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CONTEMPLARE, SENZA MAI FARE RUMORE 1919, di Maurice Tourner il padre di Jacques , cinema muto.Ho deciso di leggerlo perch in un intervista Joan Didion diceva che prima di iniziare un nuovo romanzo rileggeva sempre Victory di Conrad I have never started a novel, I ve never written one without rereading Victory It opens up the possibilities of a novel It makes it seem worth doing.Mi sono chiesto perch.1930, Dangerous Paradise di William A Wellman.E adesso che anch io ho letto Victory di Conrad, continuo a chiedermi perch.Non mi sarei mai aspettato un melodramma con finale tragico da Conrad, che finora mi ha abituato a toni pi asciutti e rarefatti, anche se sempre immersi nel caldo dei tropici.Mi chiedo se proprio il melodramma che spinge la Didion a definire Vittoria un romanzo profondamente femminile Solo che quando aggiunge che trova femminili anche Nostromo e Agente segreto , io mi perdo nelle ombre e nei riflessi della vita.E non mi ritrovo.1931 Farornas paradis di Rune Carlsten, una produzione svedese.Qui si narra di un mondo e di una vita immersi nell illusione Qui si racconta il naufragio delle illusioni E si commenta quanto possa essere patetico rinchiudersi nell illusione.1940 Victory di John Cromwell.L aspetto che mi ha colpito e convinto di pi il punto di vista del narratore che nascosto in un noi, confonde la sua voce con quella del pubblico di amici conoscenti ascoltatori e commentatori a cui si rivolgono di volta in volta i vari personaggi.1987 Des Teufels Paradies di Vadim Glowna, con J rgen Prochnow, Sam Waterston, produzione tedesca.Nella descrizione dei luoghi e della natura, Conrad rimane grande e maestoso anche questa volta.1996 Victory di Mark Peploe.Difficile a credere, ma Vittoria sembra essere il romanzo di Conrad pi saccheggiato dal cinema ho contato una decina di adattamenti diversi, a cominciare dal 1919, ancora in piena epoca del muto, per finire al pi recente di Mark Peploe il cognato di Bernardo Bertolucci , con addirittura cinque film nel biennio 1930 31, di cui uno anche italiano, firmato da Mario Camerini e intitolato La riva dei bruti. Now and then, we must leave the literature of our day and delve deeper in time and in literary style Joseph Conrad has survived time as a classic, because his work is of classic quality I submerged into Victory as into cool, deep water, to emerge refreshed and moved by the literary experience Woe, yes, to the man whose heart has not learned to hope or love and is love without hope possible or trust in life Without hope, without love, without trust, life is but a living death Axel Heyst, Conrad s hero of Victory, is a complex man we are deeply drawn to for he has the heart and he has the high ideals, if not the hope or trust In his vulnerable youth, Heyst s father stripped him of these tools without which living a meaningful life is a barren if not futile prospect Yet a man s heart is a stubborn thing in its will to beat with red blood Even in his willful isolation, a woman s love finds the hermit Conrad indulges in a little formula damsel in distress rescue, and Heyst brings Lena to his solitary island of Samburan, where they slowly develop a kind of haven Life has a way of being messy and intrusive, Conrad knows, and so he brings the conflict of the story to the island, undeservedly bad reputation following Heyst there in the often comic and villanous figures of Ricardo and Jones This showcases the figures of Heyst and Lena If Heyst s heart does indeed love, and passionately so, then Lena s heart has within it the unconditional devotion perhaps only a woman can fully express And so woman gives life The tragedy of Heyst is that he so rarely knows how to express his love Perhaps the story ends, then, in the only way it can, in sacrifice.The true victory of this novel is the gift of Conrad s writing Characters have depth and motion plot is not overwhelming, but enough to hold suspense dialogue is real and revealing Conrad does plenty of tell, not show, which writers are today admonished not to do, but I loved every moment of the skillful telling He is a master, taking on themes and characters that have lasting value I plan to read and reread his other works. Axel Heyst, the Swede, is running away, but since it is himself he wants to escape from, that is clearly an unattainable goal Growing up with his crank of a father, a widower, in London Town, the elder Heyst, writes little books of his unpopular philosophy , making a small profit, from the few, who like them, and just gets by Having fled his native land, they didn t understand the Baron s unusual ideas not sure if he deserved that title , as nowhere else does, either He despises the world, and they would dislike him too, if he was known But Axel, listens, to