henry James found to exhibit the characteristics of a task undertaken for the sake of exercising technical s k i l l . 1 0 But when the balance i s achieved, the tension created, as i t i s consistently i n Conrad's greatest works and sporadically i n some of the lesser ones, the result is an Implicit assertion of sol i d a r i t y between a r t i s t and reader that transcends and encompasses a shared feeling of l i f e ' s paradoxical po-tentials for beauty and terror, an assertion of, in Wallace Stevens' words, something "beyond us, yet ourselves. Conrad's works, both f i c t i o n and non-fiction, show him to have constantly striven to develop a technique which would allow him to render his view of l i f e as both tragic and i l l u s o r y . Like any significant a r t i s t , Conrad was always working on the edge of technique, pushing i t as far as possible in an attempt to make It serve his purpose. Only In a few of his minor works do we f e e l a relaxation, an acceptance of an existing technique (pro-bably one he had himself developed) as the form for an idea he wished to convey. On these occasions i t may be legitimate to discuss form and substance separately, but otherwise the struggle for a complete integration of form and substance is as powerful as the struggle for l i f e 11 that i s a t the center of h i s a r t . Like other human a c t i v i t i e s , the a r t i s t ' s task i s seen by Conrad as s y m b o l i c — t h e forms which the a r t i s t creates both stand f o r and are i n themselves examples of the meaning which 1 o he i s seeking. They are not the coding system f o r the message, they are the message. Abandoning the idea that e x p l i c a t i o n w i l l r e v e a l some meaning "symbolized" by the work makes the c r i t i c ' s task a harder but more rewarding one. He Gannot transform and reduce the work to more manageable dimensions by i n t e r p r e t i n g i t , but must str u g g l e with i t i n i t s f u l l s t a t u r e . He can never hope to possess i t , any more than Harlow "possesses" Jim. He may, i f he i s s u c c e s s f u l , a i d other readers i n t h e i r a c h i e v i n g of some f u l l e r imaginative sense of the work, but h i s success, l i k e that of the a r t i s t , i s always a p a r t i a l one. For, as Susanne Langer points out, there are degrees of a r t i s t i c t r u t h , and s i m i l a r l y there are degrees of a p p r e c i a t i o n . 13 C r i t i c i s m can, a t best, allow only a few r e v e a l i n g glimpses of a work; l i m i t a t i o n of i t s o b j e c t i v e i s a n e c e s s a r y — a n d not even p a r t i c u l a r l y r e g r e t t a b l e — r e q u i r e -ment. But some approaches are c l e a r l y more f r u i t f u l than others, and some of an author's works are more amenable to c e r t a i n approaches than are others. This i s why I 12 have chosen to concentrate my a t t e n t i o n on tragedy In Conrad's works, emphasizing h i s a r t i s t i c development by d e a l i n g b r i e f l y with the e a r l y works and more f u l l y with Lord Jim and Under Western Eyes. I have chosen these p a r t i c u l a r novels f o r a number of reasons. Lord Jim i s , without doubt, Conrad's f i r s t f u l l - l e n g t h novel to demonstrate h i s mature a r t i s t r y , and It s p a r t i c u l a r e x p l o i t a t i o n of the technique of a n a r r a t o r w i t h i n the s t o r y t e s t i f i e s to a s t r u g g l e with the nature of a r t and of r e a l i t y going on w i t h i n Conrad. Despite P.H. L e a v l s ' complaint that the Patusan chapters of the novel f a i l to "develop or e n r i c h the c e n t r a l i n t e r e s t , which consequently, eked out to provide the substance of a novel, comes to seem decidedly t h l n , " - ^ many c r i t i c s , i n c l u d i n g myself, have found the novel to have a unique r i c h n e s s . I t s richness i s that of the fugue: a theme which seems s u p e r f i c i a l l y " t h i n " i s subjected to v a r i a t i o n , r e v e a l i n g i t i n a l l i t s p o t e n t i a l . The form i s l i a b l e to tediousness, but i n the hands of a B a c h — o r a C o n r a d — can give r i s e to a textured work of power and beauty. A d i f f e r e n t kind of richness i s possessed by Hostromo, the c l o s e s t musical analogy to which i s , I suppose, a Beethoven symphony; l e s s textured than s t r u c t u r e d , both have the s p e c i a l power of a world created. But Mostromo I have chosen not to t r e a t , and n e i t h e r w i l l I deal with 13 The Secret Agent, f o r these are works that l a c k the c l e a r c e n t r a l f i g u r e of Lord Jim. T h e i r scope i s broad, and, though they a r i s e from and present a t r a g i c v i s i o n , t h e i r focus i s not on i n d i v i d u a l tragedy but upon the tragedy of s o c i e t y . T h e y must, f o r me, remain subjects f o r another study. Under Western Eyes p a r a l l e l s Lord Jim i n a number of Important ways, yet Is a l t o g e t h e r d i f f e r e n t i n tone. Both concern I d e a l i s t i c young men whose i d e a l s are t e s t e d i n a chance encounter with r e a l i t y , but whereas Lord Jim i s dominated by a sense of questioning, Under Western Eyes seems to express a more p o s i t i v e v i s i o n of human l i f e , d espite a m u l t i p l i c i t y of i r o n i e s i n both s i t u a t i o n and technique. Although i n some ways f o l l o w i n g from Nostromo and The Secret Agent i n d e a l i n g with the p o l i t i c a l b a s i s of s o c i e t y , Under Western Eyes i s , I suggest, more deeply concerned with the f a t e of the i n d i v i d u a l , and i s , there-f o r e , a more s u i t a b l e subject f o r an examination of the extent to which the novel i n Conrad's hands becomes tragedy according to the terms which I b r i e f l y suggested e a r l i e r i n t h i s s e c t i o n . Of the l a t e r works, V i c t o r y and The Rover could be discussed here with considerable relevance, but space and time p r o h i b i t an adequate c o n s i d e r a t i o n of them. 14 My b a s i c contention i s that i n the two major novels with which I have chosen to de a l Conrad came clos e to achieving that " p e r f e c t blending of form and substance" which he admitted to be s t r i v i n g f o r . No a r t i s t can f u l l y achieve i t i n a l i f e t i m e , but i n the process of s t r i v i n g , the great a r t i s t creates a meaning i n the tension to which he subjects himself that unites him with the serious and sympathetic reader i n a bond that t r a n s -cends human l o n e l i n e s s . CHAPTER I THE FIRST DECADE That twenty f i v e years had to elapse after Conrad's death before his rank as a major figure in Twentieth Century literature was recognized is an indication of the extent to which his works anticipated the themes which have proved to be central to modern f i c t i o n . For many people, Conrad was the author of "The Lagoon", "Youth", The Nigger of the "Narcissus" and other "poetic" stories of exotic lands or of the days of s a i l i n g ships that appeared on school reading l i s t s . Lord Jim was widely read as the tale of a romantic young man who redeemed a moment of cowardice by making "the ultimate s a c r i f i c e . " But most of Conrad's other works were v i r t u a l l y ignored except by a few c r i t i c s and writers. Despite F. Scott Fitzgerald's comment that Nostromo was "the greatest novel since Vanity Fair,"' 1' and Hemingway's famous remark that "If I knew that by grinding Mr. E l i o t into a fine dry powder and sprinkling that powder over Mr. Conrad's grave Mr. Conrad would shortly appear, looking very annoyed at the forced return, and commence writing, I would leave for London early tomorrow with a sausage grinder," i t was not u n t i l the forties and early f i f t i e s that Conrad began to receive widespread and serious c r i t i c a l attention. Amongst 16 the c r i t i c s who d i d most t o prepare the way f o r the r e -d i s c o v e r y of Conrad were David Daiches, F.R, L e a v i s , Morton Dauwen Z a b e l , A l b e r t Guerard and V.S. P r i t c h e t t i n the E n g l i s h - s p e a k i n g w o r l d , and Andre Gide i n France. By i 9 6 0 , F r e d e r i c k R. K a r l was a b l e t o say t h a t "next t o Joyce and perhaps F a u l k n e r , Conrad i s a t p r e s e n t the most d i s c u s s e d of any modern author w r i t i n g i n E n g l i s h . " 3 This r e v a l u a t i o n has come about p r i m a r i l y as a r e s u l t of the r e c o g n i t i o n of two t h i n g s : Conrad's concern w i t h t h a t c h a r a c t e r i s t i c Twentieth Century p r e o c c u p a t i o n , "man a l o n e " , and h i s development of complex and s u b t l e techniques of f i c t i o n f o r the r e n d e r i n g of h i s v i s i o n . U n l i k e h i s p r e d e c e s s o r s , such as George E l i o t , who s t a t e d t h a t "there i s no p r i v a t e l i f e which has not been d e t e r -mined by a wider p u b l i c l i f e , " ^ and went on t o s u b t i t l e Mlddlemarch "A Study of P r o v i n c i a l L i f e , " Conrad tends to I s o l a t e h i s c h a r a c t e r s m o r a l l y and, sometimes, p h y s i c -a l l y . Rather than b e i n g a b l e t o d e f i n e themselves i n t h e i r i n t e r a c t i o n s w i t h other members of s o c i e t y , they a r e , by. t h e i r i s o l a t i o n , s t r i p p e d of the comfortable i l l u s i o n s which have g i v e n t h e i r l i v e s meaning. No lo n g e r a b l e merely t o r e a c t , they a re f o r c e d t o a c t , t o i n i t i a t e , and to commit themselves to the consequences o f , t h e i r a c t i o n s . Decoud s p r i n g s t o mind immediately as the most 17 obvious example, h i s s u i c i d e r e v e a l i n g an i n a b i l i t y t o come to terms w i t h h i m s e l f In the absence of othe r s a g a i n s t whom to d e f i n e h i m s e l f . I t i s the c r u c i a l moment of commitment i n the absence of f i x e d v a l u e s t h a t i n t e r e s t s Conrad, f o r t h i s i s the p o i n t of t e s t . S i n c e r e a c t i o n stemming from a w i l l i n g n e s s t o accept the consequences, and i n s p i t e of a knowledge t h a t these consequences cannot be f o r e s e e n i s the i d e a l a g a i n s t which h i s c h a r a c t e r s are t e s t e d . And i n a t t e m p t i n g t o render t h i s v i s i o n of man's p o s s i b i l i t i e s , Conrad, l i k e every g r e a t a r t i s t , had t o remake some of the t o o l s g i v e n him by p r e v i o u s w r i t e r s and fo r g e new ones when the o l d ones proved inadequate. Conrad's f i r s t n o v e l , Almayer's F o l l y , a p a r t from i t s much remarked e x o t i c s e t t i n g , i s s u f f i c i e n t l y i n the t r a d i t i o n of the n i n e t e e n t h - c e n t u r y n o v e l t o be t e c h n i c a l l y noteworthy f o r the sake of comparison w i t h Conrad's l a t e r works. I t i s of i n t e r e s t because not o n l y does i t show t h a t Conrad from the v e r y f i r s t was concerned w i t h the themes of tragedy and i l l u s i o n which r u n through a l l h i s s i g n i f i c a n t works, but a l s o i t r e v e a l s something of the problems of the c o n v e n t i o n a l technique which caused him to s e a r c h , through most of h i s w r i t i n g c a r e e r , f o r methods of r e n d e r i n g these themes and t h e i r human m a n i f e s t a t i o n s . The n o v e l tends t o s u f f e r by comparison w i t h the l a t e r 18 works, but i f judged I n i t s own terms i s remarkably s u c c e s s -f u l . Almayer's F o l l y i s predominantly i r o n i c , i n s p i t e of the t r a g i c nature of Almayer's d i s i l l u s i o n m e n t . A l -mayer h i m s e l f i s a p a t h e t i c f i g u r e , but h i s f a t e i s p r e -sented through comedy. The image of Almayer and the monkey b r e a k f a s t i n g t o g e t h e r on bananas, "both hungry, both e a t i n g g r e e d i l y and showering the s k i n s round them r e c k l e s s l y , i n the t r u s t i n g s i l e n c e of p e r f e c t f r i e n d -s h i p , " (197)5 i s a f i n e example of the humour which runs through v i r t u a l l y a l l of Conrad's n o v e l s and reaches a s u s t a i n e d peak i n The S e c r e t Agent. And a l t h o u g h A l -mayer's "pro g r e s s " i s s t e a d i l y d o w n h i l l d e s p i t e the spor-a d i c upward le a p s of h i s dreams, the l o v e between D a i n and Nina o f f s e t s the pathos of h i s s t o r y even as i t b r i n g s about the f i n a l c o l l a p s e of h i s dreams. The very news which r e s u l t s i n Almayer's t u r n i n g to the o b l i v i o n of opium i s t h a t of the b i r t h of h i s grandson, an event r e p r e s e n t i n g l i f e ' s c o n t i n u i t y i n the most d i r e c t way. I t i s to be expected t h a t the predominance of the t r a g i c o r the comic a t t i t u d e w i l l t o some e x t e n t determine the form which the work w i l l t a k e . That t h i s i s so should become c l e a r as we examine s e v e r a l of Conrad's works spanning the two c a t e g o r i e s . But f o r the moment I Intend 19 t o c o n s i d e r the form of Almayer's F o l l y , e s p e c i a l l y as i t i s r e l a t e d to the view of l i f e which the n o v e l p r e -sents and t o the comic treatment which t h a t view i s g i v e n . U n l i k e many of the l a t e r works, such as L o r d J i m and Chance, Almayer's F o l l y has a c h r o n o l o g i c a l and n a r r a t i v e s t r u c t u r e t h a t i s r e l a t i v e l y s t r a i g h t f o r w a r d . The n o v e l begins w i t h the r e t u r n of Daln t o Samblr, an event which i s t o p r e c i p i t a t e the c o l l a p s e of Almayer's dreams of w e a l t h and g l o r y . A f t e r a b r i e f d e s c r i p t i o n of Dain's meeting w i t h Almayer, the n a r r a t i v e s h i f t s about twenty years i n t o the p a s t and begins a r a p i d t r a c i n g of the c r u c i a l events i n Almayer's c a r e e r which l e d him t o h i s p r e s e n t s i t u a t i o n . There i s a s h o r t r e t u r n t o the "present" to d e s c r i b e Dain's meeting w i t h Lakamba, but the second c h a p t e r resumes the s t o r y of Almayer's e a r l i e r l i f e . This s t o r y c o n t i n u e s up to the end of Chapter F i v e , which i s a g a i n concerned w i t h events immediately f o l l o w i n g Dain's r e t u r n . The next f i v e - a n d -one-half chapters cover only a few days, but days i n which the course and meaning of Almayer's l i f e are d r a s t i c a l l y changed through the departure of Nina w i t h Daln. By the middle of the t w e l f t h and f i n a l c h apter, Almayer has burned h i s house and moved t o the " F o l l y " and h i s f i n a l c o l l a p s e has begun. The l a s t few pages of the n o v e l 2 0 cover an indef ini te period of months or years. The only def ini te clues we have are the v i s i t s of the steamship at three-month Intervals , which roughly mark the stages of his decl ine , and the b i r t h of his grandson, presumably about nine months af ter Nina's departure with Dain. The novel closes with Almayer's death, apparently l inked with his taking up of opium smoking as a l a s t measure to help him forget . To summarize, about half the novel is a rapid review of Almayer's l i f e and dreams that led to the events described i n much more d e t a i l i n most of the second half} the l a s t few pages close off his l i f e . The novel i s presented e n t i r e l y as a t h i r d person omniscient narrat ive , with only occasional hints at a par t icular point of view of the kind that Henry James u t i l i z e d . There are v i r t u a l l y no accounts of events given by the characters in the novel—Dain's descr ipt ion of the loss of his ship is one of the few exceptions, and i t is not of any specia l s i g n i f i c a n c e . Thus the only ways in which events and statements can be colored by a par t icular judgement are through direc t statements, either by the author (or his persona) or by the characters about themselves or one another, through irony in the author's presentation, or through irony i m p l i c i t i n the relations between elements of the novel . 21 Perhaps the c h i e f danger t o which i r o n y as a method i s s u b j e c t i s t h a t of s l i p p i n g i n t o c y n i c i s m , I t s e l f a k i n d of s e n t i m e n t a l i t y . And Conrad had no i n t e n t i o n of bein g c y n i c a l i "From a charge of c y n i c i s m I have always shrunk i n s t i n c t i v e l y . I t i s l i k e a charge of b e i n g b l i n d i n one eye, a moral d i s a b l e m e n t , " ^ But i t i s h a r d not to r e g a r d some of h i s more b l a t a n t i r o n i e s as approaching the c y n i c a l , Almayer's house, the c o n c r e t e r e f e r e n t of " f o l l y " , i s named by Jim-Eng "house of heavenly d e l i g h t , " and the l a s t words of the n o v e l a re A b d u l l a • s " p i o u s " " A l l a h ! The M e r c i f u l ! The Compassionate! " The v e r y i r o n y which Conrad used as a means of m a i n t a i n i n g a e s t h e t i c d i s t a n c e becomes a t r a p of p e r s o n a l Involvement. T h i s by no means negates the o v e r a l l e f f e c t i v e n e s s of the n o v e l , but i t does suggest p a r t of the reason why the mood of Almayer's F o l l y remains one of pessimism r a t h e r than tragedy. And pessimism was a view of l i f e which, l i k e i t s c l o s e r e l a t i v e c y n i c i s m , Conrad r e j e c t e d , a t l e a s t as a d e c l a r e d p h i l o s o p h y $ "What one f e e l s so h o p e l e s s l y b a r r e n i n d e c l a r e d pessimism i s j u s t i t s arrogance. I t seems as i f the d i s c o v e r y made by many men a t v a r i o u s times t h a t t h e r e i s much e v i l i n the w o r l d were a source of proud and unholy joy unto some of the modern w r i t e r s . " ' ' Thus, although we see Conrad a g a i n and a g a i n i n h i s l e t t e r s as p r o f o u n d l y p e s s i m i s t i c , i n h i s a r t he was s e e k i n g to conquer t h i s pessimism by an i m p l i c i t a s s e r t i o n of the 22 v a l u e of commitment. I n t h i s , h i s f i r s t s e r i o u s attempt a t the a r t of f i c t i o n , we see Conrad a l r e a d y b r e a k i n g w i t h the e s t a b -l i s h e d both i n the s e t t i n g and I n some of the techniques of Almayer's F o l l y . Indeed, the s e t t i n g i t s e l f i s u t i l i z e d i n one of the dominant techniques of the n o v e l , the use of the e x t e r i o r world t o symbolize the i n t e r n a l d r i v e s of the c h a r a c t e r s . The major example of t h i s i s the way i n which the l i f e f o r c e of the j u n g l e i s p a r a l l e l e d w i t h t h a t of Nina and Dain, the f o r c e t h a t u l t i m a t e l y d e s t r o y s Almayer * s dreams: ...the b i g t r e e s of the f o r e s t , l a s h e d t o g e t h e r w i t h m a n i f o l d bonds by a mass of t a n g l e d c r e e p e r s , l o o k e d down a t the growing young l i f e a t t h e i r f e e t w i t h the somber r e s i g n a t i o n of g i a n t s t h a t had l o s t t h e i r f a i t h i n t h e i r s t r e n g t h . And i n the mids t of them the m e r c i l e s s c r e e p e r s . . , c a r r i e d death to t h e i r v i c t i m s i n an e x u l t i n g r i o t of s i l e n t d e s t r u c t i o n , ( 1 6 5 ) "Could you g i v e me happiness w i t h o u t l i f e ? L i f e ! " she repeated w i t h sudden energy t h a t s e n t the word r i n g i n g over the sea, " L i f e t h a t means power and l o v e , " she added i n a low v o i c e . (190) The Darwinian s t r u g g l e f o r s u r v i v a l i s a t the c e n t e r of the n o v e l both t h e m a t i c a l l y and i m a g i s t i c a l l y , and p r o v i d e s the core of i t s t r a g i c v i s i o n . But the " t r a d i t i o n l e s s " Almayer remains trapped i n h i s dream and can o n l y seek 23 to f o r g e t , not to understand. N i n a i s the one who faoes and accepts the "death and decay" t h a t i s the source and end of l i f e . She has seen the abyss and i s not f r i g h t e n e d . Because of t h i s she i s , i n an important sense, the t r a g i c f i g u r e i n the n o v e l . Here, as i n Lor d Jim, we have a s e p a r a t i o n of s p e c i f i c a l l y t r a g i c f a t e (as d i s t i n g u i s h e d from the g e n e r a l tragedy of l i f e i t s e l f ) from t r a g i c awareness. When we move from Almayer's F o l l y t o An Outcast of the I s l a n d s , we are c o n f r o n t e d w i t h an apparent paradox: w h i l e An Outcast r e p r e s e n t s a c o n s i d e r a b l e s t e p f o r w a r d f o r Conrad i n the s c a l e of i t s u n d e r t a k i n g , and i s e v i d e n t l y a n o v e l t h a t was planned i n advance, a t l e a s t i n i t s Q broad o u t l i n e s , r a t h e r than b e i n g s t a r t e d from a r e -c o l l e c t e d i n c i d e n t , i t i s n e v e r t h e l e s s , i n many r e s p e c t s a l e s s s u c c e s s f u l n o v e l than Almayer. I t i s c h i e f l y i n t e r e s t i n g f o r our purposes f o r the ex t e n t t o which i t r e v e a l s the d i r e c t i o n Conrad's t h i n k i n g was t a k i n g a f t e r the completion of Almayer's F o l l y , and f o r i t s demonstra-t i o n of the t e c h n i c a l d i f f i c u l t i e s Conrad encountered i n at t e m p t i n g t o move beyond t h a t n o v e l . In s h o r t , Conrad had developed p h i l o s o p h i c a l l y , but as a w r i t e r had e n t e r e d what was to prove, f o r him a t l e a s t , a c u l - d e - s a c i n f i c t i o n a l t e c h n i q u e . A new s t a r t was to be needed? but f i r s t An Outcast had t o be w r i t t e n and The Rescue begun before h i s struggles would show Conrad the extent of h i s entrapment and cause him to seek another form of render-i n g . An Outcast of the Islands " i s a t r u l y t r a g i c t a l e , f o r Willems, no ordinary t h i e f , i s a man d r i v e n by dark f o r c e s to a t e r r i f y i n g f a t e . " So says the b l u r b on the 9 back of one of my copies of the novel. And despite i t s r a t h e r dubious source, t h i s statement can serve to suggest some important changes i n Conrad's approach. Willems, u n l i k e Almayer, i s not a man whose dreams are destroyed by outside f o r c e s , but ra t h e r one whose down-f a l l comes about as a d i r e c t r e s u l t of something w i t h i n himself which he comes to recognize. "The wise, the strong, the respected, have no s c r u p l e s . Where there are scruples there can be no power. On that t e x t he preached o f t e n to the young men."