By Ian Watt, Frank Kermode
Ian Watt (1917-1999) has lengthy been stated as one of many most interesting of postwar literary critics, and one of the such a lot discovered of these writing concerning the paintings of Joseph Conrad. Essays on Conrad is a set of Watt's such a lot attribute essays on Conrad's paintings. Watt's personal philosophy, in addition to his perception into Conrad's paintings, used to be formed by way of his reports as a prisoner of battle at the River Kwai. His relocating account of those studies completes this crucial choice of Watt essays.
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He had hesitated for a moment between two of them, but that morning he made up his mind, and he called a messenger boy to take his MS. to T. Fisher Unwin’ (LL, , –). JeanAubry’s mention of June is contradicted by Conrad’s letter to Fisher Unwin which gives July as the date (Letters, , ), but his account is otherwise plausible. Conrad probably chose Unwin partly because they ran a collection of short novels known as the ‘Pseudonym Library’ (see Letters, , ); one of them was John Sherman and Dhoya by William Butler Yeats, using the pseudonym Ganconagh (Karl, p.
Next day Jacques returned the MS, silently. Finally Conrad asked him: ‘Well, what do you say? . ’ Jacques, Conrad tells, ‘raised his dark, gentle eyes to my face and seemed surprised’, but he answered: ‘Yes! ’ Almayer’s Folly: introduction They never mentioned the tale again, and Jacques soon died, either in Australia, or on the homeward journey; but, from the way Conrad refers to this episode as ‘these quiet rites of Almayer’s and Nina’s resurrection’, we can probably take it that there had earlier been some hesitation in Conrad’s mind as to whether he should go on with the novel.
I do not say from the pen, for I have written very little, but inspiration comes to me while gazing at the paper. Then there are vistas that extend out of sight; my mind goes wandering through great spaces ﬁlled with vague forms. Everything is still chaos, but, slowly, ghosts are transformed into living ﬂesh, ﬂoating vapours turn solid, and – who knows? – perhaps something will be born from the collision of indistinct ideas. (Letters, , ) The letter is characteristic of many later ones in its preoccupation with the extreme difﬁculties he found in composition; it also shows Conrad was obviously putting great pressure on himself to ﬁnish.
Essays on Conrad by Ian Watt, Frank Kermode