Joseph Conrad Today

Joseph Conrad Today

by Kieran O'Hara, Kieron O'Hara
     
 

This book argues that the novelist Joseph Conrad's work speaks directly to us in a way that none of his contemporaries can. Conrad’s scepticism, pessimism, emphasis on the importance and fragility of community, and the difficulties of escaping our history are important tools for understanding the political world in which we live. He is prepared to face a

Overview

This book argues that the novelist Joseph Conrad's work speaks directly to us in a way that none of his contemporaries can. Conrad’s scepticism, pessimism, emphasis on the importance and fragility of community, and the difficulties of escaping our history are important tools for understanding the political world in which we live. He is prepared to face a future where progress is not inevitable, where actions have unintended consequences, and where we cannot know the contexts in which we act. Heart of Darkness uncovers the rotten core of the Eurocentric myth of imperialism as a way of bringing enlightenment to 'native peoples’ – lessons which are relevant once more as the Iraq debacle has undermined the claims of liberal democracy to universal significance. The result can hardly be called a political programme, but Conrad’s work is clearly suggestive of a sceptical conservatism of the sort described by the author in his 2005 book After Blair: Conservatism Beyond Thatcher. The difficult part of a Conradian philosophy is the profundity of his pessimism – far greater than Oakeshott, with whom Conrad does share some similarities (though closer to a conservative politician like Salisbury). Conrad’s work poses the question of how far we as a society are prepared to face the consequences of our ignorance.

Editorial Reviews

Tribune - Keith Richmond

"Joseph Conrad is not just one of the great early modern English writers, but one of the greatest novelists writing in the English language... [His books] are classics which, as Keiron O'Hara says, repay multiple readings. He argues that Conrad's themes -- imperialism, terrorism, revolution, racism and guilt as well as the multiple meanings of 'material interests' -- mean that 100 years later he speaks to us in a way none of his contemporaries can."

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781845400668
Publisher:
Imprint Academic
Publication date:
11/01/2007
Series:
Societas Series
Pages:
129
Product dimensions:
5.32(w) x 8.10(h) x 0.41(d)

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