(8) Willems has a strong sense of h i s own greatness, a w i l l to power, and "an i n s t i n c t i v e contempt f o r the honest s i m p l i c i t y of that work which l e d to nothing he cared f o r " (17) . I t Is t h i s which causes h i s " l i t t l e excursion i n t o the wayside quag-mires" (3) to "borrow" money from h i s employer, and I t i s t h i s which leads him to see A i s s a , not as a human being, but as something " a l l to my s e l f — u n d e r my own i n f l u e n c e — t o f a s h i o n — t o mould—to a d o r e — t o s o f t e n . . . I would be a l l the world to her! "(9 2). Here we have a 25 character quite different from Almayer. Willems' dreams go beyond f i n a n c i a l and s o c i a l success to envision the world as his creation, but the very imagination that allows him to see himself as superior to other men also allows him to comprehend the magnitude of possible d i s -aster t It was the unreasoning fear of this glimpse into the unknown things, into those motives, Impulses, desires he had ignored, but that had l i v e d i n the breasts of despised men, close by his side, and were revealed to him for a second, to be hidden again behind the black mists of doubt and deception. It was not death that frightened himi i t was the horror of bewildered l i f e where he could understand nothing and nobody around him; where he could guide, con-t r o l , comprehend nothing and no one— not even himself (1^-9). Almayer's worlds are separate, the dream world within, the nightmare outsides Willems' are unified—heaven and h e l l are part of the same dream and the same r e a l i t y . His vision is tragic. But i n spite of the power of the vi s i o n inherent in An Outcast of the Islands, a v i s i o n of tragedy both happening to and comprehended by the central figure, the novel i t s e l f can hardly be called tragic. It is too overtly philosophical, too analytic, too discursive. We are told about Willems' tragedy, shown i t , and given 26 i t s y mbolized. We admire the t e c h n i c a l advances Conrad has made s i n c e Almayer's F o l l y , f i n d i n g the c h a r a c t e r s of Willems and A l s s a , i n p a r t i c u l a r , b e t t e r r e a l i z e d than those of Almayer and Nin a i n the e a r l i e r n o v e l . l e t we are not as s a t i s f i e d as w i t h the e a r l i e r n o v e l . What i s l a c k i n g i s t h a t e n i g m a t i c t h i n g " r e n d e r i n g " , the u n i f y i n g of technique and substance i n t o a s i n g l e form which b o t h c o n t a i n s and i s i t s own meaning. One of the most s i g n i f i c a n t developments i n An Outcast of the I s l a n d s i s the f u l l e r p r e s e n t a t i o n of L i n g a r d than was g i v e n i n Almayer's F o l l y . L i n g a r d was t o become the c e n t r a l f i g u r e i n The Rescue, and even though t h a t n o v e l proved i m p o s s i b l e f o r Conrad to f i n i s h f o r over twenty y e a r s , the d i f f e r e n c e s between L i n g a r d and Willems or Almayer p o i n t the way t o the f r e s h s t a r t t h a t came w i t h The Nigger of the " N a r c i s s u s " . I m p l i c i t i n L i n g a r d ' s c h a r a c t e r i s the p o s s i b i l i t y , o r even the i n e v i t a b i l i t y , of h i s own d e s t r u c t i o n coming about not through h i s de-f e c t s but through h i s v i r t u e s . H i s e g o t i s t i c a l , but n e v e r t h e l e s s r e a l , g e n e r o s i t y a r i s e s from a sense of r e s p o n s i b i l i t y f o r h i s f e l l o w man: "We are r e s p o n s i b l e f o r one a n o t h e r — w o r s e l u c k , " (40). Thus we see here the beginnings of a theme w i t h r i c h e r p o s s i b i l i t i e s than t h a t of An Outcast, f o r the i d e a of the t r a g i c f i g u r e ' s d o w n f a l l r e s u l t i n g from the ve r y q u a l i t i e s t h a t make him admirable 27 o f f e r s a s t r o n g l i n k w i t h the t r a g i c t r a d i t i o n ; i t i n t r o -duces a complex view of human f a t e . I f a c h a r a c t e r i s de s t r o y e d by h i s v i c e s , then doesn't he deserve h i s f a t e ? But i f he i s d e s t r o y e d by h i s " v i r t u e s " , t h e n can we any l o n g e r b e l i e v e i n a s i m p l e dichotomy i n t o " r i g h t " and "wrong"? T h i s l a t t e r q u e s t i o n c a s t s doubt upon any s i m p l e a n a l y s i s of human a c t i o n and, i f s k i l l f u l l y rendered i n a work of a r t , can enable the r e a d e r t o engage i n the d u a l experience t h a t I d i s c u s s e d i n the p r e v i o u s c h a p t e r ; of tragedy as human predicament and humanly c r e a t e d a r t form. In The Rescue, Conrad p l a c e s the f i g u r e of L i n g a r d a t the c e n t e r , c r e a t e s a s i t u a t i o n i n which h i s benevolent impulse t o "rescue" people i s drawn i n two e q u a l l y v a l i d but m u t u a l l y e x c l u s i v e d i r e c t i o n s , and g e n e r a l l y prepares the m a t e r i a l f o r f i n a l l y a c h i e v i n g a sense of tragedy i n the n o v e l . Yet the tone of the n o v e l i s predominantly r o m a n t i c , as Conrad h i m s e l f was q u i t e w i l l i n g t o admits "Any tragedy there i s i n t h i s denouement w i l l be a l l i n the man's f e e l i n g s ; and whatever v a l u e there may be i n t h a t must depend on the success of the romantic p r e s e n t a -t i o n . " 1 0 T h i s comment came i n 1 9 1 8 , when, out of a sense of duty t h a t reminds one of L i n g a r d ' s "One must see i t c l e a r f o r r u n n i n g before g o i n g b e l o w — f o r good" (Outcast, 1 9 1 ) , Conrad took up and f i n i s h e d the n o v e l . 2 8 But w h i l e he was s t r u g g l i n g w i t h i t o r i g i n a l l y he was aware of i t s d e f e c t s and m e r i t s : " . . . unable t o t r y f o r something b e t t e r , h i g h e r , I d i d t r y f o r the v i s u a l e f f e c t . And I must t r u s t to t h a t f o r the e f f e c t of the whole s t o r y from which I cannot evolve any meaning—and have g i v e n up t r y i n g . " 1 1 Perhaps from the o r d i n a r y reader's p o i n t of v i e w the most s e r i o u s d e f e c t of The Rescue i s i t s e x c e s s i v e s e r i o u s n e s s . Tragedy i s o b v i o u s l y a s e r i o u s business and no one i s l i k e l y t o f i n d the f a t e s of J i m , Mrs. V e r l o c , Raxumov or Heyst amusing $ y e t i n the nove l s i n which these c h a r a c t e r s appear and i n o t h e r s , the re a d e r i s a b l e t o a p p r e c i a t e and experience a s e r i o u s v i s i o n w i t h o u t f e e l i n g the o p p r e s s i v e burden of s o l e m n i t y t h a t dominates The Rescue. What d i s t i n g u i s h e s The Rescue from these l a t e r n o v e l s , and from Almayer's F o l l y , i s Conrad's f a i l u r e t o d i s c o v e r h i s "formula" f o r the s i t u -a t i o n and c h a r a c t e r s he has c r e a t e d . L i n g a r d i s not u n l i k e J i m , y e t The Rescue i s t o t a l l y u n l i k e L o r d J i m : one b i g d i f f e r e n c e i s the most obvious o n e — t h e absence of a Marlow to i n t e r c e d e between us and the c h a r a c t e r s . Thus, romantic and s e r i o u s l i k e Conrad h i m s e l f , The Rescue remains an o v e r a l l f a i l u r e because of the author's i n a b i l i t y t o work "beyond h i m s e l f " . 29 T a m i n g from The Rescue t o The Nigger of the " N a r c i s s u s " , the r e a d e r f e e l s something l i k e what Conrad must have f e l t when he t u r n e d away from h i s u n p r o d u c t i v e l a b o r s on the f i r s t t o w r i t e a s t o r y t h a t i s a d i r e c t t r a n s m u t a t i o n of h i s own e x p e r i e n c e , i n which the t e c h -nique has t h a t t r a n s p a r e n t q u a l i t y t h a t a l l o w s one t o a p p r e c i a t e the n o v e l as work of a r t w i t h o u t t h i n k i n g of the s k i l l and l a b o r t h a t must have gone i n t o making i t . I f one a c t u a l l y reads the n o v e l s i n the o r d e r i n which I am d i s c u s s i n g them, no matter how much one may a p p r e c i a t e the Malayan works one i s s t r u c k by a sense of r e l i e f on r e a c h i n g The Nigger> a t l a s t the promise has become r e a l i t y , the s t r a i n has gone, and one no l o n g e r t h i n k s of what Conrad was a t t e m p t i n g , but f e e l s the d i r e c t l i n k of consummate a r t . The bond between men i s a s s e r t e d both i n the s t o r y and through i t . This i s not e s p e c i a l l y a consequence of the f a c t t h a t The Nigger of the " N a r c i s s u s " i s a comedy. F o r comedy, as I suggested e a r l i e r , i s , i n Conrad's words, "but a matter of the v i s u a l angle."-'- 2 Thus the u n r e s e r v e d l y p o s i t i v e tone of the n o v e l d e r i v e s from the " p e r f e c t b l e n d i n g of form and substance," r a t h e r than d i r e c t l y from the s u b j e c t and c h o i c e of comic mode. Conrad "descends w i t h i n h i m s e l f , and i n t h a t l o n e l y r e g i o n of s t r e s s and s t r i f e . . . f i n d s the terms of h i s a p p e a l . . . . t o t h a t 3 0 p a r t of our b e i n g which i s not dependent on wisdoms t o t h a t i n us which i s a g i f t and not an a q u i s i t i o n — a n d , t h e r e f o r e , more permanently enduring. One of the g r e a t t e c h n i c a l triumphs of The Nigger of the " N a r c i s s u s " i s i t s employment of a complex and s h i f t i n g p o i n t of view. For almost the f i r s t time Conrad used a n a r r a t o r f o r h i s s t o r y , and i n one s t r o k e c i r c u m -vented some of the p a r a l y z i n g d i f f i c u l t i e s t h a t had beset The Rescue. But he had not y e t c r e a t e d Marlowj the p e r s o n i -f i e d n a r r a t o r would not appear u n t i l he wrote "Youth" about a y e ar l a t e r . The n a r r a t o r i n The Nigger i s not i d e n t i f i a b l e or even c o n s i s t e n t . A t times he seems t o be s i m p l y a member of the crew, a t times a k i n d of disem-bodied v o i c e of the group s p i r i t , and a t the end v i r t u a l l y the d i r e c t v o i c e of Conrad, the ex-seaman. To the l i t e r a l -minded, t h i s l a c k of c o n s i s t e n c y w i l l sound amateurish and d i s t u r b i n g when d e s c r i b e d . But the remarkable t h i n g i s t h a t the technique works s u p e r b l y i n t h i s p a r t i c u l a r s t o r y , so w e l l , i n f a c t , t h a t few readers even n o t i c e i t u n t i l they c o n s c i o u s l y a n a l y z e the s t o r y . Furthermore, f a r from be i n g the work of an amateur who was f o r t u n a t e to h i t upon the r i g h t way of h a n d l i n g h i s e x p e r i e n c e , The Nigger i s the f i r s t of Conrad's works t o show pro-f e s s i o n a l i s m i n i t s best sense, as Gordan demonstrates i n h i s examination of Conrad's r e v i s i o n s of the manu-31 s c r i p t . - ^ The use of the n a r r a t o r i n The Nigger i s somewhat d i f f e r e n t from t h a t i n " l o u t h " , "Heart of Darkness" or Lord J i m , f o r example. I t i s not so much a d i s t a n c i n g d e v i c e as an i n v o l v i n g one, and t h i s i s understandable i n terms of the theme of the n o v e l . We need t o experi e n c e the group s p i r i t from the I n s i d e i f we are t o share i n the sense of s a t i s f a c t i o n i n s o l i d a r i t y and dismay a t i t s l o s s . There i s ve r y l i t t l e i r o n y i n t h i s s t o r y , and what l i t t l e there i s hel p s t o a s s e r t , r a t h e r than t o undermine, the fundamental v a l u e s i m p l i e d , and o f t e n s t a t e d , i n the s t o r y . For example, as the men are b e i n g p a i d o f f a t the end of the s t o r y the c l e r k r e f e r s t o S i n g l e t o n as "a d i s g u s t i n g o l d b r u t e " ( 1 6 9 ) , and suddenly the man who " s t e e r e d w i t h c a r e " i s remembered as the man who i s drunk from the time he a r r i v e s i n p o r t u n t i l the time he l e a v e s . Donkln, on the o t h e r hand, "the man t h a t cannot s t e e r , . . . who curses the sea w h i l e o t h e r s work"(10), i s thought by the c l e r k an i n t e l l i g e n t man. T h i s k i n d of i r o n y serves to remind us t h a t the valu e s by which the seamen of the N a r c i s s u s l i v e are man-made, mutable, i l l u s o r y , save i n one c r u c i a l r e s p e c t : they c o n t r i b u t e t o s u r v i v a l . This reminder of the r i t u a l aspect of the seaman's code, however, does not l e s s e n i t s n o b i l i t y ; indeed, i n some ways i t r e i n f o r c e s i t by s e t t i n g the valu e s of the s h i p 32 a p a r t from the v a l u e s of the l a n d . In a d d i t i o n , the c o n f l i c t of a t t i t u d e s towards Donkin and S i n g l e t o n shows t o what g r e a t e x t e n t our v a l u a t i o n of them depends on i d e n t i f y i n g them through what they do, r a t h e r than through some vague i d e a about t h e i r " e s s e n t i a l n a t u r e s " . The r e a l c e n t e r of the s t o r y i s not the Nigger but the N a r c i s s u s . James Wait, Conrad suggested i n the P r e f a c e t o the f i r s t American e d i t i o n , " i s merely the c e n t e r of the s h i p ' s c o l l e c t i v e psychology and the p i v o t of the a c t i o n . " - ^ D i s c o u n t i n g somewhat the word "merely", t h i s seems an a c c u r a t e statement. Wait serves t o p o l a r i z e the m o r a l i t y of the s t o r y s "Through him we were becoming h i g h l y humanized, tender, complex, e x c e s s i v e l y decadent . . . . as though we had been o v e r c i v i l l z e d and r o t t e n , and w i t h o u t any knowledge of the meaning of l i f e " ( 1 3 9 ) . He b r i n g s t o the s h i p those q u a l i t i e s of shore l i f e which most s e r i o u s l y i n t e r f e r e w i t h the primary t a s k — s u r v i v a l . He i s most unreasonably demanding, and, a t the o p p o s i t e p o l e , so i s the s h i p . The men are p u l l e d i n v a r y i n g degrees a t d i f f e r e n t times i n the two d i r e c t i o n s , but i t i s the s h i p t h a t wins o u t — W a i t p u l l s them a p a r t , c e n t r i -f u g a l l y , w h i l e the s h i p p u l l s them t o g e t h e r , c e n t r i p e t a l l y , The s h i p , w h i l e a t sea, p r o v i d e s a r e a l i t y which g i v e s meaning t o some i l l u s i o n s and d e s t r o y s o t h e r s . In a way t h a t seldom a p p l i e s u n e q u i v o c a l l y i n any of Conrad's shore 33 s e t t i n g s , " s t e e r i n g w i t h c a r e " c a n be s a i d t o be t h e a s s e r t i o n o f a t r u t h . What C o n r a d a c h i e v e d most n o t a b l y i n The N i g g e r was a s e n s e o f " t h e s i g n i f i c a n t on t h e s u r f a c e o f t h i n g s " 1 ^ r a t h e r t h a n a s e n s e o f t r u t h r e s i d i n g somehow i n t h e h e a r t o f t h i n g s . S i n g l e t o n ' s a b r u p t q u e s t i o n , "Are y o u d y i n g ? " ( ^ 2 ) t o Jimmy W a i t c u t s t h r o u g h t h e a u r a o f m y s t e r y s u r r o u n d i n g t h e N i g g e r , y e t , more e f f e c t i v e l y t h a n any amount o f o v e r t p h i l o s o p h i z i n g , r e n d e r s t h e t r a g i c f a c t t h a t a l l o f us a r e d y i n g . H i s t e c h n i q u e g i v e s t h e a t t e n t i v e r e a d e r t h e o p p o r t u n i t y t o see w i t h t h e a r t i s t ' s e y e , t o comprehend t h e " i s - n e s s " o f t h i n g s , t h e " s e l f -h o od", t h e p a r t i c u l a r i t y t h a t becomes u n i v e r s a l when c l e a r l y enough s e e n . The a u t h o r h o l d s up t h e s e " r e s c u e d f r a g m e n t s b e f o r e a l l eyes i n t h e l i g h t o f a s i n c e r e mood." The t a s k i s d i f f i c u l t "But s o m e t i m e s , . . . i t i s a c c o m p l i s h e d . And when i t i s a c c o m p l i s h e d — b e h o l d ! — a l l t h e t r u t h o f l i f e i s t h e r e . . . . h 1 ? And i n The N i g g e r o f t h e "Nar-c i s s u s ", a t l a s t , t h e t a s k was a c c o m p l i s h e d . My s t r e s s above on t h e s u c c e s s o f C o n r a d i n r e n d e r -i n g s u r f a c e t r u t h s m i g h t seem t o s u g g e s t t h a t a n o v e l s u c h as " H e a r t o f D a r k n e s s " , whose v e r y t i t l e p r o m i s e s a t u r n i n g i n w a r d , w o u l d be condemned. L e t me s a y immed-i a t e l y t h a t t h i s i s f a r f r o m s o , f o r I r e g a r d " H e a r t o f 34 Darkness" as the necessary complement t o The N i g g e r — t h e t r a g i c v i s i o n and the comic v i s i o n are both n e c e s s a r y t o a v o i d b e i n g "one-eyed". S i n c e The Nigger d e a l s w i t h men working as a u n i t f o r s u r v i v a l i t must pre s e n t s u r f a c e t r u t h s , f o r men can, l i t e r a l l y , o n l y meet and work t o -gether on the s u r f a c e . But w i t h i n themselves men, a p a r t from those as u n t h i n k i n g as S i n g l e t o n , do have doubts and hopes, do care f o r the past and the f u t u r e . And when they are alone w i t h themselves, these doubts and hopes, past and f u t u r e , may become more r e a l than the p r e s e n t . "For - l i f e t o be l a r g e and f u l l , i t must c o n t a i n the care of the p a s t and f u t u r e i n every p a s s i n g moment of the p r e s e n t " (Nostromo. 427). But c l e a r l y i t must a l s o con-t a i n an a t t e n t i o n t o the p r e s e n t t h a t such f i g u r e s as Almayer, Donkln and Lord Jim f a i l t o give« one concrete form of t h i s a t t e n t i o n , which Conrad mentions a g a i n and a g a i n , i s f i d e l i t y t o the codes of the sea, not grudging, but l o v i n g ; Care f o r the present i s the p o s i t i v e s i d e of the comic v i s i o n , w i t h i t s emphasis on the c o n t i n u i t y of l i f e , w h i l e p a r t of what a l l o w s the t r a g i c v i s i o n to t r a n s c e n d pessimism i s i t s i n h e r e n t sense of the past and f u t u r e . S i n g l e t o n has l i v e d i n a t i m e l e s s w o r l d as a comic hero u n t i l h i s g r e a t t e s t , when suddenly he r e a l i z e s t h a t he i s o l d i "He had t o take up a t once the burden of a l l h i s e x i s t e n c e , and found i t almost too heavy f o r h i s s t r e n g t h . Old!"(99) To h i s awareness of present 35 has b e e n added a s e n s e o f t h e t r a g e d y o f t i m e , t o f o r m h i s " c o m p l e t e d wisdom"(99). N o s t r o m o , t o o , u n d e r g o e s t h e e x p e r i e n c e o f r e b i r t h i n t o a new a n d t r a g i c w o r l d a f t e r h i s e p i c swim, and t h e C a p t a i n i n "The Shadow L i n e " c r o s s e s o v e r i n t o m a t u r i t y o n l y a f t e r e n d u r i n g a g r e a t t r i a l o f a n o t h e r s o r t . The i n t e g r a t e d man i n Con r a d ' s f i c t i o n i s he who c a n l i v e i n b o t h w o r l d s a t on c e . Or, i f we c o n s i d e r t r a g i c a n d c o m i c a s " b u t a m a t t e r o f t h e v i s u a l a n g l e , " who c a n see t h e w o r l d f r o m two d i r e c t i o n s a t once w i t h o u t d e v e l o p i n g some k i n d o f s c h i z o p h r e n i a . Of c o u r s e , t h i s b a s i c i d e a i s by no means u n i q u e t o C o n r a d ; f o r J u s t a s i n g l e e x a m p l e , F. S c o t t F i t z g e r a l d e x p r e s s e d a d m i r a t i o n f o r t h e man who c a n " h o l d two i d e a s i n h i s h e a d a t o n c e , " a n d s u g g e s t e d t h a t i t i s t h e f u n c t i o n o f l i t e r a t u r e t o a i d i n t h e d e -v e l o p m e n t o f t h i s a b i l i t y . What i s r e q u i r e d f o r t h i s d o u b l e v i s i o n ( o r , more a c c u r a t e l y , m u l t i p l e v i s i o n , f o r t h e w o r l d c a n n o t be n e a t l y d i c h o t o m i z e d i n t o t r a g e d y a n d comedy) i s a s u s p e n s i o n o f Judgement, a c o n s t a n t s e a r c h i n g f o r ways t o see t h e same a o t l o n . M a r l o w p r o v i d e d f o r Con-r a d a means t o a c h i e v e a complex v i s i o n w i t h o u t r e s o r t i n g t o a u t h o r i a l i n t e r v e n t i o n o r d i r e c t i r o n y , b u t h i s p r e s e n c e i s more t h a n j u s t a n a r r a t i v e t e c h n i q u e , f o r he h i m s e l f r e p r e s e n t s man s t r u g g l i n g f o r i n t e g r a t i o n . 36 Marlow's I r o n i c b u t s y m p a t h e t i c m e d i a t i o n b e tween e x p e r i e n c e a n d t h e r e a d e r f i r s t a p p e a r s i n " Y o u t h " , a s t o r y w r i t t e n v e r y q u i c k l y i n 1898 as a b r e a k f r o m w r i t i n g t h e b e g i n n i n g o f L o r d J i m . I t i s most s i g n i f i c a n t t h a t t h o s e f i r s t f e w pages o f L o r d J i m do n o t employ Marlow and i t i s c l e a r t h a t had he n o t come a l o n g , L o r d J i m w o u l d have b e e n a f a r d i f f e r e n t book, i f i t h a d , i n f a c t , e v e r gone beyond t h e s h o r t s t o r y w h i c h C o n r a d o r i g i n a l l y e n -v i s a g e d . What i s t o o o f t e n remembered f r o m " Y o u t h " — o u t of c o n t e x t — i s t h e f i r s t v i s i o n o f t h e E a s t t h a t v e r g e s on t h e c l o y i n g l y s e n t i m e n t a l ! what i s f o r g o t t e n i s t h e f i r s t v o i c e o f t h e E a s t s p e a k i n g f r o m t h e C e l e s t i a l ; "The v o i c e swore a nd c u r s e d v i o l e n t l y ; i t r i d d l e d t h e s o l e m n peace o f t h e bay by a v o l l e y o f a b u s e . I t b e g a n b y c a l l i n g me P i g . . ." ( Y o u t h , 39). C e r t a i n l y M a rlow i s s e n t i -m e n t a l a b o u t h i s y o u t h — w h o i s n o t ? — b u t he i s n o t m e r e l y s e n t i m e n t a l . F u r t h e r m o r e , t h e employment o f Ma r l o w as n a r r a t o r a l l o w s C o n r a d t o d i s e n g a g e f r o m t h e d i s t r a c t i n g p r o b l e m o f h i s own s e n t i m e n t a l i t y , t o f u n c t i o n as a r t i s t unencumbered b y h i s own r e a c t i o n t o h i s p a s t , w h i l e s t i l l d r a w i n g d i r e c t l y upon t h a t p a s t . The r o l e t h a t M arlow p l a y s i n L o r d J i m w i l l be of m a j o r c o n c e r n i n t h e n e x t c h a p t e r , b u t f o r t h e moment l e t us l o o k b r i e f l y a t t h a t o t h e r b r e a k f r o m t h e w r i t i n g o f L o r d J i m and f u r t h e r example o f Marlow's i m p o r t a n c e 37 t o C o n r a d a t t h i s s t a g e i n h i s a r t i s t i c d e v e l o p m e n t , " H e a r t o f D a r k n e s s " . I have a l r e a d y s u g g e s t e d t h a t " H e a r t o f D a r k n e s s " p r e s e n t s a v i s i o n w h i c h complements t h a t o f The N i g g e r o f t h e " N a r c i s s u s " , a n d a l s o , i t i s now c l e a r , t h a t o f " Y o u t h " . " H e a r t o f D a r k n e s s " i s i n t h e t r a d i t i o n o f t h e n i g h t j o u r n e y , p l u n g i n g i n w a r d s i n t o t h e d a r k n e s s o f t h e s o u l i n a n e x p e r i e n c e w h i c h l e a v e s t h e s u b j e c t p e r m a n e n t l y c h a n g e d : " I t was t h e f a r t h e s t p o i n t o f my n a v i g a t i o n a n d th e c u l m i n a t i n g p o i n t o f my e x p e r i e n c e , " s a y s M a r l o w ( 5 i ) . Marlow's a c c o u n t o f h i s j o u r n e y i s n o t t o l d d i r e c t t o u s , t h e r e a d e r s , "but i s r e c o u n t e d by one o f Marlow*s l i s t e n e r s , o s t e n s i b l y C o n r a d h i m s e l f . There a r e t h u s s e v e r a l f a c t o r s o p e r a t i n g t o d i s t a n c e us f r o m t h e a c t i o n o f t h e s t o r y i we a r e t w i c e removed i n b o t h t i m e a nd spaces t h e g r o u p a b o a r d t h e N e l l i e i s n e i t h e r t y p i c a l o f most r e a d e r s n o r s i m i l a r t o Marlow i n o u t l o o k ; a n d s t r e s s i s l a i d on t h e p a s s i v e s i t u a t i o n w h i c h a l l o w s s u c h a l e i s u r e l y t e l l i n g o f a t a l e . M a rlow*s i d o l - l i k e p o s t u r e s u g g e s t s a c e r t a i n r i t u a l q u a l i t y i n t h e o c c a s i o n , as t h o u g h he were a t t e m p t i n g v i c a r i o u s l y t o i n i t i a t e h i s l i s t e n e r s i n t o t h e m y s t e r y w h i c h h i s e x p e r i e n c e l e d him t o know. We r e a d e r s c a n o b s e r v e t h e e f f e c t o f t h e o c c a s i o n a nd, a t t h e same t i m e , become c a u g h t up i n t h e 38 t a l e i we thus experience the d u a l v i s i o n of a r t , s e e i n g both a c t and a c t i o n . Marlow i s h i m s e l f both a r t i s t and p r o t a g o n i s t . K u r t z , t h a t "emissary of p i t y , and s c i e n c e , and p r o g r e s s , and d e v i l knows what e l s e " ( 7 9 ) , i s n o t the c e n t r a l f i g u r e of the s t o r y we have bef o r e us, though he i s c l e a r l y c e n t r a l f o r Marlow. Marlow h i m s e l f Is the j o u r n e y e r , and i t i s i n the changes t h a t take p l a c e i n h i s v i s i o n t h a t the importance of the s t o r y l i e s . P er-haps the best r e p l y to the s u g g e s t i o n t h a t K u r t z i s the t r u e hero of the s t o r y , a l b e i t a dark hero, i s t o t u r n back to The N i g g e r ; "He was so u t t e r l y wrong about him-s e l f t h a t one c o u l d not but suspect him of h a v i n g access to some source of s u p e r n a t u r a l knowledge. He was absurd to the p o i n t of i n s p i r a t i o n . He was unique, and as f a s -c i n a t i n g as o n l y something inhuman c o u l d be . . ."(139) . James Wait's l i e t o h i m s e l f about h i s approaching death, the v e r y o p p o s i t e of the a t t i t u d e of Ransome i n The Shadow L i n e , has i t s own brand of t r u t h . But i t i s an incomplete and dangerous t r u t h t h a t , unless balanced by the more d i r e c t k i n d , w i l l d e s t r o y a man. I t i s an i l l u -s i o n t h a t i s not o n l y doomed to be r e v e a l e d f o r what i t i s by "mere f a c t s " — i n Walt's case the "mere" f a c t of h i s d e a t h — b u t which l a c k s the q u a s i - a e s t h e t i c value of those s u r f a c e t r u t h s which b i n d men by a i d i n g s u r v i v a l . 