By Daniel R. Schwarz (auth.)
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Extra resources for Conrad: The Later Fiction
159-75; repr. in Harkness, 'Secret Sharer', pp. I 3 3- 50 (see p. 142). 8. , pp. 142- so. 9. , pp. 103-5. 10. Jocelyn Baines,}osepl1 Conrad: A Critical Biography (New York: McGraw-Hill, 196o), p. 375· I 1. Guerard, Conrad the Novelist, pp. 51, 52. 12. For discussion of the autobiographical element in 'A Smile of Fortune', see Meyer, Conrad: A Psychoanalytic Biography, pp. 79-85, and Karl, Conrad: The Three Lives, pp. 254- 6o. I am arguing that, at the distance of years, Conrad was able to understand his youthful sexual immaturity.
In what is surely the tale's most interesting scene, Davidson discovers Anne's crushed skull and is so 'overcome by remorse' that he feels 'the impulse of creeping away from that pitiful corpse on his hands and knees to the refuge of the ship', and 'actually [begins] to do so' (p. 205). Once again, in Conrad, contact with savagery and barbarism threatens to undo the trappings of civilisation. But Davidson's shame and guilt only momentarily deprive him of his self-respect. His conscience recalls him to the necessity of rescuing Tony, Anne's pathetic child, whose life he regards as a sacred trust.
Ip). As ifhe were the Ancient Mariner in the grip of a restraining curse, he writes, 'I think that the evil spell is broken at last. I've just written 500 words of Chance in a couple of hours. It's about time. , p. 136). After concluding Chance in March I I)I2, he ceased writing for several weeks. His criticism of Dostoevsky may relate more to his own state of mind as he awaited the publication of Chance than to his reading ofDostoevsky: 'I don't know that he is too Russian for me. , p. 140). Since Chance is a unique effort to combine the novel of manners (the striking examples of which for Conrad were the novels of Henry James) with the adventure tale, it is not surprising that at this time he should have judged Dostoevsky's passionate energy severely.
Conrad: The Later Fiction by Daniel R. Schwarz (auth.)