A Tale in Two Parts

Book - 2002
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After her bankrupt father is imprisoned, Flora de Barral struggles to achieve some dignity and happiness, learning the harsh fact that a woman in her position "has no resources but in herself."
Publisher: Oxford ; New York : Oxford University Press, 2002
ISBN: 9780192801746
Branch Call Number: Fiction Conrad
Characteristics: xxxv, 347 p. ; 20 cm


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Nov 13, 2014

“Why is it that the stillness of a human being is often so impressive, so suggestive of evil—as if our proper fate were a ceaseless agitation?”
I'm sure many readers here the name of Conrad and groan because they had to slog through his famously dense and difficult novella "Heart of Darkness" in high school or college. While still his most famous and influential work (see "Apocalypse Now"), it's not necessarily his most representative. Many of his other stories would have a nautical theme, but are less heavily symbolic and more conventionally modernist. "Chance," a later novel is unusual in that it focuses on a female character, the intriguingly named Flora de Barral, the daughter of a feckless financier. Conrad employs the recurring character of Marlow, who narrated "Heart of Darkness," as his storyteller. I've been reading Henry James, Conrad's contemporary and acquaintance, and this novel, with its psychological insights, slow developing narrative, and complex style, has affinities with the Master.


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