39 A m a j o r i r o n y o f " H e a r t o f D a r k n e s s " i s t h a t K u r t z , i n p e n e t r a t i n g i n t o t h e d e p t h s o f h i s own s o u l , has d i s -c o v e r e d o n l y h o l l o w n e s s . The i n t e r i o r j o u r n e y , w h i e h m i g h t "be e x p e c t e d t o r e v e a l t h e most p r o f o u n d p o t e n t i a l s l ft f o r good o r e v i l , has I n s t e a d r e v e a l e d a " n e a n t " . x o A l i e n a t e d f r o m h i s E u r o p e a n f e l l o w s by h i s p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n t h e " u n s p e a k a b l e " p r a c t i c e s o f t h e n a t i v e s , y e t p r e -v e n t e d f r o m e v e r t r u l y " g o i n g n a t i v e " a n d l o s i n g h i s w h i t e n e s s , K u r t z ' s p a r t i c u l a r n i g h t m a r e i s t h e l o s s o f a l l i d e n t i t y . He has p l u n g e d i n t o t h e a b y s s I r r e t r i e v a b l y a n d i s no l o n g e r c a p a b l e o f b e i n g s a v e d by a n i l l u s i o n o f s o l i d a r i t y w i t h h i s f e l l o w man. The a b s u r d i t y o f human e x i s t e n c e has overwhelmed h i s c a p a c i t y f o r a n a s s e r t i o n o f f a i t h . The a p p a r e n t l y c o n t r a d i c t o r y a s s e r t i o n o f t h e t a l e i s t h a t p e e r i n g i n t o K u r t z ' s a b y s s was n e c e s s a r y f o r Marlow's a c h i e v e m e n t o f h i s " c o m p l e t e d wisdom". T h r e e b a s i c a l t e r n a t i v e s p r e s e n t t h e m s e l v e s i n C o n r a d ' s world« one may, l i k e K u r t z , t u r n i n w a r d a n d comprehend t he e n o r m i t y o f man's l a c k o f meaning; a t t h e o t h e r e x t r e m e , one may, l i k e most " p r a c t i c a l men", c o n c e n t r a t e on t h e o u t w a r d a s p e c t s o f l i f e , c r e a t i n g a n d s o l v i n g a r b i t r a r y p r o b l e m s l i k e t h o s e o f t h e a c c o u n t a n t i n k e e p i n g h i s s h i r t s c l e a n , t h u s e v a d i n g t h e n e c e s s i t y f o r f a c i n g t h e u l t i m a t e a b s u r d i t y ; o r one may f o l l o w Marlow's example and a t t e m p t t o a c h i e v e a n i n t e g r a t i o n o f t h e l i f e o f a c t i o n and t h a t o f t h e s p i r i t . O n l y t h e l a s t a l t e r n a t i v e a l l o w s f o r t h e d e v e l o p m e n t o f t h e f u l l human p o t e n t i a l . I t i s n o t a n e a s y a l t e r n a t i v e t o c h o o s e , s i n c e i t r e -q u i r e s t h e g i v i n g up o f c e r t a i n t y . I t means o p t i n g f o r a compromise, d i v i d i n g one's l i f e b e t w een a man's s o u l and a s t e a m b o a t , g i v i n g up a v i s i o n o f some u l t i m a t e r e a l i t y a t t h e h e a r t o f t h i n g s , w h i l e a t t h e same t i m e k n o w i n g t h a t o u t w a r d a c t i v i t i e s o f f e r no a b s o l u t e s a l -v a t i o n , e i t h e r . M a r l o w ' s I d e a a b o u t t h e meaning o f a t a l e o f f e r s a n o t h e r way o f u n d e r s t a n d i n g t h e p r o b l e m i "The meaning • . . was n o t i n s i d e l i k e a k e r n e l , b u t o u t s i d e , e n v e l o p -i n g t h e t a l e w h i c h b r o u g h t i t o u t o n l y as a g l o w b r i n g s o u t a h a z e , i n t h e l i k e n e s s o f one o f t h o s e m i s t y h a l o s t h a t sometimes a r e made v i s i b l e by t h e s p e c t r a l i l l u m i n -a t i o n o f moons h i n e " ( ^8 ). The v i s i o n o f p e n e t r a t i n g t o t h e h e a r t o f t h i n g s t o g e t a t t h e " r e a l t r u t h " i s f o r Conrad p e r n i c i o u s a n d d e s t r u c t i v e , one o f t h e damning i l l u s i o n s . R a t h e r , t h e k i n d o f c a r e f o r t h e i m m e d i a t e t h a t S i n g l e t o n and Ransome e x h i b i t i s t h e c o r e , f o r i f t h e r e i s a n y t h i n g t h a t c a n w i t h s t a n d " l o o k i n g i n t o " i t i s t h o s e s u r f a c e t r u t h s t h a t b i n d men i n common a c t i o n f o r s u r v i v a l . B u t , as I s u g g e s t e d I n d i s c u s s i n g The N i g g e r o f t h e " N a r c i s s u s " , a c l e a r and i m a g i n a t i v e v i s i o n 41 o f t h e p a r t i c u l a r n e c e s s a r i l y becomes a u n i v e r s a l v i s i o n , a v i s i o n o f t r a g e d y . Thus t h e man who s t a r t s f r o m t h e g e n e r a l i z e d v i s i o n t o s e a r c h o u t t h e meaning i n t h i n g s w i l l , I n d e e d , f i n d " t h e h e a r t o f d a r k n e s s " and when he comprehends i t s e m p t i n e s s w i l l , f i g u r a t i v e l y o r l i t e r a l l y , c r y o u t "The h o r r o r ! The h o r r o r ! " ( 1 4 9 ) , f o r I t s e m p t i n e s s i s h i s own. The man who, l i k e M a r l o w , has h i s s u r f a c e t r u t h s t o s e r v e as a l i f e l i n e b a c k t o community, who has h i s s t e a m b o a t t o r e p a i r , c a n l o o k i n t o t h e d a r k n e s s o f t h e a b y s s w i t h o u t b e i n g d r a g g e d i n t o i t by h i s own e g o t i s m . He c a n , i f he i s p e r c e p t i v e , r e c o g n i z e t h e h y p o c r i s y o f "t h e h e a v e n l y m i s s i o n t o c i v i l i z e n ( 52) w i t h o u t s w i n g i n g t o t h e o t h e r e x t r e m e o f K u r t z ' s " E x t e r m i n a t e a l l t h e b r u t e s ! " ( 1 1 $ . Marlow's l i e t o t h e I n t e n d e d has i t s own k i n d o f v a l i d i t y . I t e n s u r e s h e r p s y c h i c s u r v i v a l by c o n t r i b u t i n g t o " t h a t g r e a t and s a v i n g i l l u s i o n t h a t shone w i t h a n un-e a r t h l y g l o w i n t h e d a r k n e s s f r o m w h i c h I c o u l d n o t have d e f e n d e d h e r — f r o m w h i c h I c o u l d n o t e v e n d e f e n d m y s e l f V ( 1 5 $ . As C o n r a d was t o show l a t e r I n s u c h n o v e l s o f c i v i l i z a t i o n as N o strpmo, The S e c r e t A g e n t and Under W e s t e r n E y e s , t h e d a r k n e s s i s by no means c o n f i n e d t o A f r i c a o r M a l a y a . 42 W i t h t h e p u b l i c a t i o n o f The N i g g e r o f t h e "Nar-c i s s u s " a n d " H e a r t o f D a r k n e s s " , C o n r a d h ad c o m p l e t e d h i s f i r s t decade as a w r i t e r by f u l l y r e n d e r i n g b o t h c o m i c a n d t r a g i c v i s i o n s o f l i f e . B u t b o t h were s h o r t w o r k s , a l m o s t p o e t i c i n t h e i r I n t e n s i t y , a n d i t r e m a i n e d f o r him t o d e m o n s t r a t e h i s p r o f e s s i o n a l i s m a n d a r t i s t r y i n t h e more s u s t a i n e d f o r m o f t h e f u l l - l e n g t h n o v e l . L o r d J i m , w h i c h was a l r e a d y begun when " H e a r t o f D a r k n e s s " was w r i t t e n , marked a new ph a s e i n h i s a r t i s t i c d e v e l o p -ment. CHAPTER II LORD JIM Lord Jim may reasonably be considered e i t h e r as the culmination of Conrad's f i r s t p e r i o d as a w r i t e r , the l o g i c a l successor of The Nigger and "Heart of Darkness", or as the beginning of a new major phase i n h i s development, a phase that was to include Nostromo. The Secret Agent and Under Western Eyes. But such c a t e g o r i z a t i o n lends i t s e l f too w e l l to the c r i t i c *s convenience to be wholly above s u s p i c i o n , and whether Lord Jim i s an end or a beginning i s of l i t t l e concern here. What i s of concern i s to see the novel as a development i n Conrad's a r t i s t i c career, and as a sustained and s u c c e s s f u l treatment of tragedy. We must beware of subordinating i t s uniqueness to our aim of f i n d i n g a degree of coherence i n a sequence of works, while, at the same time, remaining aware that i t i s not an i s o l a t e d work. F i r s t , l e t us examine the most outstanding t e c h n i c a l feature of the novel, i t s complex system of n a r r a t i o n . Whereas i n the e a r l y novels, such as Almayer's F o l l y , Conrad had revealed the Inner workings of the characters by means of exte r n a l environment—using i t as a s o r t of o b j e c t i v e c o r r e l a t i v e of e m o t i o n — i n Lord Jim he de-emphasized the e x t e r n a l , and i n doing so e l i m i n a t e d the danger of p r o j e c t i n g emotions onto nature. But the " i n t e r n a l i z i n g " of the technique was not achieved through any form of i n t e r i o r monologue. The s t a t i c , t a b l e a u - l i k e p r e s e n t a t i o n of scenes i n the e a r l i e r novels, with i t s strong suggestions of p a i n t i n g technique, i s r e p l a c e d by something more a k i n to s c u l p t u r e . We are no longer presented with a more or l e s s l i n e a r sequence of "rescued fragments"} instead, the fragments are p a i n s t a k i n g l y pieced together f o r us i n t o some semblance of a f i g u r e — a piece of s c u l p t u r e . A p a i n t i n g can only be viewed from one angle % the point of view i s inherent. A s c u l p t u r e may be seen from any d i r e c t i o n and can only be f u l l y seen by moving around i t , l o o k i n g from above and below—there i s an i n f i n i t y of p o s s i b l e points of view. In our r e l a t i o n s with our f e l l o w men, we come a t them from a few d i r e c -t i o n s , and never see more than a few of the p o s s i b l e ways i n which they may be looked a t . The simplest of men i s i n f i n i t e l y complex i n h i s r e l a t i o n s with others and we have seldom the opportunity or concern to attempt a s o l i d v i s i o n of a human being. The technique of Lord Jim allows us to a l i m i t e d , but s t i l l much greater than normal, degree to experience v i c a r i o u s l y such a v i s i o n of a man. 45 Marlow does what few of us do, he a c t i v e l y seeks the fragments of Jim's l i f e from sources as v a r i e d as G e n t l e -man Brown and the French L i e u t e n a n t . Furthermore, he t r e a t s Jim not i n i s o l a t i o n but i n j u x t a p o s i t i o n t o , and i n t e r a c t i o n w i t h , such men as B i g B r i e r l y . And a t another remove from the s i t u a t i o n of the n o v e l we, the r e a d e r s , see, w i t h Conrad, Jim's I n t e r a c t i o n s w i t h Marlow and Marlow's own s t r u g g l e s f o r meaning. The f a c t t h a t Marlow cannot " c a p t u r e " Jim i s a consequence, p r i m a r i l y , of Jim's b e i n g a l i v e . Only when the " r e a l " J i m passes beyond the range of Marlow's know-ledge, as appears t o be the case a t the end of Marlow's n a r r a t i v e , i s i t p o s s i b l e to attempt t o f i x an image, to c r e a t e the s c u l p t u r e . A l l p r e v i o u s e f f o r t s must be t e n t a t i v e , l i a b l e t o be rendered f a l s e by the f a c t s of the s u b j e c t ' s c o n t i n u i n g l i f e . Only a c l o s e d system of f a c t s i s s a f e from r e a l i t y , l i k e a b u t t e r f l y caught and pinned i n the moment of i t s g r e a t e s t beauty b e f o r e the c y c l i c a l l i f e f o r c e s can work t o d e s t r o y i t and reshape i t s substance i n t o new and d i f f e r e n t l i f e . Only death can b r i n g o r d e r , as B r i e r l y r e a l i z e d . But no r e a l man i s a p a r t of a c l o s e d system. Even a f t e r h i s death, documents, accounts, f a c t s come forward t o add to or change the r e c o r d of h i s l i f e and n e c e s s i t a t e a r e s h a p i n g of the image. The Jim of Conrad's n o v e l , however, Is he n o t r e a l , he I s a c r e a t i o n o f t h e i m a g i n a t i o n and l i v e s w i t h i n pages f o r e v e r f i x e d . E v e r y t h i n g t h a t e x i s t s c o n -c e r n i n g J i m e x i s t s w i t h i n t h e pages o f t h e n o v e l ? i t i s a v a i l a b l e t o one r e a d e r as much as t o any o t h e r . How t h e n c a n t h e a r t i s t a v o i d p r e s e n t i n g J i m as a s p e c i m e n , d e a d , c o l d , p i n n e d down? How c a n he c r e a t e t h e i l l u s i o n o f l i f e ? I f J i m ' s l i f e were t o c o n t a i n some k i n d o f d e f i n i t e meaning a nd t h a t meaning were t u c k e d away i n t h e n o v e l , t h r o u g h some a r t i s t i c d e v i c e , we w o u l d i n d e e d have s u c h a s p e c i m e n . We c o u l d p r o b a b l y s a y , once a nd f o r a l l , t h a t J i m i s a f a i l u r e who abandons h i s f e l l o w men i n e v e r y s i t u a t i o n I n w h i c h he i s s e v e r e l y enough t e s t e d , o r t h a t J i m i s a d r e a m e r , whose dream i s s h a t t e r e d o n c e , b u t who manages t o r e b u i l d i t a n d who, e v e n when c o n f r o n t e d w i t h an e v i l r e a l i t y , l i v e s o u t h i s dream and d i e s a h e r o . B u t t o c h o o s e d e f i n i t i v e l y b e t w een s u c h c o n f l i c t i n g v i e w -p o i n t s i s p r e c i s e l y what we c a n n o t do, e x c e p t by b r i n g i n g t o t h e n o v e l f r o m o u r own l i v e s some m o r a l s y s t e m r i g i d enough t o a l l o w us t o choose an a t t i t u d e t o w a r d s h i m . No s u c h k e r n e l i s g i v e n us i n L o r d J i m . M a r l o w l e a v e s us w i t h an e x p l i c i t q u e s t i o n , " I s he s a t i s f i e d — q u i t e , now, I w o n d e r ? " ( 4 l 6 ) , and w i t h t h e many i m p l i e d q u e s t i o n s t h a t t h e n o v e l has r a i s e d . What we have a t 47 t h e end i s a n u n f i n i s h e d image o f J i m , some o f t h e m a j o r f e a t u r e s s t r o n g l y m o d e l l e d , t h o u g h a l i t t l e s o f t i n o u t -l i n e , some d e t a i l s h a r d and s h a r p , b u t many a r e a s s t i l l u n d e f i n e d , t h e c l a y w a i t i n g t o be s h a p e d when t h e s c u l p t o r o b s e r v e s more o f h i s s u b j e c t ( s o m e t h i n g he w i l l n e v e r d o ) . A r o u n d t h e image, i f we see i t i n c e r t a i n l i g h t s , i s " t h e l i k e n e s s o f one of t h o s e m i s t y h a l o s t h a t sometimes a r e made v i s i b l e by t h e s p e c t r a l i l l u m i n a t i o n o f moonshine." 1 Can we b r e a k open t h e o b j e c t t o r e v e a l i t s i n n e r c o r e ? I f we do we a r e l i k e l y t o r e v e a l n o t h i n g b u t t h e m a t e r i a l o f w h i c h i t i s made, p e r h a p s a n a r m a t u r e , a s t r u c t u r e on w h i c h i t has been b u i l t , b u t w h i c h b e a r s e v e n l e s s r e s e m -b l a n c e t o t h e o b j e c t t h a n s k e l e t o n does t o f l e s h l y man? o r p e r h a p s t h e o b j e c t i s , a f t e r a l l , h o l l o w . I have p u r s u e d t h i s metaphor a t some l e n g t h b e c a u s e i t s u g g e s t s , a t l e a s t t o me, t h e i m p o r t a n t d i f f e r e n c e s b etween C o n r a d ' s t e c h n i q u e i n h i s e a r l i e r n o v e l s a n d t a l e s p r o d u c e d b e tween 1897 and 1910. What I have been s u g g e s t -i n g i s t h a t C o n r a d became v e r y much c o n c e r n e d w i t h p o r -t r a y i n g c h a r a c t e r i n a way w h i c h m i g h t be termed r e a l i s t i c , were i t n o t f o r the h o s t o f d e n o t a t i o n s and c o n n o t a t i o n s t h a t t h e word a l r e a d y c o n v e y s . Not o n l y d i d he a t t e m p t t o b u i l d up a complex s e n s e o f c h a r a c t e r b u t a l s o t o show t h e c o n t i n u i n g p r o c e s s o f a c h i e v i n g and r e f i n i n g t h a t s e n s e . By d o i n g s o he made t h e r e a d e r a n a c t i v e p a r t i c i p a n t 48 i n t h e c r e a t i o n o f meaning. He i s a b l e n e i t h e r t o impose meaning n o r t o f i n d I t ready-made i n t h e n o v e l . The s t o r y -t e l l e r I s c o m p e l l e d t o g i v e us t h e t a l e i n o r d e r t o t r y once a g a i n t o u n d e r s t a n d i t h i m s e l f . T h a t t h e n a r r a t o r o f L o r d J i m , Marlow, i s a c t i v e l y I n v o l v e d i n h i s s t o r y , and t h a t t h e s t o r y i s resumed a f t e r i t had seemed t o be ended, s u g g e s t t h a t t h e r e a d e r ^ ( l i s t e n e r ' s ) r o l e i s t o some d e g r e e a n a c t i v e one. I f t h e r e a d e r i s w o r t h y , l i k e t h e p r i v i l e g e d l i s t e n e r , he w i l l engage t h e s t o r y a n d g r a p p l e w i t h i t j o n l y t h u s w i l l i t r e v e a l a n y t h i n g . Of a l l o f C o n r a d ' s w o r k s , L o r d J i m i s t h e p u r e s t and most s u s t a i n e d example o f t h e t e c h n i q u e I am s u g g e s t i n g . I t has a r e l a t i v e l y s i m p l e c e n t r a l c h a r a c t e r who i s a c t e d upon by v a r i o u s o t h e r c h a r a c t e r s , e v e n t s , and I n f l u e n c e s , b u t who, t h r o u g h o u t , r e m a i n s f a i t h f u l t o h i s own ego -i s t i c a l i d e a l . A t t h e end o f t h e n o v e l , when he goes t o h i s d e a t h , he has undergone many e x p e r i e n c e s , b u t i s s t i l l e s s e n t i a l l y t h e same J i m who f a i l e d t o r e s p o n d q u i c k l y enough on t h e t r a i n i n g s h i p . C o n s e q u e n t l y , t h e meta-p h o r o f t h e n o v e l as a s c u l p t u r a l p r o c e s s i s r e a s o n a b l y a p p r o p r i a t e . Were t h e c e n t r a l f i g u r e t o change d r a s t i c a l l y d u r i n g t h e c o u r s e o f t h e n o v e l , we w o u l d e x p e c t t h e emphasis o f t h e work t o be on t h e n a t u r e o f t h e c h a n g e , r a t h e r t h a n on t h e d e t a i l s o f t h e c h a r a c t e r t h a t r e m a i n unchanged, j u s t as i n a m o t i o n p i c t u r e image a s m a l l movement i n a n 49 o t h e r w i s e s t a t i c s c e n e w i l l c a t c h t h e a t t e n t i o n i n s p i t e o f a l l t h e o t h e r d e t a i l . I s h a l l r e t u r n t o l o o k a t a n o v e l i n w h i c h s u c h c h a r a c t e r d e v e l o p m e n t does t a k e p l a c e , Under W e s t e r n E y e s , i n due c o u r s e . F o r t h e moment l e t me d i s c u s s a n o t h e r t e c h n i q u e w h i c h c o n t r i b u t e s t o t h e new d e p t h o f c h a r a c t e r i z a t i o n C o n r a d has a c h i e v e d , a t e c h n i q u e c l e a r l y d e m o n s t r a t e d i n L o r d J i m . The t e c h n i q u e t o w h i c h I r e f e r has been c a l l e d " d o u b l i n g " , b u t I am n o t e n t i r e l y happy w i t h t h i s t e r m as a p p l i e d t o Conrad's work. I t s u g g e s t s , as i s t h e c a s e s ometimes, t h a t a d o u b l e ( d o p p e l g a n g e r ) o f t h e main c h a r a c t e r i s I n t r o d u c e d w i t h i n t h e s t o r y , i n o r d e r , by c o n t r a s t , t o show c e r t a i n f e a t u r e s o f t h e c h a r a c t e r whose d o u b l e he i s . Such a s i m p l e t e c h n i q u e has a l o n g h i s t o r y i n l i t e r a t u r e and was u s e d f r e q u e n t l y i n n i n e t e e n t h -c e n t u r y w o r k s , f o r example t h o s e o f Poe, B u t C o n r a d ' s use o f i t was r e f i n e d and d e v e l o p e d . There i s no d o u b t t h a t i t p l a y e d a m a j o r p a r t i n a l l o w i n g h i m t o a c h i e v e t o a s i g n i f i c a n t d e g r e e h i s t a s k o f a l l o w i n g t h e r e a d e r t o c a t c h " t h a t g l i m p s e o f t r u t h f o r w h i c h he has f o r -2 g o t t e n t o a s k , " a t r u t h t h a t i s n o t s o m e t h i n g g i v e n by t h e a u t h o r , b u t r a t h e r s o m e t h i n g won by t h e r e a d e r . The a u t h o r o n l y g i v e s t h e o p p o r t u n i t y . The r e f i n e d and d e v e l o p e d k i n d o f d o u b l i n g t o 50 w h i c h I have been r e f e r r i n g i s most c l e a r l y d e m o n s t r a t e d i n a l l i t s c o m p l e x i t y i n L o r d J i m . A more o b v i o u s e x a m p l e , "The S e c r e t S harer,"-^ i s more i n t h e t r a d i t i o n o f e a r l i e r u s e s o f t h e d o u b l e , a t l e a s t i n t h e r e s p e c t s w i t h w h i c h I am c o n c e r n e d , l e a v i n g a s i d e t h e c o m p l e x p s y c h o l o g i c a l I n s i g h t s w h i c h a r e r e v e a l e d i n i t . I n L o r d J i m we have a s e r i e s o f c h a r a c t e r s j u x t a p o s e d and i n t e r a c t i n g w i t h J i m i n s u c h a way as t o r e v e a l a s p e c t s o f h i s c h a r a c t e r and s i g n i f i c a n c e s t h a t o t h e r w i s e w o u l d r e q u i r e some k i n d o f i n t e r i o r t e c h n i q u e o r e x p l i c i t commentary t o c o n v e y them, and n e i t h e r o f t h e s e l a t t e r methods c o u l d a s s a t i s -f a c t o r i l y s u s t a i n t h e r e s t r a i n t f r o m judgement t h a t i s t h e n o v e l ' s c h i e f q u a l i t y . By d i g r e s s i n g i n t o a d i s c u s s i o n o f B r i e r l y ' s a c t i o n s s u b s e q u e n t t o , and l i f e s t y l e p r i o r t o , t h e I n q u i r y , M a r l o w a l l o w s us t o u n d e r s t a n d more c l e a r l y t h e i m p l i c a t i o n s o f some o f J i m ' s a c t i o n s and a l t e r n a t i v e s (57-69). B r i e r l y ' s s u i c i d e , t h e p r i m a r y p i e c e o f i n f o r m a -t i o n we o b t a i n , b y c a s t i n g d o u b t upon t h e c e r t i t u d e o f h i s m o r a l v i s i o n , f o r c e s us t o b r i n g I n t o q u e s t i o n t h e r i g h t o f t h e c o u r t t o judge J i m ' s case> i t seems t o s u p p o r t t h e v i e w o f J i m g i v e n us e a r l i e r , t h a t he i s t h e v i c t i m o f "the t r u e h o r r o r b e h i n d t h e a p p a l l i n g f a c e o f t h i n g s " ( 3 0 ) . B u t a n o t h e r d i g r e s s i o n , t h a t i n t o t h e c a s e o f L i t t l e Bob S t a n t o n , who drowned t r y i n g t o p u r s u a d e a woman t o l e a v e a s i n k i n g s h i p (149-151), c a s t s a d i f f e r e n t l i g h t on J i m ' s c a s e — i t s u g g e s t s t h a t he has i n d e e d b e e n g u i l t y 51 o f d e r e l i c t i o n o f d u t y , t h a t he has b r o k e n a code w h i c h does have r e a l m e a n ing. And s o t h e p r o c e s s goes on t h r o u g h -o u t t h e n o v e l . By p l a c i n g a l o n g s i d e J i m ' s c a s e t h e c a s e s o f o t h e r s , s u b t l y d i f f e r e n t i n some r e s p e c t s b u t o b v i o u s l y s i m i l a r i n o t h e r s , C o n r a d c r e a t e s a n a u r a a r o u n d h i s c e n t r a l f i g u r e . Sometimes t h e i m p l i e d comment i s p r i m a r i l y I r o n i c , sometimes d i r e c t , sometimes e n i g m a t i c , b u t n e v e r s i m p l e a n d u n q u a l i f i e d judgement. M o r e o v e r , t h e p r o c e s s works i n b o t h d i r e c t i o n s , J i m s e r v i n g t o i l l u m i n a t e a c h a r a c t e r w i t h whom he i s p a i r e d . We u n d e r s t a n d b e t t e r t h e d a n g e r o u s n a t u r e o f J i m ' s p a r a l y z i n g i m a g i n a t i o n when we l e a r n o f t h e F r e n c h L i e u t e n a n t ' s c o r r e c t c o n d u c t (137-148), b u t we a l s o r e c o g n i z e s o m e t h i n g o f t h e medio-c r i t y o f t h e F r e n c h L i e u t e n a n t by c o m p a r i s o n w i t h J i m ' s " s u p e r b e g o i s m " . What d i s t i n g u i s h e s C o n r a d ' s use o f t h e t e c h n i q u e o f d o u b l i n g , b e s i d e s i t s c o m p l e x i t y , v a r i e t y and s u b t l e t y , i s t h e dynamic n a t u r e o f t h e r e l a t i o n s between t h e d o u b l e s and t h e c e n t r a l f i g u r e . G e n t l e m a n Brown, f o r i n s t a n c e , s t a n d s i n a complex r e l a t i o n t o J i m and g r e a t l y enhances o u r o p p o r t u n i t i e s t o d i s c o v e r p o s s i b l e ways t o l o o k a t J i m ' s f a i l u r e s and a c h i e v e m e n t s , b u t b e s i d e s c o u n t e r p o i n t i n g J i m he works upon h i m . J i m h i m s e l f i s b r o u g h t t o see h i s k i n s h i p w i t h Brown, and i n d o i n g s o t o make h i s i l l -a d v i s e d g e s t u r e o f c o m p a s s i o n i n r e l e a s i n g Brown and h i s men. 52 S e e i n g J i m ' s r e a c t i o n , we g a i n f u r t h e r i n s i g h t i n t o h i s c h a r a c t e r and dream, and o b s e r v i n g b o t h Brown's l a t e r o p i n i o n s o f J i m and Brown's f a t e adds s t i l l f u r t h e r t o t h e r i c h n e s s o f t h e image c r e a t e d . The most i m p o r t a n t d o u b l i n g i n t h e n o v e l i s t h a t b etween M a r l o w and J i m . M a r l o w ' s c o n t i n u e d i n s i s t e n c e t h a t J i m i s "one o f u s " s u g g e s t s why he i s so a b s o r b e d by J i m ' s f a t e . F o r by u n d e r s t a n d i n g J i m he c a n p e r h a p s u n d e r s t a n d a l i t t l e o f h i m s e l f . L i k e B r i e r l y , M a r l o w s e e s i n J i m ' s a c t i o n a p o t e n t i a l i n e v e r y human b e i n g and a p o s s i b l e c a u s e o f t h e breakdown o f t h e code e v o l v e d so l a b o r i o u s l y f o r o u r p r o t e c t i o n a g a i n s t t h e p h y s i c a l w o r l d and p s y c h i c d a r k n e s s . The d o u b l i n g i s o f a c o m p l e x , s u b t l e k i n d i n w h i c h J i m and M a rlow i n t e r a c t d i r e c t l y i n t h e w o r l d o f s h i p s , c o u r t s o f i n q u i r y a n d n a t i v e t r a d i n g , p s y c h o l o g i c a l l y i n what t h e y b r i n g o u t r e g a r d i n g e a c h o t h e r ' s c h a r a c t e r , and s y m b o l i c a l l y i n t h e s t o r y as work o f a r t . F u r t h e r m o r e , as I have a l r e a d y s u g g e s t e d , Marlow i s a c t i n g as a r t i s t w i t h i n t h e s t o r y , s h a p i n g a t r u t h f r o m t h e f r a g m e n t s o f h i s knowledge o f J i m . T h i s t r u t h r e m a i n s u n c e r t a i n , and u n c e r t a i n t y i s a m a j o r theme o f t h e n o v e l . 