his cold father, maybe not the best for him, if no other reason than, peace of mind The boy feels alone, when his father passed away, nothing new Always a loner, as if life was just a mirage, not real, nothing to get excited over, a walking, unfeeling machine, the detached man, floats about, on land and sea At last, the dreamer, arriving in the Dutch East Indies Indonesia , with no plans in his aimless life After a failed business collapses, he goes to a second rate Inn, on a rather unimportant island, to hear an all girls band, Zangiacomo s Ladies Orchestra, a novelty in the 1890 s, they play loud but not well, who cares Except the wanderer, it hurts his ears, besides, the women are no girls, and their profession is not exactly being musicians The lonely, placid Mr Heyst, sees a young and pretty damsel in distress the other members are middle aged women , being physically hurt by the wife of the Orchestra s leader, she seems in need of help Lena, the name he gives her, she wanted something different, for a fresh start, Alma before, didn t mingle with the audience, between sessions, men of course What worse is the odious inn keeper, Wilhelm Schomberg, has been harassing Alma Lena, and he a married man, with a homely wife Mr Heyst, working fast, with the helpful assistance of Mrs Schomberg, she has good cause, her husband is a beast in secret, the new couple fly to a remote, exotic isle Nobody is happy , not the corrupt Mr Zangiacomo or his evil wife, or the rest of the notorious band, certainly neither is the vile, and disappointed Mr.Schomberg, who spreads wild rumors about his enemy, Axel Heyst, to anyone, silly enough to listen, yes, maybe just the two love birds care An opportunity happens when a trio of desperadoes stay in Schomberg s inn, they cause trouble, illegal gambling in the back room, Pedro as big as an ape, and as smart too, sleazy Martin Richardo, a born killer, with delusions of adequacy, and their boss, skeletal Mr Jones , dead man walking, a gentleman, almost, before being asked to leave society, for unspecific wrong doings The vengeful Schomderg, spinning an elaborate, crazy tale of hidden loot on Axel s island, so the three criminal travel to the active, fiery, volcano isle, much to the relief of the inn keeper, breaking the tranquil, isolated existence, in the honeymooners paradise The couple liked to climb a high mountain, reveling in the vast, remote, empty blue sea, below Only the servant Wang, for company, in their modest house Death awaits the unfortunate, on Samburan Island My victory over Victory by Joseph Conrad was last gasp and hard fought Unfortunately, I am not going to build any triumphal arches to commemorate it.I feel like a veteran For a few weeks I have been bombarded with boredom Stabbed with a bayonet of disappointment Outflanked by the characters I didn t care about Shot with conversations which led nowhere To cut a long story short, Victory turned out to be almost a defeat It doesn t comfort me much to realize that one of my brothers in arms was Vladimir Nabokov, who almost fell in the field of glory too He felt irritated bysouvenir shop style, and bottled ships and shell necklaces of romanticist clichesin Victory.Mind you, I m not a recruit It was the fourth novel by Conrad I ve read after Lord Jim, Heart of Darkness and Almayer s Folly All of them were masterpieces, each in its unique way I have been always impressed by Conrad s style, his ability to depict far away places and express moral dilemmas The quality of writing in Victory is exquisite too which sadly can t be told about the rest, though the novel operates on an interesting premise Malay Archipelago between Java and Borneo, a girl stolen out of orchestra, romance,solitude, shade, and gloomy silenceMostly solitude.If we could distil the beauty of Conrad s language, of his descriptions and observations, it would taste like nectar of the gods I m astonished every time I realize that Joseph Conrad was Polish and started to learn English in his twenties.Chances are my musings are being read now by somebody who is about to start his or her literary acquaintance with Joseph Conrad I m begging you on my knees don t begin with Victory This novel may give you a false image of the truly wonderful writer Have it for an eccentric, exotic dessert, which will accentuate the taste of the nourishing main dishes you ve had before Conrad himself seemed to be a bit embarrassed by this novel You will sense it for yourself while reading his preface By the way, if you are a literary kamikaze and decide to embark on Victory anyway, please don t read the introduction before the novel, as it reveals too much I was a literary kamikaze myself Orsodimondo, whose dazzling review was my inspiration, warned me that this is not Conrad s best novel