This is the first detailed analysis of Conrad's early fiction, which as a response to his travels in so-called primitive cultures: Malaysia, Borneo and the Congo. As a sensitive observer of other peoples and a notable emigre, he was profoundly aware of the psychological impact of travel, andmuch of his early fiction potrays both literal and figurative voyages of Europeans into other cultures. By situating Conard's work in relation to other writings on `primitive' peoples, John Griffith shows how his fiction draws on a prominent anthropological and biological dilemma: he constantlyposed the question of how to bridge conceptual and cultural gaps between various peoples. As John Griffith demonstrates, this was a dilemma which coincided with a larger Victorian debate regarding the progression or retrogression of European civilization. Lively and original, Joseph Conard and the Anthropological Dilemma will be essential reading for all scholars and students of Conrad and for all those interested in wider questions regarding the colonial cross-cultural encounter.