53 " . . . M h a t I c o u l d n e v e r make up my mind a b o u t was w h e t h e r h i s l i n e o f c o n d u c t amounted t o s h i r k i n g h i s g h o s t o r t o f a c i n g h i m out" ( 1 9 7 ) . T h i s comment by Marlow p r e c e d e s by o n l y a f e w pages h i s r e c o u n t i n g o f t h e S t e i n e p i s o d e , and i t s u g g e s t s t h e b a s i c a m b i v a l e n c e t o w a r d s J i m ' s a c t i o n s t h a t M a r l o w m a i n t a i n s t h r o u g h o u t t h e s t o r y . I n l a r g e p a r t , t h e s t o r y t h a t M arlow t e l l s i s h i s a t t e m p t t o come t o terms w i t h t h e meaning o f J i m ' s l i f e , i t s meaning n o t s o much f o r J i m as f o r " u s " . L o r d J i m i s a n o v e l a b o u t c o m m u n i c a t i o n , a b o u t t h e i m p o s s i b i l i t y o f f u l l y c o m p r e h e n d i n g t h e n a t u r e o f a n o t h e r ' s e x p e r i e n c e and a s p i r a t i o n s , o r e v e n o f c o m p r e h e n d i n g o u r own, J i m i s f o r Marlow, and f o r t h e r e a d e r , a c a s e s t u d y i n f i d e l i t y t o i d e a l s , and M a r l o w ' s c o m p u l s i v e p r e s e n t a t i o n o f h i s c a s e i s a n e f f o r t t o come t o g r i p s w i t h a p o t e n t i a l i n h i s own n a t u r e . L i k e t h e A n c i e n t M a r i n e r , Marlow must f i x h i s a u d i e n c e a n d r e v e a l t o them what he has d i s c o v e r e d o f t h e human e x p e r i e n c e , as i f i n t e l l i n g he were somehow coming t o terms w i t h h i s own u n i q u e knowledge o f t h e u n i v e r s a l human t r a g e d y . And y e t he c a n n o t d i r e c t l y communicate any c e n t r a l meaning i n t h e e v e n t s he r e l a t e s : " . . . t h e r e s h a l l be no message, u n l e s s s u c h as e a c h of us c a n i n t e r p r e t f o r h i m s e l f f r o m t h e l a n g u a g e o f f a c t s , t h a t a r e s o o f t e n more e n i g m a t i c t h a n t h e c r a f t i e s t a r r a n g e m e n t o f words " ( 3 4 0 ) . Marlow makes "an a t t e m p t t o d e l i v e r " J i m (3^0), b u t a l l he c a n d e l i v e r i s f a c t s , 54 n o t j u s t t h e f a c t s o f m a t e r i a l e v e n t s , h u t t h e f a c t s o f c e r t a i n p e o p l e s a y i n g c e r t a i n t h i n g s . And f u r t h e r m o r e , C o n r a d p r e s e n t s us w i t h t h e " f a c t " o f M a r l o w t e l l i n g t h e s t o r y . O n l y t h e f i r s t f i v e c h a p t e r s b e a r t h e stamp o f a u t h o r i t y w h i c h t h e a u t h o r ' s d i r e c t p r e s e n c e p l a c e s on h i s words ? t h e r e m a i n i n g f o r t y a r e f r e e d f r o m t h e i m p l i -c a t i o n w h i c h d e r i v e s f r o m a n o m n i s c i e n t method, t h a t t h e c r e a t o r o f t h e work i s a l w a y s d i r e c t l y p r e s e n t and s a y i n g t h i n g s t h a t c o n v e y a message. The n o v e l i s c u t a d r i f t f r o m e x p l i c i t m eaning and f r e e d t o f l o a t away f r o m i t s c r e a t o r u n d e r t h e command o f C a p t a i n M a r l o w , a m a s t e r who s t e e r s i t on a s e e m i n g l y random q u e s t f o r m e a n i n g , s t o p p i n g o n t h e way t o r e s c u e f r a g m e n t s o f i n f o r m a t i o n i n some way b e a r i n g on h i s q u e s t . H i s p a s s e n g e r s ( t h e l i s t e n e r s ) may r e g a r d t h e voyage as a p l e a s u r e c r u i s e d e v i s e d f o r t h e i r e n t e r t a i n m e n t , o r t h e y may p a r t i c i p a t e w i t h M a r l o w i n h i s q u e s t . O n l y t h e p r i v i l e g e d l i s t e n e r ( a n d , i m p l i c i t l y , t h e r e a d e r ) i s c h o s e n t o accompany him on h i s s e c o n d e x p e d i t i o n t o g a t h e r up t h e f i n a l mementoes b e f o r e r e t u r n i n g t o p o r t . C e n t r a l t o t h e n o v e l i s t h e S t e i n e p i s o d e , and i t i s v i t a l t o any a t t e m p t t o u n d e r s t a n d t h e n o v e l . I t i s o f t e n t h o u g h t o f as d i v i d i n g t h e n o v e l i n t o P a t n a and P a t u s a n s e c t i o n s , b u t i t i s f a r more t h a n a mere l i n k c o n n e c t i n g two p a r t s . I t l o o k s b o t h backwards and f o r -55 wards; i t contains an attempt to e x p l a i n Jim's a c t i o n s up to t h i s point, hut i t a l s o suggests a great d e a l about the s i g n i f i c a n c e of the Patusan events which are to come. Moreover, the novel returns to S t e i n i n i t s c l o s i n g pages and i t s l a s t sentence conveys an image of him. Thus the S t e i n episode i s complexly l i n k e d with the whole novel, not only g i v i n g but r e c e i v i n g meaning from i t s r e l a t i o n s to the r e s t . Rather than regarding i t as a l i n k , we might b e t t e r use the metaphor of the keystone, the c e n t r a l stone of an arch, with the two parts of the t a l e symmetrically disposed about i t and bearing upon i t as i t bears upon and supports them, Marlow goes to S t e i n because he i s "anxious to seek h i s advice"(202). He regards S t e i n as a doctor, able, through long p r a c t i c a l t r a i n i n g , to diagnose the disease with which Jim i s a f f l i c t e d . The s i t u a t i o n i s very much that of the standard comic scene i n which a character i s t e l l i n g a doctor about the troubles of a " f r i e n d " , while i n r e a l i t y seeking advice on h i s own case. For a moment, St e i n seems to l i v e up to expectations: "•I understand very w e l l . He i s romantic?' He had diagnosed the case f o r me, and at f i r s t I was quite s t a r t l e d to f i n d how simple i t was . . ."(212). Following the diagnosis i t i s n a t u r a l to ask f o r a remedyi "'What's good f o r i t ? ' " When S t e i n reveals the cure, the p a r t i c u l a r kind of s l m p l i -56 c i t y i n h e r e n t i n t h e d i a g n o s i s becomes e v i d e n t : "'One t h i n g a l o n e c a n us f r o m b e i n g o u r s e l v e s c u r e ! ' The f i n g e r came down on t h e d e s k w i t h a s m a r t r a p . The c a s e w h i c h he had made t o l o o k s o s i m p l e b e f o r e became i f p o s s i b l e s t i l l s i m p l e r — a n d a l t o g e t h e r h o p e l e s s . " D e a t h i s t h e c u r e f o r r o m a n t i c i s m , as i t i s f o r a l l t h e t r o u b l e s o f l i f e , a n d J i m w i l l e v e n t u a l l y be c u r e d . B u t i n t h e meantime, " ' t h e q u e s t i o n i s n o t how t o g e t c u r e d b u t how t o l i v e . ' " J u s t as S t e i n ' s d i a g n o s i s o f J i m i s s e e n t o be v i r t u a l l y t a u t o l o g i c a l , s o a l l o f M arlow•s a t t e m p t s t o d e f i n e J i m t u r n o u t t o be c o n t r a d i c t e d o r s u p e r c e d e d by e v e n t s t h a t f a i l t o f i t an e a s y p a t t e r n , M arlow's l e t t e r t o t h e p r i v i l e g e d l i s t e n e r i s a n a t t e m p t t o r e a s s e s s J i m i n t h e l i g h t o f h i s l a s t a c t s , b u t t h e n o v e l ends i n c o n c l u s i v e l y , w i t h t h e q u e s t i o n "who k n o w s ? " ( 4 l 6 ) i n i t s l a s t p a r a g r a p h . I t i s c l e a r t h a t l a b e l l i n g J i m a r o m a n t i c begs t h e q u e s t i o n , f o r even t h o u g h i t g i v e s Marlow a s e n s e o f u n d e r s t a n d i n g , i t does s o w i t h o u t a d d i n g new i n f o r m a t i o n } M arlow knows no more a b o u t J i m a f t e r t h e l a b e l l i n g . He must now g r a p p l e w i t h t h e meaning o f " r o m a n t i c " , S t e i n ' s s t a t e m e n t "He i s r o m a n t i c " d e m o n s t r a t e s a s i g n i f i c a n t a s p e c t o f t h e c e n t r a l i s s u e o f t h e n o v e l . 57 To reduce a man to an a b s t r a c t i o n l i k e "romantic" i s to s e l e c t from the events of h i s l i f e only those which seem to f i t a pattern, and In the process the man i s l o s t . Nothing equals anything e l s e ; hence the fundamental im-p o s s i b i l i t y of t o t a l communication. Yet communication does take p l a c e , at l e a s t on some l e v e l s and to some extent, and S t e i n i s aware that his diagnosis does not lead to a cure. Patterns of ex-perience do seem to e x i s t , f o r without them a r t would be impossible, as would consciousness i t s e l f . The p h y s i c a l universe seems to f o l l o w those patterns of cause and e f f e c t which i t i s the business of science to explore, and human beings behave i n ways that are not t o t a l l y random. We know some things, such as that each of us must d i e , but our understanding of that knowledge i s determined by our values, that Is, by conventional standards and a t t i t u d e s that may be rather a c c u r a t e l y c a l l e d i l l u s i o n s . Language, i n essence a system of conventions, i s such an i l l u s i o n , and l i t e r a t u r e , e s p e c i a l l y poetry, i s always to some extent a manipulation of the conventions i n such a way as to break f r e e of a few of them and i n the process transcend the l i m i t e d degree of communication possible In everyday language. 58 In any information system the quan t i t y of information c a r r i e d i s p r o p o r t i o n a l to the unexpectedness of the message. Redundancy conveys no new information. Norbert Wiener i n The Human Use of Human Beings points out that good poetry i s more i l l u m i n a t i n g than c l i c h e p r e c i s e l y because of i t s a b i l i t y to shock. J a r r i n g the reader loose from e a s i l y accepted commonplaces allows him to see things a f r e s h , not f r e e from i l l u s i o n s , but a t l e a s t with an awareness of i l l u s i o n that mitigates i t s s t u l t i -f y i n g e f f e c t . S t ein's i n i t i a l diagnosis i s a f a i l u r e , as he knows, because while i t provides a convenient l a b e l and gives Marlow "knowledge" of Jim's c o n d i t i o n , Imaginatively grasping the meaning of "romantic" i s as hard as under-standing Jim. Thus, while Stein's statement could be regarded as a condensation of the meaning of Jim's l i f e , i t i s more r e v e a l i n g to regard the r e s t of the novel as an expansion of t h i s one sentence. If man were simply a part of "the accuracy, the harmony"(208) of nature, he could, l i k e a b u t t e r f l y or beetle, be pinned down. But he d i f f e r s from the r e s t of nature i n being conscious and consequently i n seeking meanings, c r e a t i n g i l l u s i o n s , and thereby becoming capable of experiencing tragedy« Conrad himself s a i d , i n a l e t t e r to R.B. Cunningham Graham, "what makes mankind t r a g i c Is not that they are vi c t i m s of nature, i t Is that they 59 are conscious of i t . " ~ r Because of t h i s consciousness, man cannot he t r e a t e d as a specimen. His actions can be observed and recorded with whatever degree of p r e c i s i o n i s necessary f o r a given purpose, but to record i s not n e c e s s a r i l y to understand. The actions can be given meaning only be reference to a set of standards; t h i s i s p r e c i s e l y what the i n q u i r y was e s t a b l i s h e d f o r , to judge Jim's ac t i o n s i n terms of a code of behaviour to which he i m p l i c i t l y subscribed by accepting the post on the Patna. The i n q u i r y cannot take i n t o account anything but the f a c t s , and cannot go beyond the f a c t s to see that "they made a whole that had f e a t u r e s , shades of expression, . . . and something else besides . . ."(30-31) . I t cannot search f o r any meaning i m p l i c i t i n the f a c t s , but can only t e s t them i n accordance with conventional standards i m p l i c i t i n i t s very purpose. I t pins Jim down, revokes h i s c e r t i f i c a t e , but i n doing so i t commits an act of a b s t r a c t i o n . For Jim i s not merely the F i r s t O f f i c e r of the Patna; that i s only one r o l e he has played. In t r u t h , the i n q u i r y can only touch, or even consider, a very small part of h i s t o t a l being, unless he i d e n t i f i e s himself completely with the "piece of ass's s k i n " ( l 6 l ) . The German captain doesn't; Chester doesn't; why then does Jim "take i t to heart?" ( 1 6 2 ) . "1'ou must see things exactly as they a r e — i f you 6 0 d o n ' t , y o u may j u s t as w e l l g i v e i n a t once. You w i l l n e v e r do a n y t h i n g i n t h i s w o r l d " ( 1 6 2 ) . C h e s t e r ' s i d e a o f r e a l i t y i s t o e x p l o i t t h e guano o f t h e W a l p o l e R e e f , m aking J i m "supreme "boss o v e r t h e c o o l i e s , " " . . . w i t h two s i x - s h o o t e r s and he t h e o n l y armed man"(144). Wh i l e u n d o u b t e d l y C h e s t e r i s c o n c e r n e d w i t h f a c t s , p a r t i c u l a r l y e a r t h y o n e s , t h e a c t o f s e l e c t i n g c e r t a i n f a c t s t o d e a l w i t h i m p l i e s t h e e x i s t e n c e o f v a l u e s , i . e . , o f i l l u s i o n s . C h e s t e r ' s m a t e r i a l i s t i c i d e a l i s no l e s s a n i l l u s i o n t h a n J i m ' s dream o f b e i n g p r e p a r e d f o r h e r o i c a c t i o n , b u t C h e s t e r ' s p a r t i c u l a r a m b i t i o n has t h e s a n c t i o n o f h i s s o c i e t y , b e i n g p a r t o f t h e I d e a l o f p r o g r e s s w h i c h p r o d u c e d t h e i r o n s h i p on w h i c h J i m s e r v e d . The C h e s t e r - R o b i n s o n e p i s o d e , t o w h i c h I s h a l l r e t u r n , s e r v e s a n I r o n i c p u r p o s e i n t h e n o v e l , d r a w i n g a t t e n t i o n t o t h e i l l u s o r y n a t u r e o f what seems t h e most mundane, and t h e r e f o r e f a c t u a l and c o n c r e t e , o f human a c t i v i t i e s . The whole n o v e l l e a d s t o a q u e s t i o n -i n g o f a l l i d e a l s by a n i r o n i c j u x t a p o s i t i o n o f v a l u e s . L e t us f o r a moment r e t u r n t o Marlow's m e e t i n g w i t h S t e i n . S t e i n has p r o v i d e d Marlow w i t h a l a b e l f o r J i m , b u t does n o t s t o p t h e r e . " ' A d a p t i n g t h e words o f y o u r g r e a t p o e t , " t h e q u e s t i o n i s n o t "To be o r n o t t o b e ? " ( J i m has a l r e a d y c o n s i d e r e d and r e j e c t e d s u i c i d e when i n t h e b o a t w i t h t h e o t h e r P a t n a o f f i c e r s ) , b u t "'How t o b e ! ' " ( 2 1 3 ) . H a v i n g i m p l i c i t l y o p t e d f o r l i f e by n o t 61 o p t i n g out of i t , each of us i s f a c e d w i t h c r e a t i n g mean-i n g i n a w o r l d where a l l meanings are i l l u s i o n s , "'This m a g n i f i c e n t b u t t e r f l y f i n d s a l i t t l e heap of d i r t and s i t s s t i l l on i t s but man he w i l l never on h i s heap of mud keep s t i l l , . . . He wants to be a s a i n t , and he wants to be a d e v i l — a n d every time he shuts h i s eyes he sees h i m s e l f as a ve r y f i n e f e l l o w — s o f i n e as he can never be. . , . In a dream. . . . And because you cannot always keep your eyes shut there comes the r e a l t r o u b l e — t h e h e a r t p a i n — t h e w o r l d pain* " (213) . J i m was f o r c e d t o open h i s eyes when the Patna was h o l e d and now s u f f e r s from the pains of c o n f l i c t between dream and r e a l i t y . He saw h i m s e l f as "a very f i n e f e l l o w , " s e t a p a r t from the o t h e r o f f i c e r s . The shadow p r o w l i n g amongst the graves of b u t t e r f l i e s laughed b o i s t e r -o u s l y . "Yes! Very funny t h i s t e r r i b l e t h i n g i s . A man t h a t i s born f a l l s i n t o a dream l i k e a man who f a l l s i n t o the sea. I f he t r i e s t o c l i m b out i n t o the a i r as i n e x p e r i e n c e d people endeavour to do, he drowns--nlcht wahr? . . . No! I t e l l you! The way i s t o the d e s t r u c -t i v e element submit y o u r s e l f , and w i t h the e x e r t i o n s of your hands and f e e t i n the water make the deep, deep sea keep you up. So i f you ask me—how to be?" " I w i l l t e l l you! For t h a t , t o o , there i s o n l y one way. "To f o l l o w the dream and a g a i n t o f o l l o w the dream—and s o — e w l g — u s q u e ad flnem" . (214-215). 62 This much i n t e r p r e t e d passage, l i k e the r e s t of the n o v e l and l i k e J im h i m s e l f , has a k i n d of s i m p l i c i t y t h a t Is i t s e l f a d i f f i c u l t y . Man i s born i n t o a l i f e and has an o b j e c t i v e r e a l i t y , but man's con s c i o u s n e s s , the q u a l i t y t h a t d i s t i n g u i s h e s him from animals and g i v e s him the c a p a c i t y f o r t r a g i c awareness, seeks t o f i n d meanings i n t h i s o b j e c t i v e w o r l d . Such meanings are n e c e s s a r i l y i l l u s i o n s , dreams of purpose In a wo r l d t h a t has come about through b l i n d e v o l u t i o n a r y f o r c e s , where the o n l y purpose t h a t has genuine o b j e c t i v e r e a l i t y i s the con-t i n u a t i o n of l i f e i t s e l f . The o n l y n o n - r e l a t i v e meanings are those man has In common w i t h the a n i m a l s , such as a simple d r i v e f o r s e l f - p r e s e r v a t i o n , the Impulse t h a t causes Jim to jump from the Patna. Yet man s t r i v e s t o c r e a t e an ordered and meaningful u n i v e r s e . He may, l i k e McWhirr i n "Typhoon", m a i n t a i n h i s unconsciousness of the a r b i t r a r y q u a l i t y of the conventions t o which he adheres, and i f so " d i s d a i n e d " may l i v e out h i s l i f e i n the b e l i e f t h a t the conventions are u n i v e r s a l laws, These i l l u s i o n s are of many k i n d s , and the n o v e l presents c h a r a c t e r s who f o l l o w s e v e r a l d i f f e r e n t dreams, On one s i d e t h e r e are the " r e a l i s t s " l i k e C hester, Robin-son, C o r n e l i u s , Brown, and the German c a p t a i n of the Patna. These men share d i f f e r e n t v e r s i o n s of a b a s i c b e l i e f i n m a t e r i a l v a l u e s , and " r e a l i s m " i s not a t o t a l l y 63 misleading term f o r t h i s b e l i e f , since t h e i r values are more or l e s s d i r e c t d e r i v a t i o n s from b a s i c animal impulses to ensure the s a f e t y and freedom from i r r i t a t i o n of the organism. Chester's profit-making scheme f o r e x p l o i t i n g the guano of the Walpole Reef, f o r example, can be seen as stemming from a d e s i r e to accumulate the money that w i l l provide food, s h e l t e r and s e c u r i t y . Of course, the o r i g i n s of the value have been l o s t and the undertaking of p r o f i t a b l e schemes has become an end i n I t s e l f , so much so that, by causing h i s death, the scheme defeats the o b j e c t i v e from which i t o r i g i n a t e d . But nevertheless, Chester's values can be regarded as having a l i n k with o b j e c t i v e r e a l i t y that i s a good d e a l c l o s e r than that of the romantic dreams of Jim and S t e i n . S i m i l a r l y , Brown, once a "gentleman" according to legend, has reverted to a w o l f - l i k e existence, preying on a l l but the other members of h i s hunting pack. And the Captain of the Patna has no use a t a l l f o r such nonsense as the idea that the c a p t a i n should stay with his ship to ensure the s a f e t y of h i s passengers and cargo ( i n t h i s case, the p i l g r i m s are t r e a t e d more l i k e cargo than passengers, s p e c i f i c a l l y l i k e " c a t t l e " , but the captain has no regard f o r e i t h e r ) . The captain's con-cerns are e n t i r e l y f o r h i m s e l f j he wants to save h i s own s k i n . I t i s an i n t e r e s t i n g and s i g n i f i c a n t irony that 64 Jim, t o o , i s an e g o i s t . He sees h i s v a l u e s as e n t i r e l y d i f f e r e n t from those of the other o f f i c e r s ? y e t , mistaken f o r the t h i r d e ngineer, he jumps i n h i s s t e a d . Jim, as S t e i n p o i n t s out t o Marlow, i s r o m a n t i c , not "one of them" but "one of us." His v a l u e s are an attempt to t r a n s c e n d the "mere f a c t s " of the p h y s i c a l w o r l d , t o c r e a t e a g r e a t e r and s p e c i f i c a l l y human o r d e r i n a meaningless u n i v e r s e . Such a dream i s i n h e r e n t l y more dangerous than those of the r e a l i s t s ; a more e l a b o r a t e and l o f t y s t r u c t u r e , i t may more e a s i l y be t o p p l e d i f i t s underpinnings i n the w o r l d of f a c t s prove t o be i n s e c u r e . Time i s i t s most r e l e n t l e s s enemy, f o r the l o n g e r the b e l i e v e r l i v e s , the more l i k e l y he Is to encounter d i s -i l l u s i o n i n g f a c t s , not o n l y because more exposure t o the w o r l d i n c r e a s e s the p r o b a b i l i t y , but a l s o because time I t s e l f b r i n g s changes t h a t are l i k e l y t o d e s t r o y romantic dreams, The o n l y sure way to m a i n t a i n i n t a c t a v i s i o n of a t r a n s c e n d i n g order i n the w o r l d i s to d i e e a r l y enough — t h i s i s B r i e r l y ' s s o l u t i o n . The predicament i s tragedy and man's understanding of the predicament i s t r a g i c awareness. T h i s noble dream must de s t r o y i t s e l f or i t s b e l i e v e r , y e t d e s t r u c t i v e as i t i s , i t r a i s e s him i n one way w h i l e p r o v i d i n g the p o s s i b i l i t y of f a l l . S t e i n ' s Image of the dream as the sea, "the d e s t r u e -65 t i v e element," i s s i n g u l a r l y a p p r o p r i a t e and r e v e a l i n g . We f a l l i n t o a dream (not the dream, f o r t h e r e are many), the f a l l i s i n e v i t a b l e , not a cons c i o u s c h o i c e . Once i n we may s i n k , swim, or t r y to c l i m b out. But how c l i m b out of a system of meaning? The a c t of t r y i n g i s an i m p l i c i t statement of meaning and the r e s u l t i n g paradox may d e s t r o y us as i t d e s t r o y e d Heyst ( i n V i c t o r y ) w i t h h i s attempt a t a l o o f n e s s . "The way i s to the d e s t r u c t i v e element submit your-s e l f , and w i t h the e x e r t i o n s of your hands and f e e t i n the water make the deep, deep sea keep you up." The combination of p r o s a i c and p o e t i c language i n t h i s sen-tence r e i n f o r c e s the power of the metaphor. Acceptance of the dream must be accompanied by p r a c t i c a l a c t i o n i n i t s p u r s u i t . Submission i s not enough, e x e r t i o n i s need-ed. The p o e t i c "deep, deep sea" o f f e r s a medium f o r the p r o s a i c e f f o r t s of "the hands and f e e t i n the water." Jim's d o w n f a l l has come about because of h i s de-tachment from "mere f a c t s " , h i s attempt to l i v e a dream wit h o u t a c t i v e l y p u r s u i n g i t . Because he d i d not commit h i m s e l f to a c t i o n , he a c t e d i n v o l u n t a r i l y . His i m a g i n a t i o n p a r a l y s e d him a t a time when the code to which he i m p l i c i t l y s u b s c r i b e d p r o v i d e d him w i t h the o p p o r t u n i t y f o r h e r o i c a c t i o n , and h i s f o r g o t t e n impulse f o r l i f e took over and 6 6 threw him, l i t e r a l l y , i n t o the same boat with the cowardly, " r e a l i s t i c " c aptain. And so we have Stein's apparently simple formula f o r how to bes recognize your dream, accept i t , exert y o u r s e l f through p r a c t i c a l a c t i o n to make i t come true, f o l l o w i t through to the end.-^ Expressed thus i t sounds not so very d i f f e r e n t from the kind of advice which Jim's simple country parson f a t h e r o f f e r s , an "easy m o r a l i t y " (341). Is t h i s episode of the novel, then, merely an e l a b o r a t e l y presented homily? This i s the question that I set out to r a i s e by suggesting that Stein's a n a l y s i s has a s p e c i a l kind of s i m p l i c i t y . For indeed the e x p l l d i t meaning of Stein's metaphor i s r e l a t i v e l y s t r a i g h t f o r w a r d . But as always the rendering i s a l l , and the impression of profundity which we r e c e i v e from the episode i s by no means bogus, though the presentation i s not without irony d i r e c t e d at S t e i n and h i s words.