"Written from 1898 to 1919, the twenty-six essays collected in Notes on Life and Letters (1921) offer a kaleidoscopic view of Joseph Conrad's literary views, politics, commitments to maritime traditions, and interest in the events of his day, including the Titanic disaster, the First World War, and the re-emergence of his native Poland as a nation state." The introduction gives the history of the gathering together of these diverse pieces into a single volume, traces the book's reception, and offers new perspectives on its relationship to ...
"Written from 1898 to 1919, the twenty-six essays collected in Notes on Life and Letters (1921) offer a kaleidoscopic view of Joseph Conrad's literary views, politics, commitments to maritime traditions, and interest in the events of his day, including the Titanic disaster, the First World War, and the re-emergence of his native Poland as a nation state." The introduction gives the history of the gathering together of these diverse pieces into a single volume, traces the book's reception, and offers new perspectives on its relationship to Conrad's other writings. His occasional essays underwent multiple layers of unauthorized intervention by his typists, compositors and editors: this history is set out in the essay on the text and in the apparatus. The notes explain literary and historical references, identify places mentioned, and gloss foreign terms. Two maps supplement the explanatory material. This edition, established through modern textual scholarship, presents Conrad's essays and reviews in a form more authoritative than any hitherto printed.
"This volume—with its thoughtful and thorough essays, Notes, and Apparatus—constitutes an excellent casebook on the making of critical editions. More importantly, of course, it is a major contribution to Conrad scholarship and will undoubtedly become the authoritative foundation for further research and writing on this richly varied collection of the author's journalistic writings." - Wallace Watson, Duquesne University
J. H. Stape is Research Fellow at St Mary's 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's texts and is co-editor of Conrad's collected letters (Volumes 7 and 9). He has also published on E. M. Forster, William Golding, Thomas Hardy, Frank Harris, Angus Wilson and Virginia Woolf.
Joseph Conrad (originally Józef Teodor Konrad Nalecz Korzeniowski) was born in the Ukraine in 1857 and grew up under Tsarist autocracy. His parents, ardent Polish patriots, died when he was a child, following their exile for anti-Russian activities, and he came under the protection of his tradition-conscious uncle, Thaddeus Bobrowski, who watched over him for the next twenty-five years. In 1874 Bobrowski conceded to his nephew's passionate desire to go to sea, and Conrad travelled to Marseilles, where he served in French merchant vessels before joining a British ship in 1878 as an apprentice.
In 1886 he obtained British nationality and his Master's certificate in the British Merchant Service. Eight years later he left the sea to devote himself to writing, publishing his first novel, Almayer's Folly, in 1895. The following year he married Jessie George and eventually settled in Kent, where he produced within fifteen years such modern classics as Youth, Heart of Darkness, Lord Jim, Typhoon, Nostromo, The Secret Agent and Under Western Eyes. He continued to write until his death in 1924. Today Conrad is generally regarded as one of the greatest writers of fiction in English -- his third language. He once described himself as being concerned "with the ideal value of things, events and people" in the Preface to The Nigger of the Narcissus he defined his task as "by the power of the written word ... before all, to make you see."
Jósef Teodor Konrad Walecz Korzeniowski (real name)
Date of Birth:
December 3, 1857
Place of Birth:
Berdiczew, Podolia, Russia
Date of Death:
August 3, 1924
Place of Death:
Bishopsbourne, Kent, England
Table of Contents
Part I-Letters: Books-1905 -- Henry James-an appreciation-1905 -- Alphonse Daudet-1898 -- Guy de Maupassant-1904 -- Anatole France-1904 -- Turgenev-1917 -- Stephen Crane-a note without dates-1919 -- Tales of the sea-1898 -- An observer in Malaya-1898 -- A happy wanderer-1910 -- The life beyond-1910 -- The ascending effort-1910 -- The censor of plays-an appreciation-1907 -- Part II-Life: Autocracy and war-1905 -- The crime of partion-1919 -- A note on the Polish problem-1916 -- Poland revisited-1915 -- First news-1918 -- "Well done"-1918 -- Tradition-1918 -- Confidence-1919 -- Flight-1917 -- Some reflections on the loss of the Titanic-1912 -- Certain aspects of the admirable inquiry-1912 -- Protection of ocean liners-1914 -- A friendly place.