Nicholas Birns, A Life in the Wide World: The Fiction of Joseph Conrad
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Praised by midcentury critics as an exemplar of disciplined modernism, questioned by opponents of colonialism for his investment in genres of adventure and empire, Joseph Conrad’s fiction has entered a third phase of reappraisal led by Maya Jasanoff’s recent book The Dawn Watch: Joseph Conrad in a Global World. Jasanoff contends that Conrad, an exiled Pole writing in English, his third language, “grappled with the ramifications of a global world” by conveying “the moral and material impact of dislocation.” This idea will anchor our discussion, which will also centrally consider Conrad’s crucial contribution to narrative style and technique. We will read four of Conrad’s novels: Lord Jim, Nostromo, The Secret Agent, and Chance.
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