^ There are three dominant s t r a i n s of imagery running through these pages. The most obvious i s that of the sea, which I have already discussed, and which occurs only i n Stein's words. The other two provide a ground f o r Stein's words to work against. The f i r s t i s the imagery of b u t t e r f l i e s and b e e t l e s , and the second that of l i g h t and dark. Both s t r a i n s permeate the novel but 67 r e a c h a c l i m a x of I n t e n s i t y here, s u g g e s t i n g t h a t t h e i r s ymbolic i m p l i c a t i o n s throughout the remainder of the work are here i n t e n s i f i e d , and t h i s supports the view t h a t the S t e i n episode i s designed to h o l d the n o v e l t o -gether and i l l u m i n a t e what has gone before w h i l e f o r e -shadowing what i s to come. Tony Tanner's v a l u a b l e a r t i c l e , " B u t t e r f l i e s and B e e t l e s — C o n r a d *s Two T r u t h s , " p r o v i d e s an u n d e r s t a n d i n g of Conrad's work t h a t goes f a r beyond Lo r d Jim.'''' S t a r t i n g w i t h the r e l a t i v e l y e x p l i c i t a n a l o g i e s between Jim and S t e i n ' s b u t t e r f l y and between such " r e a l i s t s " as C o r n e l i u s and the b e e t l e s , Tanner develops a concept of two k i n d s of t r u t h . The t r u t h of the b e e t l e s d e r i v e s from t h e i r b e i n g " u g l y , earth-bound c r e a t u r e s , d e v o i d of d i g n i t y and a s p i r a t i o n , i n t e n t merely on s e l f - p r e s e r v a t i o n a t a l l c o s t s s but g i f t e d w i t h a hard s h e l l which serves them w e l l i n t h e i r unscrupulous w i l l t o l i v e — t o l i v e on any terms, and capable of g r e a t malevolence when t h a t Q l i f e i s t h r e a t e n e d . " Tanner c a l l s Donkin (of The Nigger of the " N a r c i s s u s " ) "one of Conrad's most n o t a b l e c r e a t i o n s of the b e e t l e s of t h i s w o r l d " ^ and p o i n t s out the k i n d of t r u t h which Conrad sees him as r e v e a l i n g . "We abomin-ate d the c r e a t u r e and c o u l d not deny the t r u t h of h i s c o n t e n t i o n s . I t was a l l so obvious"(101). Donkin, the landsman, i s a purveyor not o n l y of the mere f a c t s of 68 existence but of the "obvious" t r u t h that such i d e a l s as d i s c i p l i n e , duty, and f i d e l i t y are i l l u s o r y . The r e a l danger of Donkin's t r u t h i s that i t "denies the point of a l l e f f o r t j " 1 0 nothing matters except s u r v i v a l and com-f o r t and i n the extreme s i t u a t i o n i t may be more com-f o r t a b l e to d i e than to struggle f o r l i f e . The other kind of t r u t h , the t r u t h of the b u t t e r -f l y , i s l e s s easy to demonstrate, and, Indeed, the question of i t s very existence i s a t the center of Marlow's con-cern i n Lord Jim. I t i s the t r u t h of i l l u s i o n s which d i g n i f y and s u s t a i n human l i f e . But what t r u t h can there be i n i l l u s i o n s ? Marlow r e f e r s to "the t r u t h d i s c l o s e d i n a moment of i l l u s i o n " ( 3 2 3 ) , and i n one of h i s l e t t e r s , Conrad a s s e r t s that he has been concerned "with the • i d e a l ' value of things, events and people. That and nothing e l s e . " 1 1 Both seem to be suggesting some kind of qu a s i -P l a t o n i c i d e a l that l i e s beneath the surface of "things as they r e a l l y are." The beetles deny the existence of any such t r u t h ; the b u t t e r f l i e s s t r i v e to reach and exemplify i t , to l i v e the i l l u s i o n and make i t true. Although Marlow i s w i l l i n g to use " t r u t h " and " I l l u s i o n " Interchangeably i n some contexts, he does a s s e r t the t r u t h of one t h i n g — J i m ' s f e e l i n g s t ", . . i n v i r t u e of h i s f e e l i n g s , he mattered"(222). Insofar as 69 Jim has b e l i e v e d and f e l t , he has r i s e n above the b e e t l e s . They r e l e n t l e s s l y pursue him and drag him down, but the ultimate d i r t y t r u t h — d e a t h — h e transforms by imbuing i t with a higher meaning: he goes proudly to h i s death. Thus, according to some i n t e r p r e t a t i o n s , a l l of Jim's f a i l u r e s are redeemed by the manner of h i s death} he i s a t r a g i c hero because he has accepted and mastered h i s de s t i n y . But, as I have already suggested, t h i s i s only one way of viewing Jim's death, and Conrad c e r t a i n l y presents us with cause to consider i t i n other ways. As Tanner points out, the novel continues beyond Jim's death and ends on a note of profound questioning and melancholy; " S t e i n has aged g r e a t l y of l a t e . He f e e l s i t himself, and says o f t e n that he i s 'preparing to leave a l l t h i s ; preparing to leave . . .' while he waves h i s hand sadly a t h i s b u t t e r f l i e s " ( 4 1 7 ) . Furthermore, t h i s l a s t s e c t i o n of the s t o r y , the pa r t only the p r i v i l e g e d l i s t e n e r hears, begins with S t e i n " i n utmost d i s t r e s s " (347), mumbling as he takes Marlow to Jewel, hardly the S t e i n we met e a r l i e r . Marlow i s " c h i l l e d as i f these vast apartments had been the c o l d abode of despair"(3 4 8 ) . The f i r s t h i n t s a t Jim's end are by no means sympathetic ones. We see how his way of death has a f f e c t e d Jewel and Tamb' Itarn« "He went away from me as i f I had been worse than death"(349), she says, and Tamb' simply r e -peats, "He would not fight" ( 3 4 6 ) . Marlow sees mankind 70 "driven by a dream of i t s greatness and i t s power upon the dark paths of excessive c r u e l t y and of excessive de-v o t i o n . " And he goes on to ask, "And what i s the p u r s u i t of t r u t h a f t e r a l l ? " , implying that i t i s j u s t a dream and an e g o i s t i c one (349-350). Seen i n the context of the novel, Jim's death i s by no means unambiguously noble. But n e i t h e r i s i t unam-biguously e g o t i s t i c a l . According to Tanner, "One can see Lord Jim as Conrad's r e g r e t f u l f a r e w e l l to the b u t t e r -f l i e s . . . , Jim was the l a s t of a dying species as f a r as Conrad was concerned, . . . For the t e r r i b l e unavoidable t r u t h about Jim i s that 'he i s not good enough'—the worst 1 2 t r u t h to Conrad i s that 'nobody, nobody i s good enough.'" In s p i t e of Stein's i n s i s t e n c e to Jewel and Marlow's to hi s reader that Jim was true, and i n s p i t e of Jim's " l a s t f l i c k e r of superb egoism"—"'Nothing can touch me•"(413) —we are fo r c e d to f e e l that i n some sense Jim's " t r u t h " was not enough to pr o t e c t him from the beetle f a c t s and that t h e i r grubby t r u t h does indeed touch him. Tanner concludes h i s a r t i c l e by suggesting "that Conrad wants to know how a man behaves, how a man should behave, how he can f i n d sanctions and supports to r e s i s t the i n s i d i o u s g r a v i t a t i o n a l p u l l towards the base, b e e t l e - l i k e , i r r e s i s t i b l e argument that 'nothing matters'", 71 when h i s e x t e r n a l circumstances g i v e him no support. T h i s , of course, Is p r e c i s e l y Jim's c o n d i t i o n on the Patna and i n the boat. Tanner f i n d s an answer i n the f i g u r e of S i n g l e t o n and i n the sentence, "He s t e e r e d w i t h c a r e . " Conrad, he t h i n k s , " b e l i e v e d i n . . . the d i g n i t y of s t a n d i n g e r e c t and uncomplaining i n the storms of a Ik h o s t i l e nature and the darkness of e n c i r c l i n g doubt." " Tanner's d i v i s i o n of men i n t o b u t t e r f l i e s and b e e t l e s i s a u s e f u l and s u g g e s t i v e one, but i t s u f f e r s from the problem t h a t besets a l l dichotomiess i t a l l o w s f o r no middle c a t e g o r y , no complex combination of the q u a l i t i e s of both c a t e g o r i e s . Seeing Jim as a b u t t e r -f l y dragged down by b e e t l e s , f o r I n s t a n c e , may l e a d us t o f o r g e t t h a t i t Is h i s own b e e t l e nature t h a t causes him t o jump. Seeing him i n o p p o s i t i o n t o the b e e t l e Brown i s o n l y p a r t of the s i g n i f i c a n c e of t h e i r meetingj f o r w h i l e these two are o b v i o u s l y d i f f e r e n t , the bonds between them are s t r o n g and v i t a l . Tanner c o r r e c t l y p o i n t s out t h a t "Jim's a i r of moral s u p e r i o r i t y maddens Brown, as evidence of a s u p e r i o r e t h i c w i l l always i n f u r i a t e a man who l i v e s by a baser one . . . ," and t h a t "Jim's r e f u s a l to f i g h t l i k e a man Tamb' Itam's complaint about Jim's manner of d y i n g , h i s i n c a p a c i t y f o r d i a b o l i c a l a c t i o n , r e v o l t s the man of d e v i l i s h energy." To Brown, Jim " i s , t h u s , a • f r a u d . ' " 1 1 * The complex t r u t h of Jim's meeting 72 with Brown i s that he i s both r i g h t and wrong i n b e l i e v i n g the "subtle reference to t h e i r common blood, an assump-t i o n of common experience? a s i c k e n i n g suggestion of common g u i l t , of se c r e t knowledge that was l i k e a bond of t h e i r minds and of t h e i r h e a r t s " ( 3 8 7 ) . He i s r i g h t because they do share the common experience of man l i v i n g i n a world of grubby f a c t s , and therefore share the g u i l t of an existence i n which a l l a c t i o n i s n e c e s s a r i l y com-promised. But he i s wrong i n that he f a i l s to see that t h i s common experience i s not i n t e r p r e t e d through a common system of values. Brown i s a r e a l i s t while Jim i s a romantic, and that makes a l l the d i f f e r e n c e . Both Jim and Brown possess t r u t h , but t h e i r truths are d i f f e r e n t , the "two t r u t h s " of Tanner•s t i t l e . Neither i s s u f f i c i e n t alone, and whether they can be combined i n t o a s i n g l e higher t r u t h i s what Marlow—and C o n r a d — i s s t r u g g l i n g to discover through h i s compulsive t e l l i n g of the t a l e . The v i r t u e of a r t , a v i r t u e which Conrad underlines by u t i l i z i n g Marlow as a way of reminding the reader that he i s d e a l i n g with a r t , i s that i t enables c o n f l i c t i n g truths to be heId i n suspension. I t allows the imagination to grasp more than one t r u t h a t a time and to produce a syn-t h e s i s which cannot be achieved through any r a t i o n a l , a n a l y t i c presentation. Experience i s not redu c i b l e and a r t can create and simulate experience without r e d u c t i o n . 73 I t i s s i g n i f i c a n t t h a t the b e e t l e i s a c r e a t u r e of the e a r t h w h i l e the b u t t e r f l y ' s element i s a i r , but the element which S t e i n chooses f o r h i s image i s n e i t h e r s o l i d e a r t h nor d i f f u s e a i r . S t e i n ' s image f o r the des-t r u c t i v e element i s the ocean, whose f l u i d water i s sub-s t a n t i a l enough to o f f e r r e s i s t a n c e to the swimmer, the r e s i s t a n c e which enables him to keep h i m s e l f up, but w i l l p r o v i d e no f o o t i n g f o r the man who ceases to e x e r t him-s e l f . Furthermore, " i f he t r i e s t o c l i m b out i n t o a i r as i n e x p e r i e n c e d people endeavor to do, he drowns , , ."(214, my emphasis). The image of man as swimmer has q u i t e d i f f e r e n t c o n n o t a t i o n s from those of him as c r a w l i n g b e e t l e o r f l u t t e r i n g b u t t e r f l y . I t suggests a r e l a t i o n between man and h i s environment t h a t i s c l o s e r to the concept of tragedy as i t appears elsewhere I n Lord J i m and other Conrad works. The " d e s t r u c t i v e element" Imaged as water i s c l e a n and homogeneous, u n l i k e the d i r t of the e a r t h . Yet i t makes I t s e l f f e l t as a i r does n o t . The b u t t e r f l y has no v i s i b l e means of support, but the swimmer i s c l e a r l y e x e r t i n g h i m s e l f i n h i s element, u s i n g i t to s u s t a i n him. The economist Robert Theobald, i n a t a l k on the f u t u r e d e l i v e r e d on the CBC r a d i o program "Ideas" i n 1 9 6 8 , suggested the terms "goal o r i e n t a t i o n " and "process o r i e n t a t i o n " to d e s c r i b e two fundamentally d i f f e r e n t 74 frames of reference f o r human values, The goal o r i e n t e d man measures h i s success i n l i f e by h i s distance from a preconceived t a r g e t ; he b e l i e v e s s t r o n g l y i n the p o s s i b i l i t y of progress towards the target, even though he recognizes that i t may be d i f f i c u l t to achieve. The process-oriented man conceives h i s l i f e i n other terms. He has values, c e r t a i n l y , but they are g e n e r a l i z e d and n o n s p e c i f i c ; they do not define a goal but a way of l i v i n g , and h i s energies are d i r e c t e d to l e a r n i n g to l i v e r a t h e r than to s p e c i f i c achievement. Goal o r i e n t a t i o n Implies f i x e d standards by which to l i v e , while process o r i e n t a t i o n implies a questioning of such standards, a constant search f o r ways to understand the process of l i v i n g . Be-l i e f i n a goal o f f e r s a man, i f not a place to stand, then a t l e a s t a road to travel> l a c k i n g t e r r a firma, the process man must swim. I have introduced t h i s terminology because, since I f i r s t heard Theobald's t a l k , I have found i t extremely h e l p f u l i n approaching not only Conrad's works but a broad range of s o c i a l ideas. Like Camus' "The Myth of Sisyphus,"15 which i t c l o s e l y p a r a l l e l s , Theobald's metaphor helps us to break away from a n a l y s i s of human experience i n s t a t i c terms and s u b s t i t u t e a dynamic approach, both to l i f e and to l i t e r a t u r e . Without such a dynamic, process approach, the comprehension of tragedy i s lm-75 p o s s i b l e . In the l a s t c h a p t e r I r e f e r r e d to what I c a l l e d i n t e g r a t e d man, the man who can s i m u l t a n e o u s l y comprehend o p p o s i t e but complementary v i s i o n s of l i f e : the t r a g i c and the comic, the i n n e r and the o u t e r , the darkness and the l i g h t . Such a man, w h i l e he can see the need f o r such g o a l s as m a t e r i a l progress or s p i r i t u a l abnegation of the f l e s h , can see these g o a l s as the p a r t i a l t h i n g s they a r e — i l l u s i o n s . He i s p r o c e s s - o r i e n t e d man, but he i s not merely t h a t , f o r an animal c o u l d be c a l l e d p r o c e s s - o r i e n t e d , were i t not f o r the consciousness of s e l f t h a t the term i m p l i e s . Conrad d e s c r i b e d h i m s e l f as, b e f o r e the Congo 16 journey, a "mere a n i m a l " , but we must be wary both of t a k i n g such comments too l i t e r a l l y and of f i t t i n g them too g l i b l y i n t o a metaphorlc scheme. Perhaps the major s t e p i n e v o l u t i o n from animal t o man came w i t h the develop-ment of symbolic language, r a t h e r than simple v o e a l s i g n s , and the s i g n i f i c a n c e of t h i s step was t h a t i t a l l o w e d man t o conceive of a c t i o n s o t h e r than those i n the p r e s e n t , to imagine p o s s i b i l i t i e s and to s e t h i m s e l f g o a l s . But g o a l s are not enough, f o r they are e g o t i s t i c a l , not e g o i s t i c a l , an attempt a t s e l f - g r a t i f i c a t i o n , b u t l e a d i n g away from s e l f - a w a r e n e s s . I t was t o such a l a c k of self-awareness t h a t Conrad was r e f e r r i n g when he c a l l e d h i m s e l f an "animal". However, as we aaw i n The Hlgger 76 of the "Narcissus" and "Heart of Darkness", self-awareness does not mean abandonment of g o a l . S u r v i v a l and progress are necessary but not s u f f i c i e n t , Marlow's compulsive t e l l i n g of Jim's t a l e can be seen now as an attempt a t ac h i e v i n g an i n t e g r a t e d v i s i o n . He explores h i s own tragedy, the tragedy i n which each of us shares, by gathering evidence about h i s "speciman" and seeking to shape that evidence i n t o some form that has meaning. But h i s "court of i n q u i r y " has no f i x e d standards of conduct: there i s no question of a r r i v i n g at a v e r d i c t of not g u i l t y , f o r g u i l t i s a foregone con-c l u s i o n . What i s of concern i s the p o s s i b l e a t t i t u d e s towards g u i l t . In the Preface to Chance, Conrad says, "And i t i s only f o r t h e i r i n t e n t i o n s that men can be held r e s p o n s i b l e " ( x i i ) , While obviously an o v e r s i m p l i f i c a t i o n and s a i d i n the context of d i s c u s s i n g the e f f e c t s of novels on the p u b l i c , t h i s statement i s a valuable counterbalance to the s i m p l i s t i c n o t i o n that the Court of Inquiry can a r r i v e at the t r u t h about Jim. But equally s i m p l i s t i c i s Jim's own romantic s e l f - c o n c e p t . Jim i s caught between the obj e c t i v e Judgements of the world (whether the world of Western s o c i e t y or that of Patusan) and h i s own sub-j e c t i v e egoism. And we are caught between h i s seductive romantic idealism and our knowledge that men l i k e Jim are a menace to the s t a b i l i t y of s o c i e t y . Achieving an 77 imaginative grasp of these two s t a t e s of knowlege simul-taneously, s y n t h e s i z i n g , not a n a l y z i n g , i l l u s i o n , f a c t s and i n t e n t i o n s i s what i s r e q u i r e d f o r the t r a g i c awareness that embraces more l i m i t e d v i s i o n s and complements the comic. This i s what a r t has to o f f e r and why Marlow's gra p p l i n g with h i s knowledge of Jim must take the form of a r t . Rendering tragedy i s not a matter of f i n d i n g a s u i t a b l e metaphor, f o r tragedy i s i t s e l f a symbolizing, a c r e a t i o n of meaning, j u s t as when man f i r s t developed language i t d i d not merely symbolize meanings that had already e x i s t e d — t h o u g h i t d i d do t h a t — b u t created whole new realms of meaning.1'' Language to Conrad i s of funda-mental importance not Just as a medium f o r h i s a r t but as the center of human experience. The f a c t of h i s being a p o l y g l o t i s probably a t l e a s t p a r t l y responsible f o r h i s profound s e n s i t i v i t y to the conventional nature of language and hence to the i l l u s i o n s of "the t a l k i n g animal" (Under Western Eyes, 11). Now that we see that there i s no way of symbolizing tragedy, we can understand more c l e a r l y why the Malayan novels f a i l e d to achieve i t . Conrad was s t r i v i n g f o r a d i r e c t rendering by showing a t r a g i c fate (eg. Almayer's or Willems') and an i n d i r e c t rendering through symbolic 78 use of environment. But w h i l e t h i s c o u l d convey a sense of the t r a g i c c o n d i t i o n , i t was doomed t o remain a t the l e v e l of t r a g i c pessimism, f o r i t o f f e r e d no way to t r a n s -cend t h a t f a t e . In The Nigger of the " N a r c i s s u s " Conrad was a b l e t o render the s a v i n g grace of work as a way t o h o l d back the darkness and, i n "Heart of Darkness", the darkness of the s o u l which g i v e s meaning t o the l i g h t , L o r d Jim was the c u l m i n a t i o n of the s t r u g g l e t o f i n d a union of form and substance, of l i g h t and dark, of comedy and t r a g e d y — i n s h o r t , to render the f u l l t r a g i c v i s i o n . But L o r d Jim i s n o t , i n the most u s u a l and u s e f u l sense of the term, a tragedy. B a t h e r , i t i s a n o v e l about the process of coming t o an Imaginative u n d e r s t a n d i n g of tragedy. J i m may be a t r a g i c f i g u r e but he i s not a t r a g i c hero. He d i e s t r u e t o h i s romantic i l l u s i o n , never h a v i n g come to g r i p s w i t h i t as i l l u s i o n , s t i l l proud, s t i l l concerned to m i t i g a t e the consequences of h i s a c t , "while i t i s the g u i l t alone t h a t matters" ( 1 7 7 ). He i s indeed an " e x t r a o r d i n a r y s u c c e s s " ( 4 l 6 ) , a f i g u r e of m a g n i f i c e n t pathos, "superb egoism". But the egoism of the t r a g i c hero i s of a d i f f e r e n t s o r t , the egoism of s e l f - m a s t e r y . Jim masters h i s f a t e , as "he goes away from a l i v i n g woman to c e l e b r a t e h i s p i t i l e s s wedding w i t h a shadowy i d e a l of conduct" ( 4 l 6 ), r a t h e r than h i m s e l f . " I s he s a t i s f i e d . . . ? " ( 4 l 6 ) . The q u e s t i o n can no l o n g e r apply to Jim, 79 who Is beyond s a t i s f a c t i o n or longing, and must r e l a t e to our sense of him. Are we s a t i s f i e d with him, i s Marlow? The answer must be no. His l i f e has symmetry, consistency, l o g i c , and beauty, but lacks ultimate humanity. His l i f e has the q u a l i t i e s of a work of a r t that i s seen as decoration, the same a b i l i t y to transcend i n i t s p e r f e c t i o n the mundane world of l i f e , the same r e a l i t y . Nothing can touch him, Marlow describes Patusan as " l i k e a p i c t u r e created by fancy on a canvas, upon which, a f t e r long contemplation, you turn your back f o r the l a s t time. I t remains i n the memory motionless, unfaded, with Its l i f e a r r e s t e d , i n an unchanging l i g h t . " But he must go "back to the world where events move, men change, l i g h t f l i c k e r s , l i f e flows i n a c l e a r stream, no matter whether over mud or stones. I wasn't going to dive i n t o i t ; I would have enough to do to keep my head above the surface. But as to what I was l e a v i n g behind, I cannot imagine any a l t e r a t i o n " (330). The p i c t u r e i n d u e s the f i g u r e s of Patusan: "They e x i s t as i f under an enchanter's wand. But the f i g u r e round which a l l these are grouped—that one l i v e s , and I am not c e r t a i n of him. No magician's wand can immo-b i l i s e him under my eyes. He i s one of us"(330-331) . This would seem to deny what I s a i d above about Jim's p e r f e c t i o n . But t h i s passage comes at the end of Marlow's 80 t a l e on t h e v e r a n d a and a t t h i s p o i n t J i m s t i l l has t h e p o t e n t i a l t o p r o v e wrong any d e f i n i t e c o n c l u s i o n t h a t Marlow may r e a c h . The l a s t p a r t o f the t a l e , however, coming as i t does a f t e r Jim's d e a t h , can examine h i s c o m p l e t e d l i f e , even though, as I p o i n t e d o u t a t the be-g i n n i n g of t h i s c h a p t e r , the e v i d e n c e must always be i n -c o m p l e t e . And i n h i s d e a t h J i m r e a c h e s h i s g o a l and g i v e s h i s l i f e the a e s t h e t i c q u a l i t i e s o f beauty and romance wh i c h he had been s e e k i n g . L i k e B r i e r l y , he i s s a f e f r o m the chance t h a t s o m e t h i n g may mar i t s o r d e r . Thus, w i t h i n h i s own frame o f r e f e r e n c e J i m i s c l e a r . The m i s t t h a t comes between him and Marlow r e s u l t s n o t f r o m the u n c e r -t a i n t y o f h i s l i f e b u t f r o m Marlow's u n c e r t a i n t y a b o u t i t s meaning f o r u s . F o r J i m i s "one o f u s " even though he has gone beyond us, He has i n d e e d f o l l o w e d the dream usque ad f i n e m , has f l o w n above the mud o f the e a r t h where the b e e t l e s l i v e . With the c o m p l e t i o n o f the enormous l a b o r t h a t went i n t o the w r i t i n g of L o r d Jim, a n o v e l t h a t , s i g n i f i c a n t l y , seemed t o grow o f i t s own a c c o r d from what might have been a minor s h o r t s t o r y i n t o what i s u n d o u b t e d l y a major n o v e l , Conrad had f r e e d h i m s e l f f r o m a t a s k which had o c c u p i e d him from the time he s t a r t e d Almayer's F o l l y . E l e v e n y e a r s I t took him t o a c h i e v e i n a major work the u n i o n of form and s u b s t a n c e t h a t i s the o n l y p o s s i b l e 81 means of communicating a f u l l sense of human l i f e . - He had s t r u g g l e d e x p l i c i t l y w i t h technique and i m p l i c i t l y w i t h the meaning i n h e r e n t i n t h a t t e c h n i q u e , and i n Marlow he had found h i s "formula". But having found i t he was f r e e of i t , j u s t as -he was f r e e of h i s p r e o c c u p a t i o n w i t h the I n d i v i d u a l human l i f e i n i s o l a t i o n . L o r d Jim and what preceeded i t were, t h e r e f o r e , the e s s e n t i a l p r e c u r s o r s of a very d i f f e r e n t n o v e l , h i s " l a r g e s t canvas", Nostromo. But, as I i n d i c a t e d e a r l i e r , Nostromo deserves i t s own f u l l e r treatment. Such a treatment might w e l l a l s o cover The S e c r e t Agent, c o n t r a s t i n g the i r o n i c v i s i o n of s o c i e t y rendered i n t h a t n o v e l w i t h the s o c i a l tragedy of Nostromo. But I w i l l move t o Under Western Eyes, a n o v e l c e n t e r e d upon a s i n g l e t r a g i c f i g u r e , even though i t c a r r i e s profound i m p l i c a t i o n s about the s p e c i f i c s o c i a l f u n c t i o n of p o l i t i c s . CHAPTER I I I UNDER WESTERN EYES Under Western Eyes i s u s u a l l y c l a s s i f i e d , together w i t h N o s t r o m o and The Secret Agent, as one o f Conrad's p o l i t i c a l novels, and indeed there i s much j u s t i f i c a t i o n f o r t h i s v i e w . However, an overemphasis on the p o l i t i c a l character o f the novel may lead to the e s s e n t i a l l y mistaken conclusion that i n w r i t i n g i t Conrad had l e f t behind the concerns of Lord Jim and the other works of the e a r l i e r p e r i o d and turned to completely new ones. I t i s my con-t e n t i o n that, while the treatment and subject matter of Under Western Eyes are s u b s t a n t i a l l y d i f f e r e n t from those of Lord Jim, the c e n t r a l v i s i o n of tragedy remains unchanged. Razumov's i l l u s i o n s are not those of Jim, and h i s f a t e i s quite d i f f e r e n t , but both are young men whose commission of an i r r e s p o n s i b l e act leads each to a re-examination of the fundamental premises on which values r e s t and to a l i f e spent attempting to grapple with the consequences of that a c t . In short, each f a l l s , struggles to comprehend the nature of h i s f a l l , and then moves i n h i s own way towards an attempt at redemption. However, while I c h a r a c t e r i z e d 83 Lord J i m as a n o v e l t h a t i s about tragedy w i t h o u t b e i n g i t s e l f t r a g i c i n a c o n v e n t i o n a l sense, Under Western Eyes i s c l e a r l y an attempt t o c r e a t e a tragedy i n the o l d t r a d i t i o n . The s p l i t between t r a g i c consciousness and t r a g i c f a t e ( i n the s p e c i f i c sense, f o r a l l share i n i t i n i t s g e n e r a l s e n s e ) , t h a t we f i n d i n Lord J i m , has been r e p l a c e d by a more c o n v e n t i o n a l u n i t y . I f the hero i s t o be conscious of the s i g n i f i c a n c e of h i s own f a t e , then we must have some way to see i n s i d e t h a t c o n s c i o u s n e s s , and a t e c h n i c a l requirement t h a t had not a p p l i e d to L o r d Jim i s e s t a b l i s h e d . For i n the e a r l i e r n o v e l , Marlow c o u l d t e l l us a l l we needed t o know of Jim's dreams; the c o m p l e x i t y of the n o v e l l i e s i n Jim's meaning f o r Marlow and f o r u s — t o h i m s e l f h i s ideals remain r e l a t i v e -l y s i m p l e , though to achieve them may be hard. But Razumov has the i n t e l l i g e n c e and Imagination necessary t o come t o an understanding of h i s own f a t e , and no Marlow i s needed. The o l d language teacher i s only s u p e r f i c i a l l y s i m i l a r i n r o l e t o Marlow; he Is r e p r e s e n t e d ( a l b e i t w i t h c o n s i d e r -able i r o n y ) , and r e p r e s e n t s h i m s e l f , as l a c k i n g the a r t i s t i c i m a g i n a t i o n to c r e a t e "an i n v e n t e d s t o r y " ( 1 0 0 ) . I s h a l l r e t u r n t o c o n s i d e r h i s f u n c t i o n a l i t t l e l a t e r . Razumov d i f f e r s from Jim i n t h a t h i s dreams are of a mundane s o r t . Winning the s i l v e r medal w i l l enable 84 him to o b t a i n "an a d m i n i s t r a t i v e appointment of the b e t t e r s o r t " ( 1 1 ) . He hopes t o be "a somebody"(13), to have "an honored name"(14), but the honors he seeks are h i g h l y c o n v e n t i o n a l and h i s aim i s t o j o i n h i s f e l l o w s , not t o l o o k down on them " w i t h the contempt of a man d e s t i n e d t o s h i n e " (Lord J i m . 