Moreover, Orsodimondo s three stars twinkled alarmingly, but I was so determined to experience the author s sense of humour and see the portrait of woman so different from his other female characters It looked as if Conrad took into consideration some complaints of his readers and critics As if they approached him and said Look, Mr Conrad You write great books, we like them a lot, except for two things they are utterly depressing and misogynistic Could you please do something about that This is of course an imagined situation and its possibility is less than scarce But I had the impression that Conrad was doing his best to fulfil such a request There are sparkles of humour in Victory indeedWhat an impenetrable girl you are, Lena, with those grey eyes of yours Windows of the soul, as some poet has said The fellow must have been a glazier by vocationNevertheless, I found the overall impression devastating The humour exists but only on the surface Conrad s ironical remarks are like rare fireflies in complete darkness Darkness as black as the dress Lena had to wear to be invisible in the forest.As for women, Alma alias Lena is definitely the most profound and complex female character I have encountered in Conrad s novels so far but I m afraid nowadays some readers might get slightly infuriated with excerpts likeWomen can deceive men so completely The faculty was inherent in them they seemed to be created with a special aptitude I appreciate Conrad s attempt at aambitious literary form Victory resembles two other genres a parable with a clear moral and a melodramatic love story The contrast between them is an abyss and being constantly stretched over it, I wasn t having the time of my life.Will I read anything by Joseph Conrad after Pyrrhic Victory Time will tell but I m willing to take the risk My wounds weren t mortal, after all. ( Free ) ⚖ An Island Tale ♌ Joseph Conrad Um Escritor Singular Na L Ngua Inglesa O Estilo Nico Resultado De Sua Forma O Poliglota E Multicultural Conrad Nasceu Na Pol Nia, Foi Educado Em Polon S E Em Franc S, Al M De Ter Estudado Latim, Mas Escolheu O Ingl S Para Escrever, Idioma Que S Foi Aprender Aos Vinte E Um Anos Isso Lhe Confere Um Manejo Incomum Na L Ngua, Pois Sua Prosa Evidencia A Cad Ncia Latina Suas Frases Ondulantes Criam Um Ritmo Nunca Antes Visto, Selvagem E Ainda Assim Sofisticado Vit Ria Foi Finalizado Em Maio De , Mas Publicado Apenas No Ano Seguinte, J Em Meio Primeira Guerra Mundial O Livro Traz Temas Recorrentes Na Obra De Conrad, Como A Solid O, A Inconformidade Com O Mundo, O Conflito Entre O Mal E A Esperan A Seu Protagonista, Axel Heyst, Instala Se Em Uma Ilha No Sul Asi Tico, Em Total Isolamento, Ap S Um Fracasso Comercial Que N O Abala Sua Aceita O Resignada Do Destino Mas A Apari O De Uma Jovem Musicista Desperta Nele Um Instinto De Prote O Que O Levar A Uma Crise De Identidade E, Mais Tarde, Ao Enfrentamento De Grandes Perigos If you feel like reading a complex psychological novel that will make you ponder the meaning of life, this is a book for you Not that you will be provided with any definite answers, mind you Victory strikes me as a rather ambiguous work, one that is intentionally left open to interpretations Consequently, if you like clear questions and answers, this is not a novel for you, for there is a lot to ponder in this one Nevertheless, I must hurry to add the novel is not written as a meditative philosophical essay or anything like that Not at all This philosophical aspect of the novel is what first comes to my mind because it is what personally interests me the most, but really there is the main story, sub stories, plot and all for some perhaps this main story is the most important aspect of the novel For me it is the character study, but these things are always subjective.So, If I were to beobjective, I would have to add that there is a romantic story within this novel On surface, it is a love story with elements of adventure You have a typical damsel in distress syndrome a young lady in love with a man who offered her protection plus a whole cast of villains to spice things up That does sound like an adventure, doesn t it There isthan romance and adventure to this novel, though Once the action picks up, Victory turns into a psychological thriller In a way, perhaps it is possible to say there are elements of psychological thriller from the very start but naturally this is open to interpretation I won t attempt to put this novel into any fixed category However, I will say that if you go into this one expecting Conrad to weave infinite meaning into a story and show off this mastery over language, well you won t be disappointed Basically, many typical Conrad elements and formulas are present in this one In Victory you will find an impressive cast of