A great starting point for students seeking an introduction to Joseph Conrad and the critical discussions surrounding his work.
Polish-British writer Joseph Conrad was known for his adventurous tales-many of them based on his experiences as a merchant marine-as well as his anti-heroic characters and exploration of human psychology in a European-dominated world. Essays in this volume profile Conrad's political beliefs, examine his narrative style, and analyze his most renowned stories, including Heart of Darkness and Lord Jim.
Edited by Jeremiah J. Garsha, postgraduate researcher in the faculty of History at the University of Cambridge, the purpose of this anthology is to explore Joseph Conrad and his writings from a new perspective. It is written in a way that a reader with zero experience or understanding of Conrad’s bibliography can easily pick up this volume and understand the core concepts and connections. No previous knowledge of Conrad’s personal history or any of his essays, novellas, and novels is required. Yet, critically, this book is also framed in a way that a dedicated Conradian expert will find it well represents the subject matter, while also offering new insight to that well-versed reader.
With exponentially more being written about Conrad than the author ever wrote over his forty-year career, it seems, on the surface, like an impossible task to cover in such a small book what entire growing library shelves seek to achieve. Yet, this book accomplishes that goal. It does so through the diversity the collection of chapters offers. Indeed, the greatest strength of this book is in its global reach of subject matter, done through an international collaboration of outstanding authors.
Each Critical Insights Edition is divided into four sections: An Introduction, Critical Contexts, Critical Readings, and Resources. In Critical Contexts, the provided essays aim to provide a background to the title, author, or theme that is historical, cultural, and biographical foundation for the reader. The essays in Critical Readings utilize common critical approaches to further analyze the author's work, or specific works according to the selected theme. Each essay is 2,500 to 5,000 words in length, and all essays conclude with a list of "Works Cited," along with endnotes. Finally, the volume's appendixes offer a section of useful reference resources:
- A chronology of the author's life
- A complete list of the author's works and their original dates of publication
- A general bibliography
- A detailed paragraph on the volume's editor
- Notes on the individual chapter authors
- A subject index
This text brings together established academics with early career researchers who will undoubtedly be the very people who push disciplines in new, uncharted directions. No longer is the world replete in unmarked spaces, but the realm of literature is wide open for analytical exploration. The contributors’ diverse backgrounds and scholarly interests allow for readings into Conrad’s work and life in ways that are entirely novel. This occurs, in part, due to the unique perspectives each author has brought to the subject.