5 ) . I t i s h i s w i s h t o become r e s p e c t e d as sound t h a t makes H a l d i n ' s a p p e a l to him so t h r e a t e n i n g . H a l d i n stands f o r the d e s t r u c t i o n of the v e r y system w i t h i n which fiazumov i s s t r u g g l i n g t o c r e a t e an i d e n t i t y . Razumov i s an o r d i n a r y young man, w i t h a h e a l t h y c a p a c i t y f o r work and sane a m b i t i o n s . He has an average c o n s c i e n c e . I f he i s s l i g h t -l y abnormal I t i s o n l y i n h i s sen-s i t i v e n e s s t o h i s p o s i t i o n ( i x ) . This comment i n the Author's Note t o Under Western Eyes may serve as a u s e f u l a n t i d o t e t o i n t e r p r e t a t i o n s of the n o v e l t h a t unduly s t r e s s the degree t o which Razumov i s concerned w i t h h i s own f u t u r e , "possessed" by m a t e r i a l a m b i t i o n s . His ambitions a re not o n l y sane, they a r e , under normal ci r c u m s t a n c e s , u s u a l l y c o n s i d e r e d a dmirable. By the standards of a s o c i e t y s t r o n g l y b e l i e v i n g i n a work e t h i c , Razumov's aim of winning the s i l v e r medal i s p r e c i s e l y the k i n d of g o a l which w i l l r a i s e him from h i s r e l a t i v e l y humble p o s i t i o n . And note t h a t he i s not over-ambitious; he hopes f o r a secure a d m i n i s t r a t i v e 85 appointment, not v a s t w e a l t h . His i s a l o n e l y l i f e , f o r h i s work leaves him l i t t l e time f o r s o c i a l i z i n g , and, b e s i d e s , the e s s e n t i a l l y western e t h i c t o which he im-p l i c i t l y s u b s c r i b e s i s one of i n d i v i d u a l i s m . I n another k i n d of n o v e l he would win the medal, marry advantage-o u s l y and r i s e to a p o s i t i o n of w e a l t h and power as a r e s u l t of hard work and v i r t u o u s l i v i n g . But l i k e many Conrad heroes, h i s dream i s s h a t t e r e d by chance. He i s put t o a t e s t i n which there i s no " r i g h t " answer. To s h e l t e r H a l d i n i s t o a i d a murderer not o n l y of a n o t o r i o u s l y r e p r e s s i v e p o l i t i c a l f i g u r e but of i nnocent b y s t a n d e r s . To be t r a y H a l d i n i s to break f a i t h w i t h a f e l l o w human b e i n g . There i s no escape from the dilemma, no t h i r d way t h a t would a l l o w him t o remain w i t h i n the law but have a c l e a r c o n s c i e n c e , But more Important than the d e c i s i o n he must make i s the motive behind the d e c i s i o n j s i n c e e i t h e r d e c i s i o n i s b o t h r i g h t and wrong, only an acceptance of the ambivalence of the d e c i s i o n and a c l e a r r e c o g n i t i o n of the i n e v i t a b i l i t y of g u i l t can enable a man to l i v e w i t h i t i f he has any degree of moral s e n s i t i v i t y . Razumov d e c i d e s , on the b a s i s of what he b e l i e v e s t o be h i s own b e s t i n t e r e s t s , to g i v e up H a l d i n to the a u t h o r i t i e s , but r a t i o n a l i z e s h i s d e c i s i o n as a matter of duty to h i s s o c i e t y . L i k e Jim, he a c t s as he does because he can imagine the 8 6 consequences of the a l t e r n a t i v e ! l i k e J i m , he i s m i s t a k e n — the Patna d i d not s i n k , and Razumov would p r o b a b l y have been a b l e t o win h i s medal i f he had helped R a i d i n t o escape i Razumov saw h i m s e l f shut up i n a f o r t r e s s , w o r r i e d , badgered, per-haps, i l l - u s e d . He saw h i m s e l f deported by an a d m i n i s t r a t i v e o r d e r , h i s l i f e broken, r u i n e d , and robbed of a l l hope. He saw h i m s e l f — a t b e s t — l e a d i n g a mi s e r -a b l e e x i s t e n c e under p o l i c e super-v i s i o n , i n some s m a l l , far-away p r o v i n c i a l town. , . .(21) The i r o n y i s , of cou r s e , t h a t these imagined conse-quences of not g i v i n g up Ha I d i n are a f a i r l y c l o s e des-c r i p t i o n of the c o n d i t i o n s under which he i s f o r c e d t o l i v e a f t e r going t o M i k u l i n j he i s , i n e f f e c t , deported, made to serve the p o l i c e , robbed of hope. H a l d i n ' s coming has caused "the s a f e t y of t h i s l o n e l y e x i s t e n c e t o be permanently endangered"(21), J u s t as any man's l o n e l y e x i s t e n c e i s c o n s t a n t l y endangered by the presence of o t h e r human b e i n g s . In V i c t o r y , Conrad pr e s e n t s ex-p l i c i t l y the predicament of a man who t r i e d t o "Look on. Make no sound," to remain u n l n v o l v e d , but who i s u l t i m a t e l y d e s t r o y e d by h i s r e c o g n i t i o n t h a t o n l y by commitment can he s u r v i v e as a human b e i n g . Razumov convinces h i m s e l f of the T i g h t n e s s of h i s 8 7 d e c i s i o n , " i n d e e d i t c o u l d h a r d l y be c a l l e d a d e c i s i o n . He had s i m p l y d i s c o v e r e d what he had meant t o do a l l a l o n g " ( 3 8 ) . He a r g u e s t h a t he i s n o t b e t r a y i n g H a l d i n , f o r " t h e r e must be a m o r a l bond f i r s t . A l l a man c a n b e t r a y i s h i s c o n s c i e n c e . And how i s my c o n s c i e n c e engaged h e r e ; by what bond o f common f a i t h , o f common c o n v i c t i o n , am I o b l i g e d t o l e t t h a t f a n a t i c a l i d i o t d r a g me down w i t h him? On t h e c o n t r a r y — e v e r y o b l i g a t i o n o f t r u e c o u r a g e I s t h e o t h e r way" ( 3 7 - 3 8 ) . I n a r g u i n g t h u s he i s a l l y i n g h i m s e l f w i t h a l o n g l i n e o f f i g u r e s i n l i t e r a t u r e a n d l i f e who have f o u n d d u t y t o c o i n c i d e w i t h e x p e d i e n c y — P i l a t e was one, C r e o n I n A n o u i h l ' s A n t i g o n e i s a n o t h e r . "And y e t he f e l t t h e ne e d o f some o t h e r mind's s a n c t i o n . . . . ' I want t o be u n d e r s t o o d * " ( 3 9 ) . T h i s " u n i v e r s a l a s p i r a t i o n w i t h a l l i t s p r o f o u n d a nd m e l a n c h o l y meaning" d e n i e s t h e s o l i t a r y s t r e n g t h w h i c h i s a t t r i b u t e d t o Razumov by h i s f e l l o w s a n d p u t s h i m s q u a r e l y i n t h e camp o f t h e r e s t o f l o n e l y h u m a n i t y — " N o human b e i n g c o u l d b e a r a s t e a d y v i e w o f m o r a l s o l i t u d e w i t h o u t g o i n g mad"(39). I n a d e s p a r a t e s e a r c h f o r f e l l o w s h i p , Razumov f i r s t c o n -t e m p l a t e s c o n f e s s i n g t o H a l d i n , t h e v e r y a n t i t h e s i s o f what he has J u s t d e c i d e d t o do. The v i s i o n o f m o r a l s o l i t u d e i s so u n b e a r a b l e t h a t any c o n t a c t i s b e t t e r , and he d e l i r i o u s l y e n v i s i o n s "an i n c r e d i b l e f e l l o w s h i p o f s o u l s — s u c h as t h e w o r l d had n e v e r seen " ( 4 0 ) . I n s t e a d 88 he turns to the c l o s e s t person he has to a f a t h e r f i g u r e , Prince K Treated as a gentleman by cabdrlver and servant, his confidence i s re s t o r e d and he assumes a defensive i l l u s i o n of superiority» "He f e l t himself i n v u l n e r a b l e — r a i s e d f a r above the shallowness of common judgement"(41). This e g o t i s t i c a l aloofness i s reminiscent of Jim's "No-thing can touch me," and r e v e a l s the paradox of wanting involvement only on one's own terms, an e s s e n t i a l l y r o -mantic I l l u s i o n of c r e a t i n g the world around oneself to g r a t i f y one's own d e s i r e s . Nothing can touch me, but I can, i f I so choose, reach out and touch others, as Heyst, i n V i c t o r y , touched Davidson. But Razumov, being human can only be s p o r a d i c a l l y aloof? touching others, he i s touched, and the major p o r t i o n of the novel deals with h i s struggles to deny and u l t i m a t e l y to accept that, having been f o r c e d to act In the human arena, he i s t a i n t e d with the s i n that i s an i n e v i t a b l e concommitant of a c t i o n — o r of i n a c t i o n . He has become t r a g i c a l l y Involved, and what l i e s ahead i s e i t h e r pathetic d e n i a l or t r a g i c acceptance. Mlkulin's r e p l y to Razumov's statement that he intends to r e t i r e , "Where to?"(99), i s an apt summing up of a major Conradian theme. No one i n a Conrad s t o r y i s able to " r e t i r e " from the moral l i f e , unless by be-coming l e s s than human. Only those unconscious, l i k e 89 Singleton, or disdained, l i k e McWhirr, before t h e i r r e s -pective storms, or engrossed i n a base pragmatism, l i k e Brown, Donkin or N i k i t a , can avoid c o n f r o n t a t i o n with the t r a g i c human c o n d i t i o n , but few achieve "completed wisdom". Razumov's b e t r a y a l of Haldin i s , l i k e Jim's leap from the Patna, a breach of f a i t h with h i s f e l l o w man. But i n Jim's case the a c t i o n was a "crime" against a f o r m a l l y accepted and s o c i a l l y approved code of behaviour, whereas Hazumov's a c t i o n has the f u l l s anction of the law« '"For i t Haldin's a c t i s a crime,' he was saying to himself. 'A murder i s a murder'"(26). We have the beginnings here of a theme which Conrad returned to r e p e a t e d l y — t h e inadequacy of any code to p r o t e c t a man from tragedy, I f the man has a moral imagination he i s l i a b l e to encounter some s i t u a t i o n i n which duty i s inadequate, i n which the code cannot supply an unequivocal answer. I t i s p r e c i s e l y h i s human q u a l i t y of imagination that creates f o r him the p o s s i b i l i t y of tragedy; i f Razumov had been stupi d or unscrupulous or whole-heartedly committed to r e v o l u t i o n a r y a c t i o n , h i s course would have been easy. But he i s none of these, and i t i s the human combination of p r i d e , ambition and sympathy that makes him vulnerable. Thus, although h i s a c t i o n i s s i g n i f i c a n t l y d i f f e r e n t from Jim's, as are his dreams, hi s tragedy i s e s s e n t i a l l y the same. 90 In b e t r a y i n g HaIdin, Razumov r a t i o n a l i z e s that he Is s e r v i n g h i s s o c i e t y . He convinces himself that he i s a c t i n g u n s e l f i s h l y i n doing so, but what motivates him i s a f e a r of the consequences of haboring a c r i m i n a l s He saw h i s youth pass away from him i n misery and h a l f s t a r v a t i o n — h i s strength give way, h i s mind become an a b j e c t t h i n g . He saw himself creeping, broken down and shabby, about the s t r e e t s — d y i n g unattended i n some f i l t h y hole of a room, or on the s o r d i d bed of a Government h o s p i t a l . . . . Razumov, of course, f e l t the s a f e t y of h i s l o n e l y existence to be permanently endangered. This even-ing's doings could turn up against him at any time as long as t h i s man l i v e d and the present i n s t i t u t i o n s en-dured. They appeared to him r a t i o n a l and i n d e s t r u c t i b l e at that moment. They had a f o r c e of harmony—in contrast with the h o r r i b l e d i s c o r d of t h i s man's pre-sence . He hated the man (21). Thus an act which i s i n h e r e n t l y J u s t i f i a b l e according to one set of values becomes a b e t r a y a l because of the egotism of i t s motivation. Razumov i s i n a predicament, but i t i s not a t r a g i c one since h i s major concern i s simply with expediency. I r o n i c a l l y , h i s most ex-pedient a c t i o n , as i t turns out, would, at t h i s point, be to help Haldln to escape; a l l that h i s b e t r a y a l succeeds i n doing i s to c a s t s u s p i c i o n onto himself and make him the t o o l of the i n s t i t u t i o n s which he i s o s t e n s i b l y p r o t e c t i n g . The harmony which he a t t r i b u t e s to the present I n s t i t u t i o n s Is founded on r u t h l e s s e x p l o i t a t i o n , not 91 idealism, and even M i k u l i n i s u l t i m a t e l y s a c r i f i c e d . Razumov's dream i s of a s e c u r i t y that h i s lack of t i e s has denied him. But s e c u r i t y i s the one thing that Conrad w i l l allow no man; chance provides the t e s t f o r a l l hut those who are "disdained" by f o r t u n e . Jim seemed secure, f i r s t on the Patna and then i n Patusan, but i n each case chance provided the t e s t i n g opportunity. Nostromo seems secure i n h i s simple unthinking l i f e of the animal man, but i s awakened i n t o tragedy through the chance s i n k i n g of the l i g h t e r . Heyst and Lena seem secure against the outside world u n t i l the c r i m i n a l s a r r i v e . " I t i s always the unexpected that happens," Marlow t e l l s Jim ( 9 5 ) . and again and again Conrad demonstrates t h i s maxim. But Razumov "t r u s t e d his f u t u r e to h i s own exer-tions " ( 5 2 ) , b e l i e v i n g "himself i n v u l n e r a b l e — r a i s e d f a r above the shallowness of common judgements"(kl). I suggested e a r l i e r that both the romantic and the r e a l i s t i c approach to l i f e could be regarded as i l l u s i o n s , In the sense that both are r e l a t i v e systems i n the eyes of Conrad and thinkers l i k e him. However, the r e a l i s t i c approach i s c l e a r l y l e s s f a r removed from the fundamental b i o l o g i c a l absolute of s u r v i v a l — J i m ' s romanticism leads him to v i r t u a l s u i c i d e . Further, the r e a l i s t i c v i s i o n of l i f e , with i t s foundations set more f i r m l y i n the world 92 of f a c t s and i t s dreams a s p i r i n g to r i s e l e s s high above those foundations, would seem to be more s t a b l e and l e s s s u s c e p t i b l e to d e s t r u c t i o n by events i n the m a t e r i a l world. In p a r t i c u l a r i t would seem to o f f e r i t s b e l i e v e r b e t t e r p r o t e c t i o n from time and i t s destructiveness than would a romantic v i s i o n , i n which the i n d i v i d u a l ' s attempt a t transcendence i s threatened by h i s m o r t a l i t y . From what I have j u s t s a i d , i t might seem that the r e a l i s t i c i l l u s i o n o f f e r s i t s acceptor s a f e t y from d i s i l l u s i o n m e n t and from tragedy and that the romantic i l l u s i o n must be confined to the mentally deranged. Obviously, Conrad b e l i e v e d no such thing, and h i s a r t centers on the darkness i n t o which a l l men are l i a b l e to f a l l , the abyss i n t o which Kurtz plunged and from which Marlow was only saved by h i s l i f e l i n e to o b j e c t i v e r e a l i t y , his duty as commander of a steamboat. But Marlow looked i n t o the abyss, saw i n t o "the heart of darkness," and was more f u l l y human f o r i t . B r i e r l y , despite h i s supreme success as a man of the m a t e r i a l world, was brought to recognize h i s own human p o t e n t i a l a t Jim's t r i a l and, unable to face being thus humanized, committed s u i c i d e i n a manner that i n d i c a t e d h i s d e s i r e to do a l l i n his power to a s s e r t order against p o t e n t i a l chaos. The weakness i n the r e a l i s t i c i l l u s i o n stems from 93 the human need to create meaning. Man cannot be s a t i s f i e d to accept the b i o l o g i c a l imperative to ensure the s u r v i v a l of the species. He has evolved i n t e l l i g e n c e and cons-ciousness which have made him the supremely s u c c e s s f u l animal and which had no other purpose, but they d r i v e him to a s s e r t his triumph over nature. Thus, the technology which s t a r t e d as the human means of s u r v i v a l becomes a human a c t i v i t y that i s s e l f - j u s t i f y i n g * i f the moon can be reached, i t should be reached. The r e a l i s t i c i l l u s i o n i s e s s e n t i a l l y a p r o j e c t i o n of the basic value of s u r v i v a l beyond the point where mere s u r v i v a l occupies a major part of the human animal's l i f e . But once that p o i n t has been passed, f u r t h e r values become non-absolute. Consequently, t h e i r l a c k of an absolute l o g i c allows the p o s s i b i l i t y , and, i n a c t u a l human experience, the c e r t a i n t y , that some w i l l come into c o n f l i c t with others. I t i s t h i s p o s s i b i l i t y of a c o n f l i c t of values i n a given s i t u a t i o n that creates the p o s s i b i l i t y of tragedy. Razumov's r e a l i s t i c a s p i r a t i o n s of earning f o r himself a place of respect, an i d e n t i t y , by the use of his reason (razum means i n Russian reason or i n t e l l e c t ) would not seem, at f i r s t s i g h t , to be fraught with the danger of the co l l a p s e of h i s value system. But Conrad creates f o r him jus t such a c o n f l i c t of values as I have suggested above. Love i s g e n e r a l l y accepted as a 94 d e s i r a b l e value and Razumov c e r t a i n l y does not r e j e c t i t i he i s Iso l a t e d and reserved but by no means a misanthrop-i s t . But the a c t of brotherhood which Haldin asks of him i s i n t r i n s i c a l l y p a r a d o x i c a l . I f Razumov becomes "his brother's keeper" he i s a i d i n g a confessed murderer. In s p i t e of h i s i n t e l l e c t u a l l z l n g of h i s a c t i o n s , "a t e r r i b l e f u r y — t h e b l i n d rage of s e l f - p r e s e r v a t i o n " (30), i s what d r i v e s Razumov. He hates Haldin, not only f o r threatening h i s f u t u r e , but f o r making demands upon him which f o r c e him i n t o moral chaos. The order which he seeks i n the ex t e r n a l world has i t s p a r a l l e l i n h i s moral consciousness; he demands harmony there too. The moral c o n f l i c t which a r i s e s as a r e s u l t of the appearance of Haldin i s only symptomatic of a more general c o n f l i c t that pervades the novel both thematlcally and t e c h n i c a l l y , that between Old and New Testament mora l i t y . This con-f l i c t i s r e f l e c t e d throughout i n the use of B i b l i c a l a l l u s i o n s , both through p a r a l l e l s of s i t u a t i o n and through v e r b a l references. The most obvious l i n k with C h r i s t i a n morality i s that Razumov*s arguments with himself over what to do about Haldin can be summed up by "Am I my brother's keeper?"(Genesis 4 i 9 ) . Haldin repeatedly c a l l s him brother, and the l i n k i n g of Razumov with Cain i s strengthened 95 by such comments as, "An occurrence of that s o r t marks a man"(97). In another passage Razumov t e l l s Haldin "I am responsible f o r you"(60). But Conrad's approach i s more subtle and complex than simply to l i n k Razumov i n a one-to-one symbolic r e l a t i o n with Cain. A f t e r she learns of her son's b e t r a y a l and a r r e s t , Mrs. Haldin says, "Even amongst the Apostles of C h r i s t there was found a Judas"(115). This l i n k i n g of Razumov with Judas and Haldin with C h r i s t i s strengthened by the regard i n which the Geneva r e v o l u t i o n a r i e s hold Haldin, regarding him as an Inspired example, and by the way i n which they t r e a t Razumov as Haldin's d i s c i p l e , having worked with and touched the masterj f u r t h e r , Razumov betrays Haldin f o r the sake of a s i l v e r medal (Charles Gould a l s o s e l l s h i s s o u l f o r s i l v e r and i s a man dedicated to order and p r o g r e s s — b u t the d i f f e r e n c e s are as r e v e a l i n g as the s i m i l a r i t i e s ) . Judas hanged himself i n repentance f o r his b e t r a y a l of innocent blood, and Razumov comes close to s u i c i d e . But Razumov i s eventually " c r u c i f i e d " as a r e s u l t of his need to repent, and is C h r i s t - l i k e i n his lack of r e s i s t a n c e to h i s accusers. He never becomes a C h r i s t , but h i s ultimate passive acceptance (he l i t e r -a l l y turns the other cheek to N i k i t a ) i s c e r t a i n l y i n l i n e with a New Testament morality. N a t a l i e Haldin i s his Mary—her C h r i s t i a n name derives from the same root as " n a t i v i t y " — r e s p o n s i b l e through her p u r i t y f o r h i s 96 confessions ••You were t r u t h i t s e l f . . . . calm, unstained. I t was as i f your pure brow bore a l i g h t which f e l l on me, searched my heart and saved me from ignominy, from ultimate undoing. . , . Your l i g h t ! Your tru t h ! I f e l t that I must t e l l you that I had ended by l o v i n g you. And to t e l l you that I must f i r s t confess. Confess, go o u t — and perish" ( 3 6 0 - 3 6 1 ) . This e x p l o r a t i o n of thematic a l l u s i o n s to the B i b l e through p a r a l l e l s of s i t u a t i o n and a t t i t u d e could be pursued at great length and with considerable b e n e f i t , but I think that one more example w i l l serve to make the poi n t that such a l l u s i o n plays a major r o l e i n developing the r i c h texture and complex s t r u c t u r e of what might seem, on the surface, a simple novel. Razumov*s f i n a l d e c i s i o n to betray Haldin ("I s h a l l give him up" [37] ) follows a scene i n which Razumov has made a leap of f a i t h , but i n the d i r e c t i o n of damnation; he has become possessed by the D e v i l ("And entered then Satan into Judas" [Luke 2 213 ]). "The grace entered into Razumov. He b e l i e v e d now i n the man who would come at the appointed time" ( 3 4 ) . This man w i l l be the great autocrat who w i l l s i t on the throne of government and create a "Heaven" on earth (an a n t i - U t o p i a ) , and Razumov w i l l serve h i m — I f only h i s usefulness i s not destroyed by Haldin*s t a i n t i n g of h i s p u r i t y . In so r a t i o n a l i z i n g , Razumov thinks In B i b l i c a l 97 l a n g u a g e and t e r m s : "Do I want h i s d e a t h ? No! I w o u l d s a v e hi m i f I c o u l d — h u t no one c a n do t h a t — h e i s t h e w i t h e r e d member w h i c h must be c u t o f f . I f I must p e r i s h t h r o u g h h i m , l e t me a t l e a s t n o t p e r i s h w i t h h i m . . . " (36, my e m p h a s i s ) . The r e f e r e n c e h e r e i s t o t h e Sermon on t h e Mount: And i f t h y r i g h t eye o f f e n d t h e e , p l u c k i t o u t , a n d c a s t i t f r o m t h e e : f o r i t i s p r o f i t a b l e f o r t h e e t h a t one o f t h y members s h o u l d p e r i s h , and n o t t h a t t h y whole body s h o u l d be c a s t i n t o h e l l . And i f t h y r i g h t hand o f f e n d t h e e , c u t i t o f f , and c a s t i t f r o m t h e e . . . . (Matthew 5» 29,30) And i f t h y hand o f f e n d t h e e , c u t i t o f f : i t i s b e t t e r f o r t h e e t o e n t e r i n t o l i f e maimed, t h a n h a v i n g two hands t o go i n t o h e l l . . . . (Mark 9«43) The a l e r t r e a d e r o f t h e n o v e l who i s f a m i l i a r w i t h t h e B i b l e w i l l c a t c h i n t h i s l a t t e r r e f e r e n c e a s u g g e s t i o n as t o Razumov's u l t i m a t e f a t e . I t came as a s u r p r i s e t o me t o f i n d o n l y c a s u a l r e f e r e n c e t o t h e b i b l i c a l themes, images and l a n g u a g e t h a t permeate Under W e s t e r n E y e s i n c r i t i c a l t r e a t m e n t s o f t h e n o v e l . One l i n e o f r e a s o n i n g a p p e a r s t o be t h a t s i n c e C o n r a d e a r l y gave up any a d h e r e n c e t o t h e C h r i s t i a n c h u r c h , he must, t h e r e f o r e , have i g n o r e d t h e B i b l e s u b s e q u e n t l y . I n most o f h i s w o r k s , i t i s t r u e , t h e a l l u s i o n s t o t h e 98 B i b l e are r e l a t i v e l y few and g e n e r a l i z e d . Why, thai, i s Under Western Eyes the e x c e p t i o n ? One answer i s suggested by the t i t l e . A major o v e r t theme i s the d i f f e r e n c e s between R u s s i a n and Western a t t i t u d e s and systems ( I do not r e f e r t o R u s s i a as " E a s t e r n " because Conrad elsewhere surrounds "The E a s t " w i t h i t s own c o n n o t a t i o n s , and no l i n k i s e s t a b l i s h e d between R u s s i a and the O r i e n t ) . The "western eyes" a re those of the n a r r a t o r , s t r u g g l i n g t o comprehend the Ru s s i a n Razumovi "And t h i s s t o r y . . . I r e c e i v e d . . . i n my c h a r a c t e r of a mute w i t n e s s of t h i n g s R u s s i a n , u n r o l l i n g t h e i r E a s t e r n l o g i c under my Western eyes"(381). A g a i n and a g a i n , the language t e a c h e r reminds us of the f o r e l g n e s s of the c h a r a c t e r s he i s o b s e r v i n g , and we might be tempted w i t h him t o r e g a r d Razumov's f a t e as p e c u l i a r l y R u s s i a n and t h e r e f o r e of a n t h r o p o l o g i c a l and p o l i t i c a l i n t e r e s t , r a t h e r than as the f a t e of a f e l l o w human b e i n g . But we are not as detached from him and h i s f a t e as the n a r r a t o r ' s p r o t e s t a t i o n s would have us b e l i e v e . And one of the d e v i c e s used to e s t a b l i s h a commonality of experience t h a t undercuts the detachment