characters, introduced and described within a complicated narrative that somehow manages to feel intimate I always wondered how Conrad manages to do that, but now that I think of it, he s hardly the first English author who has used a complicated narrative voice think of Wuthering Heights and managed to make it sound plausible Conrad is a great writer, no doubt about that and as I already said, Victory is written in his signature style Typically for Conrad, the protagonist of the novel will face moral dilemmas and re examine his view of the world The setting for this novel is a tropical destination, inhabited by both locals and Europeans Hence, there are some colonial references I would say that a motif of cultural and civilization clash is present, but not very prominent The ending might appear rushed, but I think it was actually carefully planned The slow introduction is necessary because of the detailed character study The protagonist of this novel, Heyst, needs a long introduction because it is the only way we can truly understand his actions in my opinion Imagine if we didn t know anything about his past, well, we readers would probably judge him insensitive Personally, I found Heyst absolutely fascinating As a young man, Heyst was disappointed in life His dying father installed mistrust towards life into him, resulting with the young man somewhat autistic attitude towards life He is content with only observing life However, when Heyst stumbles against a desperate Portuguese man, he decides to pay his depth This bounds him to his man, both in friendship and in a feeling of responsibility For isn t a feeling of responsibility one of the defining characteristics of friendship This friendship is perhaps the very first connection between the reader and the protagonist because it is what makes us emphasize with Heyst and see him as a real person What follow is a sad but memorable tale The sadness of this novel is for most part subtle, only reaching its peak towards the end, but for me that makes it none the less profound.I have read the Note to the first edition written by Joseph Conrad himself, but I m still not certain why this novel is called Victory Taking in consideration the ending and the atmosphere of Shakespearean tragedy, one does wonder what the title is supposed to mean Conrad explained it as a some kind of omen, saying that The last word of this novel was written on 29 May 1914 And that last word was the single word of the title Those were the times of peace Now that the moment of publication approaches I have been considering the discretion of altering the title page The word Victory the shining and tragic goal of noble effort, appeared too great, too august, to stand at the head of a mere novel There was also the possibility of falling under the suspicion of commercial astuteness deceiving the public into the belief that the book had something to do with war.Of that, however, I was not afraid very much What influenced my decision most were the obscure promptings of that pagan residuum of awe and wonder which lurks still at the bottom of our old humanity Victory was the last word I had written in peace time It was the last literary thought which had occurred to me before the doors of the Temple of Janus flying open with a crash shook the minds, the hearts, the consciences of men all over the world Such coincidence could not be treated lightly And I made up my mind to let the word stand, in the same hopeful spirit in which some simple citizen of Old Rome would have accepted the Omen Historical circumstances set aside, the title still made me wonder Perhaps Conrad himself acted on an impulse when he choose it Not that it wasn t a good impulse Stil Who is really victorious I gave the matter some thought and an answer presented itself Why, Lena Previously I read several works by Joseph Conrad Heart of Darkness, Lord Jim , Nostromo but never have I met with such a powerful female protagonist This was most refreshing Lena s capability for love and loyalty is all theimpressive taken the circumstances of her life This is the first novel of Conrad s that I read, featuring a female character that takes things into her hands Lena, a young woman who finds herself growing up and living in the most unhappy of circumstances, is anything but a victim Ultimately, you could say she s the victim of life but haven t we all yet there is nothing about her that suggest a victim In other Conrad s works that I read, female characters were almost always distant figures Lena takes not only her own life at her hands, but she is ready to act to save the lives of others Needless to say, I really warmed up to her Moreover, this character is such an important part of this story Lena offers a fascinating study not only of relationship between the