An Outcast of the Islands

An Outcast of the Islands

Book - 2016
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"Conrad's An Outcast of the Islands (1896) returns to the moral world and thematic concerns of his first novel, Almayer's Folly (1895), and to the South-East Asia of his own experience, as he imaginatively revisited the tropics he had left behind him some eight years previously. In committing himself to the novel's writing, Conrad was also taking farewell of his sea-life. The decision to become a professional writer had evolved slowly, in the same way that what was originally to be a short story transformed itself into a full-length novel about moral crisis and its consequences as Conrad discovered that his materials demanded more ample development. While not wishing to pursue the analogy too far, it is perhaps no coincidence that, at the outset of his second novel, the hero's 'little excursion into the wayside quagmires' is intended as no more than 'a short episode--a sentence in brackets so to speak--in the flowing tale of his life: a thing of no moment to be done unwillingly yet neatly and to be quickly forgotten.' Like his central character, Peter Willems, Conrad was to discover that there was to be no going back. He had composed Almayer's Folly, intermittently over a five-year period (1889-94), the manuscript accompanying him from London to various parts of the world--Austrian Poland, the Ukraine, the Congo Free State, Australia and France. By contrast, An Outcast of the Islands took little more than a year to write, from mid-August 1894 to mid-September 1895, and was composed in two places: the writer's London lodgings near Victoria Railway Station, and the Hotel de la Roseraie in the Geneva suburb of Champel-les-Bains, during visits to undergo hydrotherapy treatment for a condition then called 'neurasthenia' (and now termed clinical depression)"-- Provided by publisher.
"An Outcast of the Islands (1896), Conrad's second novel, returns to the Malay world of Almayer's Folly (1895). Focusing on the collapse of Western values and morals in a colonial setting, the novel daringly portrays the power of erotic attraction and exposes the venal ambitions behind small- and large-scale political intrigues. The introduction situates the novel in Conrad's career as a writer and traces its origins and reception. The essay on the text and the apparatus explain the history of the work's composition and publication, and detail the interventions of Conrad's compositors and editors. There are notes explaining literary and historical references, a glossary of nautical terms, illustrations including pictures of early drafts, and appendixes. This edition presents the novel and its preface in forms more authoritative than any so far printed, and restores a text that has circulated in defective forms since its original publication"-- Provided by publisher.
Publisher: Cambridge, United Kingdom : Cambridge University Press, 2016
ISBN: 9781107126442
1107126444
Branch Call Number: Fiction Conrad
Characteristics: xlix, 476 pages : illustrations, map ; 22 cm
Additional Contributors: Simmons, Allan 1955-

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