The Craft of Conrad by Leonard MossThe Craft of Conrad by Leonard Moss

The Craft of Conrad

byLeonard Moss

Hardcover | December 10, 2010

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Driven by his concern for the tortuous human pursuit of "ideal values," Joseph Conrad sometimes tells more than he shows. He indulged his talent for philosophical speculation, and critics usually follow that lead. They fix their attention on broad themes (imperialism, nihilism, etc.), with only passing reference to literary strategies. But fiction is not philosophy. This study, rather than rehash the "big ideas" that preoccupy most commentators, focuses on technique, Conrad's ingenious variations on a recurring narrative plan animated by images mingling light with darkness and by exhilarating rhetoric.Paradox shapes the narrative plan, the images, and the rhetoric. The story "design" unfolds a test of manhood with ironic consequences; characters oscillate between impulsive desires and elevated moral convictions, degrading the shadowy standard they desperately try to enact; the rhetoric proposes certainties and yet uncovers negations, vacillations, and contradictions. As one of Shakespeare's characters says, "I would by contraries execute all things." Appropriately, Conrad's images bring together, or alternate between, clarity and obscurity. The geographical settings are often exotic, but nature's most "common everyday" visual facts, light and darkness, become the author's chief pictorial reference. Conrad exploits the coupling of "sunshine and shadows" not only as antagonists but also, surprisingly, as paradoxical partners. That coupling may be his most original artistic contribution.
Leonard Moss is emeritus professor of English and comparative literature, SUNY Geneseo.
Title:The Craft of ConradFormat:HardcoverDimensions:145 pages, 9.41 × 6.38 × 0.65 inPublished:December 10, 2010Publisher:Lexington BooksLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0739139916

ISBN - 13:9780739139912


Table of Contents

Chapter 1 Introduction: The Craft of Conrad Chapter 2 Chapter 1: "The Test of Manliness" Chapter 3 Chapter 2: Secondary Characters and Primary Images Chapter 4 Chapter 3: Styles of Insight Chapter 5 Chapter 4: The Social Focus Chapter 6 Chapter 5: The First Novel and the Best Novel Chapter 7 Conclusion: The Imagination of Conrad

Editorial Reviews

A spirited defense of typology, paradox, and craft as tools of navigating across the broad waters of Conrad's fiction.