opposing sexes, but between a society and an individual Despite being an outcast of some kind, Lena has a very strong sense of morality, of herself She is very much a defined character and an individual.If I remember the Author s note well, Conrad explain that he was inspired by an actual woman when he was creating Lena it was a brief but obviously memorable encounter On one occasion, Conrad saw a young women being pinched by her presumably mother while she was performing playing piano on stage This cruelty inflected by one woman to another, moved him In a similar way, the protagonist of this novel, Heyst often called the Swede was moved by witnessing Lena s terror and the abuse inflected on her Like the actual young woman, Lena was a performer against her will When the two Heyst and Lena meet, there isthan longing on her part and pity on his part I saw it as a meeting of kindred spirits and was honestly moved by it Both of them are remarkably innocent Perhaps their innocence might seem absurd to the modern reader, but it makes sense in the context of their lives Lena is attracted by Heyst because she senses that he is different from others and vice versa Aren t they clearly different from most people First of all, they both lack emotional attachment to other peopledue to circumstances than to their own personal capacity for such emotions One could say that Heyst in unemotional, yet his life proves it is not really the case His hermit life is something that needs to be examined to be understood, and it seems that Lena instinctively understands it perhaps we could call it female intuition Interestingly, in their relationship Lena seems to be the active party, she is the one who asks for help in adirect way than the Portuguese who had prayed to God but found Heyst instead Nevertheless, I wouldn t say that Heyst is completely indifferent and passive If he was, where would be the tragedy And there is a lot of tragedy in this novel As a character Heyst might appear passive but paradoxically I think he is a man of strong will It is just that his will was directed towards renouncing the world and now he finds it difficult to find his place in this world For all the good that exists in his heart and perhaps precisely because of it, Heyst is unable to truly become a part of this world The author put it like this It is only when the catastrophe matches the natural obscurity of our fate that even the best representative of the race is liable to lose his detachment It is very obvious that on the arrival of the gentlemanly Mr Jones, the single minded Ricardo, and the faithful Pedro, Heyst, the man of universal detachment, loses his mental self possession, that fine attitude before the universally irremediable which wears the name of stoicism It is all a matter of proportion There should have been a remedy for that sort of thing And yet there is no remedy Behind this minute instance of life s hazards Heyst sees the power of blind destiny Besides, Heyst in his fine detachment had lost the habit of asserting himself I don t mean the courage of self assertion, either moral or physical, but the mere way of it, the trick of the thing, the readiness of mind and the turn of the hand that come without reflection and lead the man to excellence in life, in art, in crime, in virtue, and, for the matter of that, even in love Thinking is the great enemy of perfection The habit of profound reflection, I am compelled to say, is the most pernicious of all the habits formed by the civilized man I do recommend Victory, especially if you re a fan of Joseph Conrad There are many complex messages and questions hidden beneath its touching love story and adventurous plot There is muchthan meets the eye in this one At its core I would say that Victory is a profoundly sad novel with elements of pessimism but somehow it is also a novel that carries a message of hope You will have to wait patiently to get to the action part of the book the second half of the novel and even longer for everything to unfold the last few pages are the defining one in terms of characters destinies Nevertheless, as readers you will be rewarded for your patience, for this novel is not only beautifully written, but written with great mastery, care and thought. I enjoyed this novel from the pen of Joseph Conrad it may be my favorite of his works although Conrad has the knack for writing consistently good novels that makes it hard to rank them Victory s most striking formal characteristic is its shifting narrative and temporal perspective with the first section from the viewpoint of a sailor, the second from omniscient perspective of Axel Heyst, the third from an interior perspective from Heyst, and the final section I found the character of Axel interesting primarily due to his complexity On