of the n a r r a t o r i s the b i b l i c a l a l l u s i o n t o which I have been r e f e r r i n g . In the J u d e o - C h r i s t i a n h e r i t a g e , not only Conrad and the reader are presumed t o shar e , but the c h a r a c t e r s too are a t home. I have a l r e a d y quoted Mrs. Ha l d i n * s n a t u r a l 99 use of Judas as a metaphor f o r the betrayer of her son, and Razumov's t h i n k i n g i n B i b l i c a l terms, but many more examples could be found, i n c l u d i n g the n a r r a t o r ' s reference to Tekla as a Samaritan. I t i s n a t u r a l that these characters should seek i n the great t r a d i t i o n of European c i v i l i z a t i o n a p a t t e r n f o r f i n d i n g u n i v e r s a l human s i g n i f i c a n c e i n the events of t h e i r own l i v e s . C h r i s t i a n i t y i s Western man's myth, his major archetype (I include i n Western the whole area i n f l u e n c e d by C h r i s t i a n i t y , i n c l u d i n g that of the "Eastern" church). C h r i s t i a n i t y i s thus, i n t h i s novel, a "shared i l l u s i o n " which operates both amongst the characters and between author and reader. As a s e t of r e l i g i o u s b e l i e f s with the absolute a u t h o r i t y of r e v e l a t i o n , however, C h r i s t i a n i t y i s notably absent. I t s value Is communicative and imaginative; i t provides known moral values and meta-phors against which to work. Irony i s d i r e c t e d a t the language teacher's constant a s s e r t i o n s that things l i k e t h i s couldn't happen i n Englandt Mrs. Haldin says, "The E n g l i s h press i s wonderful. No-thing can be kept secret from i t , and a l l the world must hear. Only our Russian news i s not always easy to understand. Not always easy. , . . But E n g l i s h mothers do not look f o r 100 news l i k e that. . . . " She l a i d her hand on the newspaper and took i t away again. I s a i d — "We too have had t r a g i c times In our h i s t o r y . " (114) While i t i s true that E n g l i s h mothers do not have to look f o r news of t h e i r sons' being a r r e s t e d by the s e c r e t p o l i c e , t h i s is a consequence of a d i f f e r e n c e not between the E n g l i s h s o u l and the Russian, but between E n g l i s h p o l i t i c a l systems and Russian. E n g l i s h mothers would react p r e c i s e l y l i k e Mrs. Haldin i f they were i n her place and happened to have the same temperament. The references to a common t r a d i t i o n are instrumental i n developing t h i s irony. But besides s e r v i n g to u n i v e r s a l i z e the s i g n i f i c a n c e of the story and to provide a moral and metaphorical system f o r the characters to u t i l i z e i n t h e i r understanding of t h e i r own s i t u a t i o n s and p o s s i b i l i t i e s , the B i b l i c a l references help to render Razumov*s e s s e n t i a l dilemma. His pr e d i c a -ment Is c l o s e l y p a r a l l e l to that of the C h r i s t i a n who attempts to f o l l o w B i b l i c a l teachings. In the Bible he i s confronted not with a u n i f i e d morality by which to l i v e but with a paradoxt should he f o l l o w the harshly a u t h o r i t a r i a n teachings of the Old Testament or the more t o l e r a n t ones of the New Testament? The Old Testament s p i r i t was d i c t a t e d by the need to hold the t r i b e together 101 under harsh c o n d i t i o n s , and emphasizes c l e a r r u l e s of co n d u c t — t h e Ten Commandments being the prime example. In t h i s , the Old Testament has important s i m i l a r i t i e s to the code of the sea, to the concept of c o l l e c t i v e s a l v a t i o n by adherence to shared i l l u s i o n s that i s so much a part of The Nigger of the "Narcissus". The New Testament, however, s t r e s s e s i n d i v i d u a l s a l v a t i o n through si n c e r e a t t i t u d e s of lo v e , compassion, and to l e r a n c e . "Judge not, that ye be not judged," says the Sermon on the Mount (Mat. 7:1), and "Blessed are the m e r c i f u l : f o r they s h a l l obtain mercy" (Mat. 5*7)» and despite the i n j u n c t i o n to obey the commandments, the emphasis i s now on a man's i n t e n t i o n s : " . . . whosoever looketh on a woman to l u s t a f t e r her hath committed adultery with her already i n h i s heart" (Mat. 5:28). The re a c t i o n s of the crew i n The Nigger to Wait's imminent death have about them something of t h i s New Testament s p i r i t : "The l a t e n t egoism of tenderness to s u f f e r i n g appeared i n the develop-ing anxiety not to see him d i e . . . . We were becoming h i g h l y humanized . . . " (Nigger, 139). Razumov's need to i d e n t i f y himself with the Russian nation i n the e a r l y parts of the novel i s evidence of the extent to which h i s values are of an Old Testament kind. He d e s i r e s an a u t h o r i t a r i a n system to which he can r e l a t e simply, and imagines the r u l e r as e s s e n t i a l l y l i k e the 102 harsh but jus t god of the I s r a e l i t e s . He i s d i s i l l u s i o n e d at f i n d i n g the servants of the s t a t e , Its p r i e s t s , such as M i k u l i n , f a r from j u s t In the terms which he envisaged. But even i f h i s a c t i o n i n betraying Haldin had r e s u l t e d In a secure p o s i t i o n i n the world, we might w e l l ask whether he had gained or l o s t , " f o r what s h a l l I t p r o f i t a man, i f he s h a l l gain the whole world, and lose h i s sou l ? " (Mark 8:36). "Whosoever w i l l save h i s l i f e s h a l l lose i t ; but whosoever s h a l l lose h i s l i f e . . . the same s h a l l save i t " (Mark 8:35)• might w e l l serve as an epigraph f o r Under Western Eyes, were i t not f o r the f a c t that the e l l i p s i s above stands f o r " f o r my sake and the gospel's" and the novel i s c l e a r l y not about r e l i g i o u s s a l v a t i o n . The Razumov of the e a r l y episodes of the novel i s l i k e the Scribes and the Pharlsses, r a t i o n a l , l e g a l i s t i c , even h y p o c r i t i c a l . He has not yet come to terms with the i r r a t i o n a l In himself, f o r he has not yet been tested. But the coming of Haldin provides the t e s t . And i t i s not merely a t e s t between r i g h t and wrong a c t i o n s , i t i s a t e s t of commitment. His ol d c e r t i t u d e s provide no s a t i s f a c t o r y answer and he i s unable to meet the t e s t . Like Jim he i s unready, and l i k e Jim he i s "not good enough." He i s a f r a i d of the chaos, the lack of meaning, into which a wrong d e c i s i o n w i l l throw him, but the chaos comes anyway. "No one i s good enough" to avoid the con-1 0 3 f r o n t a t i o n with the darkness; i t i s a p o s s i b i l i t y inherent, l i k e Old Testament O r i g i n a l S i n , i n human nature. Razumov's confession, s u f f e r i n g and debasement, achieved through h i s i n a b i l i t y to maintain before N a t a l i e the sham that he was her brother's t r u s t e d f r i e n d , i n no way makes him "good enough" to be f r e e from the darkness, but i t does represent an achievement of self-mastery and self-awareness. E a r l y i n the book he was alone and independent, but i t was a f a l s e independence, founded on a b e l i e f i n h i s power to shape hi s own d e s t i n y , a power that proved i l l u s o r y the moment Haldin appeared. But a t the end he has achieved a d i f f e r e n t kind of Inde-pendence , and t e l l s the r e v o l u t i o n a r i e s J "today I made myself f r e e from falsehood, from remorse—Independent of every s i n g l e human being on t h i s e a r t h " ( 3 6 8 ) . What i s t h i s independence which can survive the t o t a l p h y s i c a l dependence on Tekla that follows h i s confession and punishment by N l k i t a ? I t i s simply that egoism of s e l f -awareness to which I r e f e r r e d i n my l a s t c h a p t e r — i n short, t r a g i c awareness. Sophia Antonovna comments thus on Razumov's casei "There are e v i l moments i n every l i f e . A f a l s e suggestion enters one's b r a i n , and then f e a r i s born, f e a r f o r one-s e l f , or else a f a l s e courage—who 104 knows? Well, c a l l I t what you l i k e ; but t e l l me, how many of them would d e l i v e r themselves up d e l i b e r a t e l y to p e r d i t i o n . . . rather than go on l i v i n g s e c r e t l y debased i n t h e i r own eyes? How many? . . . And please mark t h i s — h e was safe when he d i d i t . I t was j u s t when he b e l i e v e d himself safe and m o r e — i n f i n i t e l y more—when the p o s s i b i l i t y of being loved by that admirable g i r l f i r s t dawned upon him, that he discovered that h i s b i t t e r e s t r a i l i n g s , the worst wickedness, the d e v i l work of h i s hate and p r i d e , could never cover up the Ignominy of the existence before him. There's char-a c t e r i n such a discovery." (380) She i s r i g h t to point out that he was safe when he confessed, but she f a l l s to go f u r t h e r and remark that h i s s u f f e r i n g was g r a t u i t o u s . For he regarded the confession as "wash-ing him clean." But N i k i t a , whose subsequent unmasking as himself a spy increases the irony and gratuitousness of the punishment, takes i t unto himself to mete out a " j u s t reward", even though the other r e v o l u t i o n a r i e s are convinced that Razumov i s now "harmless". And h i s being i n j u r e d by the tram Is squarely In the t r a d i t i o n of Con-radian chance. I t seems l i k e the hand of Fate a t work, but i s neither i n e v i t a b l e nor expected. " I t Is always the unexpected that happens," Marlow t e l l s Jim, and as a consequence, one can never be s p e c i f i c a l l y prepared. The s u f f e r i n g of Razumov has, however, the kind of l o g i c that i s necessary i n a r t , i f not i n l i f e : I t completes the a c t i o n and the v i s i o n of the story. 105 To use the terminology that I Introduced i n the l a s t chapter, Razumov at the beginning of the novel has c l e a r goals, not only f o r himself but f o r s o c i e t y i H i s t o r y not Theory. P a t r i o t i s m not Inter n a t i o n a l i s m . E v o l u t i o n not Revolution, D i r e c t i o n not Destruction. Unity not D i s r u p t i o n . (66) For the Razumov of the end of the novel, personal goals have become i r r e l e v a n t ; broken and deaf, he can only l i v e out what remains of h i s l i f e i n the c l e a r knowledge of h i s impotence to do anything but " t a l k w e l l " and provide an object f o r Tekla's " u n s e l f i s h devotion". He has be-come process-oriented man to a greater extent than was ever i m p l i c i t i n h i s re s o l v e to confess. What does he t a l k about? Perhaps about h i s v i s i o n of a b e t t e r s o c i e t y , f o r Sophia Antonovna says that "he has ideas"(379) and t a l k s to some of the r e v o l u t i o n a r i e s when they v i s i t him. Perhaps he has not abandoned h i s goals f o r s o c i e t y . What of these goals ? A l b e r t Guerard points out that the credo quoted above "could serve as Conrad's own" and goes on to suggest that Razumov shows a t the beginning of the novel "the supreme maritime v i r t u e s of 1 0 6 s a n i t y and s t e a d i n e s s . " I n t h i s c o n n e c t i o n i t i s u s e f u l t o t u r n t o " A u t o c r a c y and War" 2 w r i t t e n i n 1905 a f t e r t h e i n t e n s e e f f o r t o f c r e a t i n g t h e s o c i a l a n d p o l i t i c a l w o r l d o f Nostromo a nd b e f o r e b e g i n n i n g The S e c r e t A g e n t . I t i s "Conrad's most i m p o r t a n t p i e c e o f p o l i t i c a l w r i t i n g " 3 and s u p p o r t s G u e r a r d ' s a s s e r t i o n . C o n r a d f o r e s e e s "some v i o l e n t b r e a k - u p o f t h e l a m e n t a b l e t r a d i t i o n " o f R u s s i a n a u t o c r a c y . He s p e a k s o f t h e " o l d m o n a r c h i e s o f E u r o p e , w h i c h were t h e c r e a t i o n s o f h i s t o r i c a l n e c e s s i t y . T h e r e were s e e d s o f wisdom i n t h e i r v e r y m i s t a k e s a n d a b u s e s , They had a p a s t and a f u t u r e i t h e y were human. B u t u n d e r t h e shadow o f R u s s i a n a u t o c r a c y n o t h i n g c o u l d grow. R u s s i a n a u t o c r a c y s u c c e e d e d t o n o t h i n g i i t had no h i s t o r i c a l p a s t , and i t c a n n o t hope f o r a h i s t o r i c a l f u t u r e . I t c a n o n l y end." We a r e r e m i n d e d h e r e o f t h a t c o n c e r n f o r p a s t and f u t u r e w h i c h , I have a l r e a d y s t a t e d , I s a n e s s e n t i a l p a r t o f t h e t r a g i c v i e w . The human b e i n g l a c k i n g t h i s a w a r e ness i s a n " a n i m a l " i t h e s t a t e l a c k i n g i t i s a j u n g l e , To B i s m a r c k s r e m a r k t h a t R u s s i a " c ' e s t l e n e a n t , " C o n r a d r e p l i e s t h a t she i s worse t h a n n o t h i n g , f o r she i s " t h e n e g a t i o n o f e v e r y t h i n g w o r t h l i v i n g f o r . " She i s r e s p o n s i b l e f o r " t h e r u t h l e s s d e s t r u c t i o n o f i n n u m e r a b l e m i n d s . The g r e a t e s t h o r r o r o f t h e w o r l d — m a d n e s s — w a l k e d f a i t h f u l l y i n t h e R u s s i a n s y s t e m ' s t r a i n . Some o f t h e 107 b e s t I n t e l l e c t s o f R u s s i a . . . ended by t h r o w i n g t h e m s e l v e s a t t h e f e e t o f t h a t h o p e l e s s d e s p o t i s m as a g i d d y man l e a p s i n t o a n a b y s s . " Not o n l y d o es t h i s h e l p us t o u n d e r s t a n d Under W e s t e r n E y e s , b u t i t a l s o c a n be a p p l i e d t o t h e r u t h l e s s e x p l o i t a t i o n o f t h a t o t h e r d e s p o t , K i n g L e o p o l d , K u r t z ' s e m p l o y e r . "Western t h o u g h t , when i t c r o s s e s R u s s i a ' s f r o n t i e r , f a l l s u n d e r t h e s p e l l o f h e r a u t o c r a c y and becomes a n o x i o u s p a r o d y o f i t s e l f . Hence t h e c o n t r a d i c t i o n s , t h e r i d d l e s o f h e r n a t i o n a l l i f e , w h i c h a r e l o o k e d upon w i t h s u c h c u r i o s i t y b y t h e r e s t o f t h e w o r l d , " S e t i n t h e c o n t e x t o f Under W e s t e r n B y e s , Razumov's c r e d o seems i r o n i c , e v e n ludicrous» b u t n o t a s a r e s u l t o f i t s c o n t e n t . To r e v o l u t i o n C o n r a d i s n o t q u i t e so s i m p l y opposed as i s sometimes s u g g e s t e d . He r e f e r s t o "a word o f d r e a d as much as H o p e — R e v o l u t i o n " ( m y e m p h a s i s ) , and s a y s , "A r e v o l u t i o n i s a s h o r t c u t i n t h e r a t i o n a l d e v e l o p m e n t o f n a t i o n a l needs i n r e s p o n s e t o t h e g r o w t h o f w o r l d - w i d e i d e a l s . I t i s c o n c e i v a b l y p o s s i b l e f o r a monarch o f g e n i u s t o p u t h i m s e l f a t t h e head o f a r e v o l u t i o n w i t h o u t c e a s i n g t o be t h e k i n g o f h i s p e o p l e . F o r t h e a u t o c r a c y o f H o l y R u s s i a t h e o n l y c o n c e i v a b l e s e l f - r e f o r m i s — s u i c i d e . " However, a R u s s i a n r e v o l u t i o n "can n e v e r be a r e v o l u t i o n f r u i t f u l o f m o r a l c o n s e q u e n c e s t o m ankind. I t c a n n o t be 108 anything e l s e but a r i s i n g of s l a v e s . " The best the Russian people can hope f o r i s not a wise leader f o r t h e i r r e v o l u t i o n , "but at l e a s t the f o r c e of energy and despera-t i o n i n some as yet unknown Spartacus." We think of Haldin and remember that Spartacus was c r u c i f i e d . Conrad thus sets the hopelessness of the Russian s i t u a t i o n i n o p p o s i t i o n to the p o s s i b i l i t i e s f o r progress i n the West. But l e s t we too e a s i l y i d e n t i f y Western progress with m a t e r i a l progress, he spends s e v e r a l pages of the remainder of the essay warning of the dangers that confront the " c i v i l i z e d c o u n t r i e s " . Mere production of m a t e r i a l goods i s dismissed: "the C r y s t a l Palace [ i s j crammed f u l l with that variegated rubbish which i t seems to be the b i z a r r e f a t e of humanity to produce f o r the b e n e f i t of a few employers of labour. . . . " Science, "whose giant s t r i d e s have widened f o r us the horizon of the universe by some few inches . . . ", does not f a r e much b e t t e r , and democracy, "which has e l e c t e d to p i n Its f a i t h to the supremacy of m a t e r i a l i n t e r e s t s , *» i s by no means man's s a l v a t i o n . Perhaps the comment i n "Autocracy and War" having the most f a r - r e a c h i n g s i g n i f i c a n c e , both p o l i t i c a l l y and otherwise, i s t h i s : Conrad speaks of the Western nations which have made the f i r s t step or two "on the road to 109 e x c e l l e n c e , " "the conquest of freedom to c a l l your s o u l your own," He goes on to say, The I n t e l l e c t u a l stage of mankind being as yet i n i t s Infancy, and States, l i k e most i n d i v i d u a l s , having but a f e e b l e and imperfect consciousness of the worth and force of the inner l i f e , the need of making t h e i r existence manifest to them-selves i s determined i n the d i r e c t i o n of p h y s i c a l a c t i v i t y . The Idea of ceasing to grow i n t e r r i t o r y , i n strength, i n wealth, i n i n f l u e n c e — i n anything but wisdom and self-knowledge Is odious to them as the omen of the end. A c t i o n , i n which i s to be found the i l l u s i o n of a mastered d e s t i n y , can alone s a t i s f y our uneasy vanity and lay to rest_the haunting f e a r of the f u t u r e . . . . I t w i l l be long before we have learned that i n the great darkness before us there i s nothing that we need f e a r . Let us a c t l e s t we p e r i s h — i s the cry (my emphasis). I have explored something of the p o l i t i c a l back-ground to Under Western Eyes to counterbalance my d i s c u s s i o n of the u n i f y i n g devices that l i n k the Russian f i g u r e s i n the novel with Western ideas. I hope that i t Is now c l e a r that Razumov's tragedy i s both p e c u l i a r l y R u s s i a n — i n that the p o l i t i c a l conditions which produced h i s p a r t i c u l a r dilemma are, i n Conrad's view, predominantly to be found i n R u s s i a — a n d more u n i v e r s a l l y human—in that, given the moral c r i s i s , Razumov's r e a c t i o n s , ideas and eventual awareness are not narrowly Russian but could be those of any "westeners". 110 There remain many important aspects of Under Western Eyes which deserve treatment f o r the sake of a f u l l e r under-standing of the novel, but from the point of view of t h i s t h e s i s the ones which immediately concern us are those most c l o s e l y r e l a t e d to the question of what the novel r e v e a l s of Conrad's development as a w r i t e r of f i c t i o n . Conse-quently, I have chosen to d e a l i n the remainder of t h i s chapter with only two p o i n t s i f i r s t , a few comments on the s t r u c t u r e and n a r r a t i v e technique of the novel, comparing i t with Lord Jim; and second, a b r i e f a n a l y s i s of the o v e r a l l impact of the novel on the reader, and of the v i s i o n of tragedy with which i t leaves him. In h i s Author's Note, Conrad says of the old teacher of languages, "I w i l l not at t h i s l a t e hour undertake to j u s t i f y h i s e x l s t e n c e " ( v i i i ) . He goes on to give a simple explanation of the n a r r a t o r ' s "usefulness . , . i n the way of comment and by the part he plays i n the development of the s t o r y " ( i x ) . F r e d e r i c k fl, K a r l seems to me to make an equally simple and e q u a l l y inadequate comment when he says, "the teacher himself i s a Marlow-like character who remains more or l e s s s t a t i c during the course of the novel, but i s u s e f u l as a chorus, as a confidant to Miss Haldin, and most of a l l , f o r p r o v i d i n g the p r a c t i c a l mechanics of the n o v e l , B u t unless one reads considerably more i n t o "chorus" than i s implied by the context, n e i t h e r of these I l l comments o f f e r s any s a t i s f a c t o r y explanation f o r the pre-sence of the n a r r a t o r . A t h i r d person omniscient n a r r a -t i v e could serve the mechanical needs of the s t o r y and the language teacher could he jus t another character. But i n f a c t the n a r r a t o r does play an Important r o l e i n the novel, though he i s only s u p e r f i c i a l l y "Marlow-l i k e " . F i r s t , and simplest, he serves Conrad's need to " s t r i k e and s u s t a i n the note of scrulupous i m p a r t i a l i t y " ( v i i i ) i n a novel d e a l i n g with a subject on which Conrad had extremely strong f e e l i n g s , d e r i v i n g from h i s childhood and strengthened by observation of subsequent events. In other words, the language teacher i s a " d i s t a n c i n g " de-vi c e , as i s Marlow, Second, he serves the dual r o l e of mediating be-tween us and Razumov—Razumov l i v e s , f o r us, through him, as Jim l i v e s through Marlow—and at the same time emphasiz-ing Razumov's Russianness, The very f a c t that an E n g l i s h t r a n s l a t o r l i v i n g i n a cosmopolitan c i t y l i k e Geneva i s needed to br i n g Razumov to us Is a reminder of the more-than-physlcal distance involvedi the language teacher closes a gap, but makes us aware of i t s existence. But note that he i s not Just a t r a n s l a t o r , he Is an i n t e r -p r eter (see my comments on " i n t e r p r e t a t i o n " i n the Intro-d u c t i o n ) . Despite h i s pro t e s t a t i o n s that he lacks the 112 necessary g i f t s , he i s c l e a r l y and d e l i b e r a t e l y shaping Razumov's sto r y and presenting i t i n a c e r t a i n sequence, much as Marlow shaped Jim's. But Marlow's concern was with Jim as "one of us," whereas the language teacher con s t a n t l y regards Razumov as one of them. I discussed e a r l i e r some of the techniques that Conrad employs to enable the reader to see the complexity of r e l a t i o n s h i p that l i e s beneath the apparently simple a t t i t u d e of the n a r r a t o r to Razumov. Jim's case had an immediate impact on Marlow be-cause of i t s i m p l i c a t i o n s f o r the values around which he had b u i l t h i s working l i f e , though i t s r a m i f i c a t i o n s went deeper and provided him with the opportunity to examine and re-examine the human c o n d i t i o n , to achieve v i c a r i o u s l y a t r a g i c awareness. And Marlow was only too w i l l i n g to admit h i s personal Involvement, But the language teacher purports to be w r i t i n g a documentary, h i s only admission of d i r e c t involvement being that he l e f t Razumov i n St. Petersburg at the end of Part I and moved to the events i n Geneva "on the ground of common humanity"(293). s i n c e , "because of the imperfection of language there i s always something ungracious (and even d i s g r a c e f u l ) i n the exhib-i t i o n of naked truth" ( 2 9 3 )• He i s of course involved through h i s d e s i r e to help and p r o t e c t Miss Haldin and her mother. Whereas Marlow i s always "on our s i d e " i n h i s 113 frank attempts to come to terms with the s i g n i f i c a n c e of Jim's l i f e , and our i d e n t i f i c a t i o n i s to a l a r g e extent with him, the language teacher's a t t i t u d e s t r i k e s us as a pose and we tend to move through him to Razumov ( i t i s c l e a r that Conrad intended t h i s to happen—he was t o o much aware of irony i n pre s e n t a t i o n by t h i s time to have intended the teacher's d i s c l a i m e r s to be taken at face v a l u e ) . One of the ways by which Conrad leads the reader to a double v i s i o n of the narrator's r o l e , and thus of Razumov, i s through the presentation of the s t o r y as d i r e c t -l y the work of the n a r r a t o r . The f i r s t four chapters of Lord Jim are r e l a t e d by an omniscient author, and t h i s helps to remind the reader of the way i n which Jim e x i s t e d both i n the r e a l world and i n the imagination of Marlow, But the use of the o l d device of the f a l s e author i n Under Western Eyes, by i t s very transparency, provides an I r o n i c view of the n a r r a t o r that i s l a r g e l y missing from Lord Jim. This i s r e i n f o r c e d by the use of another o l d f i c t i o n a l d e v i c e — t h e journal as a source of both f a c t s otherwise unavailable to a nar r a t o r and of the thoughts and f e e l i n g s of a major character. So f a r I have not suggested d i f f e r e n c e s that would account f o r any r a d i c a l d i f f e r e n c e In e f f e c t between 114 L o r d J i m and Under Western E y e s s t h e d i f f e r e n c e s have b e e n i n t e r e s t i n g , and have r e v e a l e d t e c h n i c a l e x p e r i -m e n t a t i o n , b u t a r e n o t n e c e s s a r i l y c r u c i a l . How t h e n c a n we a c c o u n t f o r t h e e v i d e n t change t h a t has t a k e n p l a c e i n t h e t r e a t m e n t o f t r a g e d y ? F i r s t , by t h e s i m p l e f a c t , t h a t I p o i n t e d o u t a t t h e b e g i n n i n g o f t h i s c h a p t e r , t h a t b o t h t r a g i c a c t i o n and t r a g i c a w a r e n e s s a r e now c e n t