Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Unsurpassed as a writer of sea adventures, Conrad's best works are characterized by rich prose, a pervading romanticism conflicting with the realism and moral ambiguity of modern life.
Born Józef Teodor Nałęcz Konrad Korzeniowski, on December 3, 1857 in Berdyczów (Berdychiv), in what is now Ukraine, he was brought up in Russian-occupied Poland. His father, an impoverished aristocrat, writer, and militant fighter, was arrested by the occupying regime for his patriotic activities, and was sentenced to penal servitude in Siberia. Shortly after this, his mother died of tuberculosis in exile, and so did his father four years later despite being allowed to return to Kraków.
Subsequently Conrad was brought up by his uncle. Conrad eventually abandoned his education at the age of 17 to become a seaman in the French merchant navy. He lived an adventurous, buccaneering life—sailing off Marseille and becoming involved in gunrunning and political conspiracy. In 1878, after attempted suicide, Józef took service on a British ship in order to avoid Russian military service. He gained his Master Mariner's certificate, learned English before the age of 21, to finally become a naturalized Briton in 1884. He first arrived in England at the port of Lowestoft, Suffolk, living in London and later near Canterbury, Kent.
His first novel, Almayer's Folly , a story of Malaysia, was written in English and published in 1895. It should be remembered that the lingua franca of educated people at that time was French, which was Conrad's second language, thus it is altogether remarkable that Conrad should write so fluently and effectively in his third language.
His literary work bridges the gap between the classical literary tradition of writers such as Charles Dickens and Fyodor Dostoevsky and the emergent modernist schools of writing. Interestingly, he despised Dostoevsky, and Russian writers as a rule, only making an exception for Ivan Turgenev. Conrad is now best known for the novella, Heart of Darkness.
Novels and Novellas
- Almayer's Folly (1895)
- An Outcast of the Islands (1896)
- The Nigger of the 'Narcissus' (1897)
- Heart of Darkness (1899)
- Lord Jim (1900)
- The Inheritors (1901), with Ford Madox Ford
- Typhoon and Other Stories (1903)
- Romance (1903), with Ford Madox Ford
- Nostromo (1904)
- The Secret Agent (1907)
- Under Western Eyes (1911)
- A Personal Record (1912)
- Chance (1913)
- Victory (1915)
- The Shadow Line (1917)
- The Arrow of Gold (1919)
- The Rescue (1920)
- The Nature of a Crime (1923), with Ford Madox Ford
- The Rover (1923)
- The Secret Sharer (1909)
- Prince Roman (1920)
- The Complete works are available from eBooks@Adelaide
- Project Gutenberg has several of his works available for free in digital format at , including the autobiographical Some Reminiscences
- Joseph Conrad at kirjasto.sci.fi
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