The Collected Letters of Joseph Conrad, Volume 7

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Cambridge University Press, 1983 - Biography & Autobiography - 656 pages
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"This is the second of the projected eight-volume edition comprising all the surviving letters of Joseph Conrad. Once completed the edition will have assembled over 3,500 letters, one third of them as yet unpublished and many others only published before in inaccurate versions. The period covered by this volume, 1898-1902, was one of considerable achievement and anxiety for Conrad. The birth of his first child, the death of Stephen Crane, the murder of a friend's son, an encounter with an early X-ray machine, imperial wars in Cuba and South Africa - these events forced Conrad to face the problems of identity in terms of family, nation, history, and the cosmic order. This is also the period of 'Youth', 'Amy Foster', 'Typhoon', Lord Jim, and 'Heart of Darkness'. Often funny, always thoughtful, full of verbal energy even in the toils of severe depression, the letters in Volume Two present Conrad at a crucial though vulnerable moment of his life and literary career."--Publisher's description of v. 2.
 

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Page xxxv - Didn't it ever occur to you, my dear Curle, that I knew what I was doing in leaving the facts of my life and even of my tales in the background. Explicitness, my dear fellow, is fatal to the glamour of all artistic work, robbing it of all suggestiveness, destroying all illusion.

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About the author (1983)

Joseph Conrad is recognized as one of the 20th century's greatest English language novelists. He was born Jozef Konrad Nalecz Korzeniowski on December 3, 1857, in the Polish Ukraine. His father, a writer and translator, was from Polish nobility, but political activity against Russian oppression led to his exile. Conrad was orphaned at a young age and subsequently raised by his uncle. At 17 he went to sea, an experience that shaped the bleak view of human nature which he expressed in his fiction. In such works as Lord Jim (1900), Youth (1902), and Nostromo (1904), Conrad depicts individuals thrust by circumstances beyond their control into moral and emotional dilemmas. His novel Heart of Darkness (1902), perhaps his best known and most influential work, narrates a literal journey to the center of the African jungle. This novel inspired the acclaimed motion picture Apocalypse Now. After the publication of his first novel, Almayer's Folly (1895), Conrad gave up the sea. He produced thirteen novels, two volumes of memoirs, and twenty-eight short stories. He died on August 3, 1924, in England.

Laurence Davies is Research Associate Professor of Comparative Literature at Dartmouth College and co-author of Cunninghame Graham: A Critical Biography.

J. H. Stape is Research Fellow at St Mary University College, Twickenham, London and has taught at universities in England, Canada, France and the Far East. Author of The Several Lives of Joseph Conrad (2007) and editor of The Cambridge Companion to Joseph Conrad (1996), he has edited several of Conrad texts. He has also published on E. M. Forster, William Golding, Thomas Hardy, Frank Harris, Angus Wilson and Virginia Woolf.