Joseph Conrad's Polish Soul

Realms of Memory and Self

G. W. Stephen Brodsky

Maria Curie-Sklodowska University Press

Joseph Conrad's Polish Soul

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Pub Date: February 2017

ISBN: 9788377847862

416 Pages

Format: Hardcover

List Price: $60.00£49.95

Joseph Conrad's Polish Soul

Realms of Memory and Self

G. W. Stephen Brodsky

Maria Curie-Sklodowska University Press

Born into a Polish szlachta (noble) family, the extraordinary modern novelist Joseph Conrad maintained, even in exile, strong ties to his Polish heritage and culture. Yet the author earned renown by writing in English, often about nautical adventures in remote parts of the world. In Joseph Conrad's Polish Soul, G. W. Stephen Brodsky seeks to reclaim the essentially Polish sensibility of Conrad's groundbreaking oeuvre. He finds in Conrad's work a distinct Polonism that plays intriguingly with selfhood, freedom, and irony. For Brodsky, Conrad's outlook and writing betray numerous contradictions. Despite the novelist's practical realism, Conrad was drawn to romance, orientalism, and the exotic. Frequently sick, he nevertheless pursued a life at sea. He despised adventurers, yet loved risk. An instinctive skepticism, conservatism, and nationalism complicated his liberalism and respect for humanity, and though he resigned himself to Poland's tragic destiny, Conrad refused to despair over the terribleness of his times. In this incomparable study, Brodsky shows how these inherent aspects of Conrad's personality inform and guide his Polonism, along with the best attributes of his fiction.
Dedication
Acknowledgements
Abbreviations
Introduction by George Zbigniew Gasyna
Chapter One
A Familiar Preface to Joseph Conrad's Polish Soul
Chapter Two
Under Western Eyes
Conrad's Two Pasts—Thirty Years of Critical Misrule and a Renaissance
Chapter Three
Dispossession Encoded:
Conrad as Exile
Chapter Four
Conrad's Brody Secret Sharers
Józef Korzeniowski, Joseph Roth, and other Children of the Borderland
Chapter Five
A Janus Gate
Conrad's Kraków in Marseille
Chapter Six
Dogs and Duels:
Englishman Conrad's Franco-Polish Honor, Fraudulent and Genuine
Chapter Seven
Darkness Visible in Conrad's Polish Orient:
Anglo-Polish Orientalism and the Exotic in the Malay Tales
Chapter Eight
An Ironist's Harlequinade:
Conrad's Unified Polish Comic Spirit
Chapter Nine
Saint Roman:
Patriotism, Sanctity, and Mytho-History in "Prince Roman"
Epilogue
End Notes
Bibliography

About the Author

G. W. Stephen Brodsky is a former career soldier and military academic. He was special lecturer in English literature at Royal Roads Military College, Canada. He is author of Gentlemen of the Blade: A Social and Literary History of the British Army Since 1660. He specializes in Conrad studies, and his articles and reviews on Conrad have appeared in books and journals internationally.