e r e d i n a s i n g l e f i g u r e , Razumov. Though t h e l a n g u a g e t e a c h e r may n o t be as a r t l e s s as he w o u l d have us b e l i e v e , t h e r e i s n e v e r any s i g n i f i c a n t s e n s e t h a t t h e t r a g e d y i s h i s , i n t h e way t h a t Jim»s t r a g e d y i s M a r l o w ' s , T h i s u n i f y i n g o f t r a g i c f a t e and t r a g i c a w a r e n e s s , r e s u l t i n g i n t h e h e r o ' s u l t i m a t e s a l v a t i o n t h r o u g h d e s t r u c t i o n , p l a c e s Under Western E y e s , a t l e a s t p o t e n t i a l l y , and I f e e l a c t u a l l y , i n t h e c o n v e n t i o n a l t r a g i c t r a d i t i o n . F u r t h e r a d d i n g t o t h e l i n k w i t h t h a t t r a d i t i o n (and w i t h C o n r a d • s t r e a t m e n t o f t r a g e d y e l s e w h e r e ) i s t h e a e s t h e t i c o r d e r o f t h e n o v e l t h a t i s t h e c o u n t e r v a i l i n g p u l l on t h e r e a d e r , c r e a t i n g t h e n e c e s s a r y t e n s i o n between t h e d i s -o r d e r o f t h e w o r l d and t h e o r d e r o f a r t , t h a t o f f e r s t h e p o s s i b i l i t y o f c r e a t i n g meaning i n a m e a n i n g l e s s u n i -v e r s e , The s e c o n d c r u c i a l d i f f e r e n c e , t h e d i f f e r e n c e t h a t l a r g e l y a c c o u n t s f o r t h e d i f f e r e n c e i n t o n e between t h e two n o v e l s , i s t h a t Under Western Eyes c o n t a i n s a 115 s t o r y which purports to be wri t t e n a f t e r Razumov's r e -tirement from the world, whereas Jim's story i s mostly t o l d during h i s a c t i v e l i f e , and i t s s i g n i f i c a n c e a l t e r s as he l i v e s out h i s l i f e , In t h i s sense i t i s a com-pl e t e d story, put together a t a p o i n t i n time when the n a r r a t o r can p u l l together a l l the loose s t r i n g s of Razu-mov's l i f e and order them as seems appropriate. (I am w e l l aware that I pointed out e a r l i e r that new evidence may come In at any time, changing the case, but we are d e a l i n g here with a r t i s t i c conventions and such p o s s i b i l i t i e s are important only i f the author chooses to make them s o — there i s no suggestion that Conrad does i n Under Western Eyes). Thus the a r t i s t i c form of the novel r e i n f o r c e s i t s substance; the f i n a l i t y of the s t o r y accords with the sense that we have at the end that Razumov has achieved a "form or formula of peace" ( 5 )—the peace that passeth understanding. There i s a f e e l i n g of s e r e n i t y a t the end of the novel, a s e r e n i t y not u n l i k e that evoked at the end of, say, King Lear or Ramiet. But Conrad w i l l not q u i t e l e t us get away with i t , and the l a s t words of the novel, spoken by Sophia Antonovna, "'Peter Ivano-v i t c h i s an i n s p i r e d man'"(382), are an i r o n i c reminder that the world of the Twentieth Century i s more complex and troubled than the State of Denmark. The f i n a l i t y of Under Western Eyes i s i n sharp 116 c o n t r a s t w i t h the u l t i m a t e u n c e r t a i n t y o f L o r d J i m , where g r e a t s t r e s s i s l a i d on the c o n t i n u i n g n a t u r e of Jim's s t o r y and i t s r e p e r c u s s i o n s . The c h i e f d e v i c e t o t h i s end i s the f i n i s h i n g of the t a l e on t h e v e r a n d a and i t s c o n t i n u a t i o n some y e a r s l a t e r v i a a l e t t e r . But t h r o u g h -o u t the n o v e l we a r e reminded o f the d i f f i c u l t y o f s i m p l y g e t t i n g the f a c t s a b o u t Jim, l e t a l o n e f i n d i n g some mean-i n g i n them. By c o m p a r i s o n , the language t e a c h e r ' s s o u r c e s o f i n f o r m a t i o n a r e u n o b t r u s i v e . L o r d J i m r e n d e r s the p r o c e s s o f u n d e r s t a n d i n g t r a g e d y , w h i l e under Western Syes r e n d e r s t r a g e d y more o r l e s s d i r e c t l y — i t a c h i e v e s i t s g o a l . I t h i n k t h i s l a s t s e n t e n c e i s t h e key t o t h e s u b j e c t i v e d i f f e r e n c e between the n o v e l s . That L o r d J i m i s a n o v e l which one l o v e s , w h i l e Under Western Syes one admires i s a f e e l i n g t h a t i s n o t mine a l o n e . G u e r a r d o f f e r s a p a r t i a l e l u c i d a t i o n when he remarks t h a t Under Western Eyes "does n o t , l i k e L o r d Jim, change and g r e a t l y expand on second and subsequent r e a d i n g s . " 5 (Guerard*s d e t a i l e d e x a m i n a t i o n of the changes which take p l a c e i n o u r u n d e r s t a n d i n g on r e r e a d i n g L o r d Jim r e v e a l s much about the p r o c e s s o f a p p r e c i a t i n g a work o f l i t e r a t u r e . ) While I hope t h a t I have p r e s e n t e d enough d e t a i l t o show t h a t c l o s e s t u d y o f Under Western Eyes uncovers a r i c h n e s s i n form t h a t t e s t i f i e s t o Conrad's mature s k i l l as a 117 n o v e l i s t , I am under no i l l u s i o n s that t h i s e x p l i c a t i o n changes r a d i c a l l y the view of the novel that i s gained immediately by the even moderately a l e r t reader. The only d i f f i c u l t i e s that are l i k e l y to i n t e r f e r e s e r i o u s l y with an understanding of Razumov's predicament are f a i l u r e s to share i n the moral values which are i m p l i c i t . For example, i n our present s o c i e t y c e r t a i n younger readers might w e l l sympathize completely with Haldin and see h i s b e t r a y a l as an unmitigated e v i l , while c e r t a i n older readers might see Razumov's going to Prince K as unquestionably the r i g h t t h i n g to do, an upholding of threatened s o c i a l values. To e i t h e r reader, Razumov's moral t u r m o i l would be incomprehensible, j u s t as these readers• r e s p e c t i v e p o s i t i o n s are incomprehens i b l e to one another. But I t i s the f u n c t i o n of a r t to overcome such l i m i t a t i o n s of the imagination, and f o r the reader who i s w i l l i n g to suspend h i s judgement f o r a while, Under Western Eyes i s a great novel of m o r a l i t y and p o l i t i c s i n the honorable t r a d i t i o n of p s y c h o l o g i c a l r e a l i s m . And t h i s i s how one thinks of i t , as part of a t r a d i t i o n , f o l l o w i n g Dostoevsky, and i t i s somehow dimin-ished by the comparison. Whereas Lord Jim stands alone, a unique work that possesses the enigmatic and s h i f t i n g q u a l i t y that makes each reading a new experience, yet whose form and substance are c l e a r enough to protect i t 118 from the purely s u b j e c t i v e i n t e r p r e t a t i o n . Under Western Syes i s a novel one can admire, but f o r a l l the s k i l l i t r e v e a l s , f o r me at l e a s t , i t i s a l e s s personal work than Lord Jim. CONCLUSION T h i s t h e s i s has been a p r o c e s s o f d i s c o v e r y — m o r e f o r the w r i t e r than i t c o u l d be f o r any r e a d e r . What has been d i s c o v e r e d ? There cannot be a d e f i n i t i v e answer, s h o r t o f q u o t i n g a l l t h a t I have s a i d up t o t h i s p o i n t , b u t i n es s e n c e i t can be summarized. J o s e p h Conrad came t o w r i t i n g r e l a t i v e l y l a t e , a mature man b e f o r e he began. C o n s e q u e n t l y , he d i d n o t go t h r o u g h t h e p r o c e s s o f s e l f - d i s c o v e r y t h r o u g h w r i t i n g t h a t a younger w r i t e r t y p i c a l l y undergoes. H i s p r o b l e m was n o t so much t o u n d e r s t a n d h i m s e l f as t o u n d e r s t a n d the r e l a t i o n o f a r t t o l i f e and t o d e v e l o p a n a r t which a l l o w e d him t o t r a n s c e n d h i s r a t i o n a l i d e a s about l i f e , c r e a t i n g an i m a g i n a t i v e v i s i o n u n i t i n g a r t and i d e a . The works of h i s "Malayan phase" r e n d e r e d t o a v a r y i n g degree h i s r o m a n t i c p e s s i m i s m , a sense o f t h e t r a g e d y of l i f e , t h r o u g h an i r o n i c and sometimes n e a r -c y n i c a l humor. But a r t t h a t p r e s e n t s a t r a g i c view o f l i f e i s n o t the same as t r a g i c a r t , and none of t h e s e works a c h i e v e d t r a g e d y . Each was a s u c c e s s o f i t s own k i n d , r e p r e s e n t i n g a s t e p f o r w a r d i n Conrad's m a t u r i n g as t e c h n i c i a n and a r t i s t , b u t each f a i l e d i n i t s own way. 120 Almayer's F o l l y s l i d e s i n t o cynicism, though i t i s an admirably constructed comedy otherwise. An Outcast of the Islands s t r a i n s too hard f o r s i g n i f i c a n c e , a s i g n i f i -cance that i s , however, only s p o r a d i c a l l y rendered. And The Rescue proved impossible f o r Conrad to f i n i s h a t the time as a r e s u l t of i t s e x c e s s i v e l y romantic v i s i o n and ser i o u s tone. The breakthrough came with The Nigger of the "Narcissus". Conrad found i n h i s most d i r e c t experience the source of a renewed sense of the joy and n o b i l i t y p o s s i b l e i n s p i t e of the tragedy of l i f e . The s u r v i v a l of the ship provides a center of meaning that allows the work to be an almost wholly p o s i t i v e one. "Steering with care" i s an a s s e r t i o n against the universe. The Nigger presents a comic v i s i o n but opened the way to tragedy. The l i g h t of t h i s s t o r y needed a darkness that i s not adequately symbolized by James Wait. "Heart of Darkness" renders that search i n t o s e l f , the night Journey, that completes the v i s i o n . And "Heart of Darkness" u t i l i z e d Marlow, the key to Conrad's f i r s t s u c c e s s f u l u n i f i e d work of tragedy, Lord Jim, the completed v i s i o n . This novel explores the process of imagining tragedy, an i n d i r e c t but s u c c e s s f u l approach to the rendering of the t r a g i c v i s i o n . 1 2 1 we l e a v e Nostromo and The S e c r e t Agent, v i s i o n s of man's g a i n i n g o f i d e n t i t y and t r a g i c awareness t h r o u g h i n t e r a c t i o n w i t h a complex s o c i e t y , where the emphasis i s on the t r a g i c n a t u r e o f s o c i e t y r a t h e r t h a n o f a s i n g l e man, and move t o Under Western E y e s , a f u l l y r e a l i z e d i n d i v i d u a l t r a g e d y and a v i s i o n o f the impact of p o l i t i c a l systems on man. By t h i s t i m e, Conrad had a c h i e v e d a ma s t e r y of h i s a r t and t e c h n i q u e which a l l o w e d him t o a c c o m p l i s h h i s o b j e c t i v e . And i n s t e a d o f the i n f i n i t e r e s o n a n c e s o f L o r d J i m we f i n d a much more c l o s e d work, one which y i e l d s g r e a t e r s u b t l e t y b u t n o t r a d i c a l l y new i n s i g h t on subsequent r e a d i n g s . A t e n t a t i v e g e n e r a l c o n c l u s i o n which might be drawn from t h i s t h e s i s i s t h a t , f o r Conrad a t l e a s t , c r e a t i o n a t i t s peak r e q u i r e d a t e n s i o n between form and s u b s t a n c e , a s t r u g g l e f o r t e c h n i q u e , t h a t demanded e v e r y p a r t o f h i s s k i l l and e x p e r i e n c e f o r i t s r e s o l u t i o n . In The Rescue the t e n s i o n b r o k e , and In the e a r l i e r n o v e l s he d i d n o t f u l l y u t i l i z e h i s most s i g n i f i c a n t e x p e r i e n c e . But most n o t a b l y amongst the works c o n s i d e r e d h e r e , the b a l a n c e was a c h i e v e d i n The N i g g e r o f the " N a r c i s s u s " , "Heart o f Da r k n e s s " and L o r d J i m . Under Western Eyes r e p r e s e n t s the s l i g h t e s t degree o f r e l a x a t i o n and a c h i e v e s c o m p l e t i o n b u t n o t , u l t i m a t e l y , the warmth and r i c h n e s s t h a t c h a r a c t e r i z e s Conrad's most r e p r e s e n t a t i v e works. 122 FOOTNOTES INTRODUCTION Against I n t e r p r e t a t i o n (New York, 1969)» p. 22, 2 l b i d . , p. 15. 3phllo3ophy In a New Key (New York, 1948), p. 221. ^"The Connecting Imagination," Adventures of the Mind, Second S e r i e s , ed., Richard Thruelsen and John Kobler (hew York, 1961), p. 2?. ^Preface to The Nigger of the "Narcissus", p. x. ^Preface to "The Shorter Tales", Last Essays, p. 142. ?Jerzy K o s l n s k l , the author of Steps and a Pole now l i v i n g i n the United States, s a i d In an interview broadcase i n January 1970 (CBC, "Matinee") that he could not p o s s i b l y have w r i t t e n h i s books i n P o l i s h . He b e l i e v e s that the E n g l i s h language has l i b e r a t e d him from h i s c u l t u r e , allowing him to view i t — a n d to render i t — i n a way not a v a i l a b l e to him through the language of that c u l t u r e . But i n the process of l i b e r a t i o n he has l o s t the s e c u r i t y of a simple sense of I d e n t i t y . The tone and content of his d i s c u s s i o n were remarkably l i k e those of many of Conrad•s l e t t e r s . 8 A Personal Record, pp. 68-70. 9Murray Krieger, The Tragic V i s i o n (New York, i 9 6 0 ), p. 4. 1 0"The New Novel", i n The Future of the Novel, ed. Leon Sdel (New York, 1956), pp. 275-286. 1 1"The Man with the Blue G u i t a r , " C o l l e c t e d Poems (New York, 1961), p. I65. 1 2 I a n Watt provides a convenient terminology: homeophorlc he uses to describe the type of symbolism here suggested, that i n which the symbols r e i n f o r c e the c l e a r l y intended s u p e r f i c i a l meaning: heterophorlc symbolism, on the other hand, reveals a meaning s u b s t a n t i a l l y d i f f e r e n t from that which l i e s on the surface of the work. "Story and Idea i n Conrad's The Shadow-Line." Modern B r i t i s h F i c t i o n , ed. Mark Schorer (New York, 1961), p. 133. 123 ^ P h i l o s o p h y i n a New K e y , pp. 221-22. ^ T h e G r e a t T r a d i t i o n ( L o n d o n , 1 9 6 2 ) , pp. 2 0 9 - 2 1 0 . " ^ F o r a d i s c u s s i o n of " t h e t r a g e d y o f m a n ' s s o c i a l n a t u r e , " s e e L e e M. w h i t e h e a d , " N o s t r o m o ; The T r a g i c ' I d e a ' " , N i n e t e e n t h C e n t u r y F i c t i o n . X X I I I ( M a r c h , 1969), pp. 4 6 3 - 7 5 . ^ P r e f a c e t o The N i g g e r o f t h e " N a r c i s s u s " , p. i x . 124 FOOTNOTES CHAPTER I ^Quoted i n Frederick R. K a r l , A Reader's Guide to Joseph Conrad (New York, I960), p. 3. 2 I b i d . , pp. 3,4. 3 I b i d . , p. 5. ^From F e l i x Holt , quoted by F .R.Leavis , The Great Tradi t ion (London, 1962), p. 74. 5A11 references to Conrad's major works of f i c t i o n w i l l be made be means of page numbers and, where necessary, short t i t l e s , enclosed within parentheses i n the text . The edi t ion used throughout i s the Dent Collected Edi t ion (London, 1946-54), o r i g i n a l l y published as the Uniform Edi t ion (London, 1923-28). ^"Poland Revis i ted" , Notes on L i f e and Letters , pp. 143-144. 7»Books" , I b i d . , p. 8. &See, f o r example, Edward Garnett 's comment regarding his f i r s t reading of the manuscript of the early parts of The Rescue: "Conrad, exhilarated by my praise , then described his idea of the downhill path of Willems and foreshadowed A i s s a ' s part i n the drama. The plot had already taken shape i n Conrad's mind, but most of the action was s t i l l i n a state of f l u x . " Introduction to Letters from Joseph Conrad (London, 1928), p. 7. ^Magnum Edit ion (New York, 1968). ^ L e t t e r to J .B .Pinker , 1918, i n G. Jean-Aubry, Joseph Conrad: L i f e and Letters (New York, 1927), v o l . 2, p. 212. ^ L e t t e r to Edward Garnett, August 1898, i n Letters from Joseph Conrad, ed. Edward Garnett (London, 1928), p. 141. 1 2 " T h e Tale" , Tales of Hearsay, p. 62. Preface to The Nigger of the "Narcissus", p. v i i i . 125 1 4 J o h n D. Gordan, Joseph Conrad; The Making of a N o v e l i s t (Cambridge, Mass., 1941), pp. 141-144. ^Quoted by A l b e r t J . Guerard, Conrad the N o v e l i s t (Cam-bridge, Mass., 1958), p. 108. l 6 » H i S ^ar Book", Last Essays, p. 119. ^ P r e f a c e to The Nigger of the "Narcissus", pp. x i v , x v l . 1 8 " A u t o c r a c y and War", Notes on L i f e and L e t t e r s , p. 94. 126 FOOTNOTES CHAPTER I I 1 " H e a r t of D a r k n e s s " , Youth, p. 48. 2 P r e f a c e t o The N i g g e r o f the " N a r c i s s u s " , p. x i v . 3 l n "pfiact Land and Sea, pp. 91-143. ^ L e t t e r t o R.B, Cunninghame Graham, 1898, i n G, J e a n -Aubry, J o s e p h Conradt L i f e and L e t t e r s (New York, 1927), v o l . 1, p. 226. 5 c f . A l b e r t J . G u e r a r d , Conrad the N o v e l i s t (Cambridge, Mass., 1958), pp. 164-166*1 My i n t e r p r e t a t i o n o f the S t e i n e p i s o d e i s s i m i l a r i n many ways t o G u e r a r d • s , b u t the c e n t r a l metaphor seems t o me t o be c l e a r e r t h a n he s u g g e s t s . ^ F o r example, S t e i n ' s (and Marlow's) r e l u c t a n c e t o d i s c u s s "a p r a c t i c a l remedy"'(215) u n t i l the morning, and S t e i n ' s r e t u r n t o h i s b u t t e r f l i e s a t the end o f the c h a p t e r . S t e i n i s p o r t r a y e d as s e n t i m e n t a l l y a t t a c h e d t o r o m a n t i c dreams, even though he i s aware of the need t o make them r e a l . 7chicago Review. XVI ( W i n t e r - S p r i n g , 1963), pp. 123-140. 8 I b i d . , p. 127. 9 I b i d . , p. 131. 1 0 I b i d . , p. 133. ^ L e t t e r t o S i r S i d n e y C o l v l n , quoted i b i d . , p. 133. 1 2 l b i d . , p. 133. 1 3 I b l d . , pp. 137-140. ^ I b i d . , p. 132. -^The Myth of S i s y p h u s and Other E s s a y s , t r . J u s t i n O ' B r i e n (New York, 1959), PP. 88-91. Conrad's comment t o Edward G a r n e t t , r e t o l d t o G. J e a n -Aubry, The Sea Dreamer, i n Bruce Harkness, Conrad's "Heart o f Darkn e s s " and the C r i t i c s (San F r a n c i s c o , i 9 6 0 ) , p. 100. 127 1 7 d e e E r n s t C a s s i r e r ' s c h a p t e r on "Language" In An Essay on Man, Bantam E d i t i o n (New Y o r k , 1 9 7 0 ) , pp. 120-151• 128 FOOTNOTES CHAPTER I I I •^-Albert J . Guerard, Conrad the N o v e l i s t (Cambridge, Mass., 1958), pp. 242-243. 2 N o t e s on L i f e and L e t t e r s . pp. 83-114. 3 j o c e l y n B a i n e s , Joseph Conrad, A C r i t i c a l Biography (New York, i 9 6 0 ) , p. 318. ^A Reader's Guide to Joseph Conrad (New York, 1958), p. 220. ^Conrad the N o v e l i s t , p. 232. 129 SELECTED BIBLIOGRAPHY Conrad's Works The e d i t i o n r e f e r r e d t o t h r o u g h o u t t h i s paper i s the C o l l e c t e d E d i t i o n (London; J.M. Dent and Sons, 1946-54, 21 v o l u m e s ) . T h i s i s a r e i s s u e o f the U n i f o r m E d i t i o n o f th e Works o f J o s e p h Conrad (London: J.M. Dent and Sons, 123-28, 27 v o l u m e s ) . The same p l a t e s ( o r p h o t o - r e p r o d u c -t i o n s ) a r e us e d f o r s e v e r a l o t h e r e d i t i o n s , i n c l u d i n g t h o s e i s s u e d by Doubleday, Page and Company i n the U n i t e d S t a t e s from 1923. A l t h o u g h t h e s e a r e c o n s i d e r e d the s t a n d a r d e d i t i o n s , t h e y a r e by no means a u t h o r i t a t i v e t e x t s , as Thomas C. Moser I n d i c a t e s i n h i s t e x t u a l n o t e on L o r d J i m ( i n h i s N o r t o n E d i t i o n o f the n o v e l , New York, 1968, pp. 255-257). However, I have examined some of the more r e c e n t t e x t s o f L o r d J i m and "Heart o f Dark n e s s " and have f o u n d no changes o f s i g n i f i c a n c e for my purposes h e r e ; c o n s e q u e n t l y , I have u t i l i z e d the s t a n d a r d t e x t s . 130 C r i t i c a l Works Aubry, G. Jean, The L i f e and L e t t e r s of Joseph Conrad (Garden C i t y , U.l.i Doubleday, 192?), 2 v o l s . , The Sea Dreamer; A D e f i n i t i v e Biography of Joseph Conrad, t r a n s . Helen"Seba (Garden C i t y N.Y. s Doubleday, 1957). B a i n e s , J o c e l y , Joseph Conrad; A C r i t i c a l Biography ( l e w York; McGraw-Hill, I 9 6 0 ) . B l a c k b u r n , W i l l i a m , ed., Joseph Conrad; L e t t e r s t o W i l l i a m Blackwood and David S. He 1 drum" (Durham, N.C.; Duke u n i v e r s i t y P r e s s , 1958). Brown, Douglas, "From Heart of Darkness to Nostromo; An Approach t o Conrad," i n B o r i s F o r d , ed., The Modern Age, P e l i c a n Guide t o E n g l i s h L i t e r a t u r e , v o l . V I I (London: Penguin Books, 1 9 6 l ) , pp. 119-137. Burgess, C.F., "Conrad's Pesky R u s s i a n " , N i n e t e e n t h Century F i c t i o n , X V I I I (Sept. 1963), pp. 189-193. B o y l e , Ted E., Symbol and Meaning i n the F i c t i o n of Joseph Conrad (The Hague s Mouton, 1965)• Camus, A l b e r t , The Myth of Sisyphus and Other Essays, t r . J u s t i n O'Brien (New York: Vintage, 1959). C a s s i r e r , E r n s t , An Essay on Man (New York; Bantam, 1970). C u r i e , R i c h a r d , ed., Conrad t o a F r i e n d : 150 S e l e c t e d L e t t e r s from Joseph Conrad to R i c h a r d C u r i e (New York: Crosby Gaige, 1923). Dean, Leonard F,, ed., Joseph Conrad's "Heart of Darkness": Backgrounds and C r i t i c i s m s (Englewood C l i f f s ' , N.J.s P r e n t i c e - H a l l , i 9 6 0 ) . F o r d , Ford Madox, Joseph Conrad: A P e r s o n a l Remembrance (Boston: L i t t l e , Brown, 1924). ' G a r n e t t , Edward, ed., L e t t e r s from Joseph Conrad. 1895-1924 (New York: B o b b s - M e r r i l l , 1928). 131 Gordan, John D. , Joseph Conrad; The Making of a N o v e l i s t (Cambridge, Mass.t H a r v a r d U n i v e r s i t y P r e s s , 1940). Gose, E l l i o t t B, , J r . , "Pure E x e r c i s e of I m a g i n a t i o n s A r c h e t y p a l Symbolism i n L o r d J i m . " PMLA, LXXIX (March, 1964), pp. 137-147. G r o s s , Seymour L., "A F u r t h e r Mote on the F u n c t i o n of t h e Frame i n H e a r t of Da r k n e s s . " Modern F i c t i o n S t u d i e s , I I I (Summer 1957), pp. 167-170. G u e r a r d , A l b e r t J . , Conrad the N o v e l i s t (Cambridge: H a r v a r d u n i v e r s i t y P r e s s , 1958). Gurko, Leo, J o s e p h Conrad; G i a n t i n E x i l e (New York; Mac-h m l l l a n , 1962). Harkness, Bruce, ed., Conrad's "Heart of D a r k n e s s " and the C r i t i c s (San F r a n s i s c o : Wadsworth, i 9 6 0 ) . Hay, E l o l s e Knapp, The P o l i t i c a l N o v e l s o f Jos e p h Conrad ( U n i v e r s i t y o f C h i c a g o P r e s s , 1963). _ , , " L o r d J i m ; From S k e t c h t o N o v e l , " Comparative L i t e r a t u r e . X I I ( F a l l , i 9 6 0 ), pp.289-309. Howe, I r v i n g , "Conrad: Order and Anar c h y " i n h i s P o l i t i c s and t h e N o v e l (New York: H o r i z o n , 1957), pp. 76-113. James, Henry, "Joseph Conrad" [from "The New N o v e l " i n Notes on N o v e l i s t s , 1914J i n h i s The F u t u r e o f t h e N o v e l : E s s a y s on the A r t o f F i c t i o n , ed., Leon E d e l . (New York: V i n t a g e , 1956), pp. 275-286. K a r l , F r e d e r i c k R., A Reader's Guide t o Joseph Conrad (New York: Noonday, i 9 6 0 ) . Kimbrough, R o b e r t , ed., Hea r t o f Darkness, N o r t o n C r i t i c a l E d i t i o n s (New Y o r k : N o r t o n , 1963). K i r s c h n e r , P a u l , Conrad: The P s y c h o l o g i s t as A r t i s t ( E d i n b u r g h ; O l i v e r and Boyd, 1968), K r l e g e r , Murray, The T r a g i c V i s i o n : V a r i a t i o n s on a Theme i n L i t e r a r y I n t e r p r e t a t i o n (New York: H o l t , R e l n h a r t . I960). Langer, Susanne, P h i l o s o p h y i n a New Key (New York: Mentor, 1948). 132 L e a v i s , F.R., The G r e a t T r a d i t i o n ; George E l i o t , Henry James. J o s e p h Conrad iLondon: C h a t t o and Windus, 1948J , (London; P e n g u i n , 1962). L o r c h , Thomas M., "The B a r r i e r Between Youth and M a t u r i t y i n the Works o f J o s e p h Conrad," Modern F i c t i o n S t u d i e s , X ( S p r i n g , 1964), pp. 73-80. Moser, Thomas, J o s e p h Conrad: Achievement and D e c l i n e (Cambridge: H a r v a r d U n i v e r s i t y P r e s s , 1957). P e r r y , John O l i v e r , " A c t i o n , V i s i o n , o r V o i c e : The M o r a l Dilemmas i n Conrad's T a l e - T e l l i n g , " Modern F i c t i o n S t u d i e s . X ( S p r i n g , 1964), pp. 3-14. R e i d , Stephen, "The * unspeakable R i t e s ' i n H e a r t o f Dark-n e s s , " Modern F i c t i o n S t u d i e s . IX ( W i n t e r 1963-64), PP. 3h?^W. R o s e n f i e l d , C l a i r e , P a r a d i s e of Snakes; An A r c h e t y p a l A n a l y s i s o f Conrad's P o l i t i c a l ~ N o v e l s ( U n i v e r s i t y of C h i c a g o P r e s s , 1967). S h e r r y , r. o r man, Conrad' s E a s t e r n World ( H a r v a r d , Mass,: Cambridge U n i v e r s i t y P r e s s , 1966). S o n t a g , Susan, A g a i n s t I n t e r p r e t a t i o n [tew York: F a r r a h , S t r a u s , G i r a d o u x , 1968J, (hew York: D e l l Books, 1969). Spender, Stephen, "The C o n n e c t i n g I m a g i n a t i o n " i n R i c h a r d T h r u e l s e n and John K o b l e r , eds., A d v e n t u r e s of the Mind, Second S e r i e s (New York; V i n t a g e , 1961), pp. 21-33, S t a l l m a n , R o b e r t W., ed,, J o s e p h Conrad; A C r i t i c a l Sym-posium ( E a s t L a n s i n g s M i c h i g a n U n i v e r s i t y P r e s s , I 9 6 0 ) . S t e v e n s , W a l l a c e , C o l l e c t e d Poems (New Yorks A l f r e d A. Knopf, 1961). Tanner, Tony, "Nightmare and Complacency! 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