a superficial level the novel reads like a melodramasuited to a muddled opera libretto than a serious work of literature But upon reflection the allegorical and psychological implications of the action, landscape and narrative structure redeem it as a modern novel worthy to be included with the best of Conrad I am alwaysimpressed when the author can make a serious work of literature appear on the surface, to be merely a good story eg Moby Dick The story line follows through a business misadventure, the European Axel Heyst ends up living on an island in what is now Indonesia, with a Chinese assistant Wang Heyst visits a nearby island when a female band is playing at a hotel owned by Mr Schomberg Schomberg attempts to force himself sexually on one of the band members, Alma, later called Lena She flees with Heyst back to his island and they become lovers Schomberg seeks revenge by attempting to frame Heyst for the murder of a man who had died of natural causes and later by sending three desperadoes Pedro, Martin Ricardo and Mr Jones to Heyst s island with a lie about treasure hidden on the island The ensuing conflict does not end well and has been compared to the ending of an Elizabethan drama where the stage is littered with corpses The robust romanticism of Axel and Lena s story continues to haunt the reader long after one puts the novel down.Another of my favorite writers, Joan Didion, had this to say about Victory I often reread Victory, which is maybe my favorite book in the world The story is told thirdhand It s not a story the narrator even heard from someone who experienced it The narrator seems to have heard it from people he runs into around the Malacca Strait So there s this fantastic distancing of the narrative, except that when you re in the middle of it, it remains very immediate It s incredibly skillful I have never started a novel I mean except the first, when I was starting a novel just to start a novel I ve never written one without rereading Victory It opens up the possibilities of a novel It makes it seem worth doing From a 2006 interview in The Paris Review I read pretty much everything Conrad wrote back in the 80 s but having booked a holiday in Indonesia I had to take one of his far eastern novels Great to read about the dead calm Java Sea while looking out over the dead calm Java Sea Anyway,1 No one writes better than Conrad in English Some are as good but different Pynchon, Dickens, even Updike but no one is better.2 Only those that haven t read him associate him with adventure books for boys What he is really about is the psychology of life what it takes to be a man, the nature of virtue and vice, what integrity means, how women usally result in something bad happening you know, boy s own adventure stuff Otherwise, what s going to happen to the Empire and how will you cope with the trenches But seriously, I m not going to trivially outline the plot because that wouldn t add anything JC is a writer of immense stature and everybody should read him even women who in my experience don t really get him I read Carol Shields, now it s your turn. I will in all likelihood remember Victory as one of theinconsistent reads I ve ever encountered, not in terms of tone, style or plot but in terms of my fluctuating interest in the tale Conrad spun and what he wanted to say with it Often I felt myself pushed away by a lumbering pace and wooden caricatures to the outer ionosphere of reader absorption, nearing a point where the thin gravity of my interest in its grander themes was the only thing keeping me from snapping off into orbit and relegating the book unfinished to the dusty shelves Then, the book would pull me back in by way of a beautifully phrased summation of Heyst s life or philosophy, which is what I seemed to admire and or connect with most about Victory In fact, my problem with the first third of the book was not knowingabout Heyst far too many pages are used up on Schomberg and the villains, who to me feltgoofy than menacing The book s characterizations also dip in and out of authenticity and humanity Perhaps we are meant to feel detached from Heyst for much of the story, unable to truly touch him, as it were But the girl Lena and his Chinese island companion Wang are, for the most part, two dimensional, every once in a while popping into the third dimension albeit all too briefly, yet just enough to keep my hand turning the pages I also found the presence of the strange wildman Pedro completely inexplicable and rather campy, which served further to undermine the villains menace The novel retains very hearty, muscular prose throughout It s regrettable that Conrad s beautiful line by line style, in conjunction with a very promising premise, wasn t married to fuller,believable characters and better pacing.