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Joseph Conrad 1857-1924. Conrad was born Josef Konrad Nalecz Korzeniowski.

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Presentation on theme: "Joseph Conrad 1857-1924. Conrad was born Josef Konrad Nalecz Korzeniowski."— Presentation transcript:

1 Joseph Conrad

2 Conrad was born Josef Konrad Nalecz Korzeniowski

3 Joseph Conrad Conrad was born Josef Konrad Nalecz Korzeniowski Orphaned at 12 years old, educated at Cracow and in Switzerland

4 Joseph Conrad Conrad was born Josef Konrad Nalecz Korzeniowski Orphaned at 12 years old, educated at Cracow and in Switzerland Ran away to join the French Merchant Navy at 17 Joined the British Merchant Navy just before his 21 st birthday

5 Joseph Conrad Conrad was born Josef Konrad Nalecz Korzeniowski Orphaned at 12 years old, educated at Cracow and in Switzerland Ran away to join the French Merchant Navy at 17 Joined the British Merchant Navy just before his 21 st birthday Conrad held a number of assignments as a seaman, and eventually a Captain, during an 18-year career in the British Merchant Navy

6 Joseph Conrad Conrad was born Josef Konrad Nalecz Korzeniowski Orphaned at 12 years old, educated at Cracow and in Switzerland Ran away to join the French Merchant Navy at 17 Joined the British Merchant Navy just before his 21 st birthday Conrad held a number of assignments as a seaman, and eventually a Captain, during an 18-year career in the British Merchant Navy Conrad adopted British citizenship in 1886

7 Joseph Conrad Conrad was born Josef Konrad Nalecz Korzeniowski Orphaned at 12 years old, educated at Cracow and in Switzerland Ran away to join the French Merchant Navy at 17 Joined the British Merchant Navy just before his 21 st birthday Conrad held a number of assignments as a seaman, and eventually a Captain, during an 18-year career in the British Merchant Navy Conrad adopted British citizenship in 1886 In 1894 he decided to become a writer, and to write in English, rather than French or Polish

8 Joseph Conrad Conrad was born Josef Konrad Nalecz Korzeniowski Orphaned at 12 years old, educated at Cracow and in Switzerland Ran away to join the French Merchant Navy at 17 Joined the British Merchant Navy just before his 21 st birthday Conrad held a number of assignments as a seaman, and eventually a Captain, during an 18-year career in the British Merchant Navy Conrad adopted British citizenship in 1886 In 1894 he decided to become a writer, and to write in English, rather than French or Polish Conrad is seen as a quintessentially “modern” writer

9 Conrad and Modernity Conrad’s themes include critiques of the moral bankruptcy of modernity as revealed in the excesses of capitalist greed and colonial exploitation

10 Conrad and Modernity Conrad’s themes include critiques of the moral bankruptcy of modernity as revealed in the excesses of capitalist greed and colonial exploitation Conrad is not exactly a champion of the exploited, however; his theme is more typically the degrading effect of greed and colonialism upon Europeans

11 Conrad and Modernity Conrad’s themes include critiques of the moral bankruptcy of modernity as revealed in the excesses of capitalist greed and colonial exploitation Conrad is not exactly a champion of the exploited, however; his theme is more typically the degrading effect of greed and colonialism upon Europeans Conrad’s novels, including Heart of Darkness, are structured around mythical cores, especially the hero’s quest

12 Conrad and Modernity Conrad’s themes include critiques of the moral bankruptcy of modernity as revealed in the excesses of capitalist greed and colonial exploitation Conrad is not exactly a champion of the exploited, however; his theme is more typically the degrading effect of greed and colonialism upon Europeans Conrad’s novels, including Heart of Darkness, are structured around mythical cores, especially the hero’s quest In this, they can be compared to Beowulf, Paradise Lost, and even, perhaps, to Gulliver’s Travels

13 Conrad and Modernity Conrad’s themes include critiques of the moral bankruptcy of modernity as revealed in the excesses of capitalist greed and colonial exploitation Conrad is not exactly a champion of the exploited, however; his theme is more typically the degrading effect of greed and colonialism upon Europeans Conrad’s novels, including Heart of Darkness, are structured around mythical cores, especially the hero’s quest In this, they can be compared to Beowulf, Paradise Lost, and even, perhaps, to Gulliver’s Travels In Heart of Darkness, Conrad’s hero, Marlow, is radically alienated from his contemporary European society, but he doesn’t act to change it; this sense of alienation and helplessness in the face of the moral decline is also a characteristic feature of late modern fiction

14 Conrad and Modernity Although Conrad’s narratives clearly stem from his personal experiences, they are not exactly “realist” or autobiographical

15 Conrad and Modernity Although Conrad’s narratives clearly stem from his personal experiences, they are not exactly “realist” or autobiographical Conrad’s style is richly and complexly symbolic

16 Conrad and Modernity Although Conrad’s narratives clearly stem from his personal experiences, they are not exactly “realist” or autobiographical Conrad’s style is richly and complexly symbolic He makes his realistic narrative illuminate the moral and ethical contradictions of modernity that are just coming into historical focus during his lifetime

17 Biographical Facts… b in Poland Only child of Apollo and Ewa Korzeniowski, members of Polish aristocracy

18 1861 father, intellectual, writer, and Polish patriot at a time when Poland was part of the Russian Empire; Apollo arrested for revolutionary activities; family is exiled to Russia; harsh climate causes hardships and illness (TB) 1865 Conrad’s mother dies in Chernigov, Russia; father, because of his own poor health, allowed to relocate with seven-year-old son in Austrian Poland

19 1869 father and son move to Krakow, where Apollo dies; eleven-year-old orphaned child becomes ward of mother’s brother Tadeusz Bobrowski, apparently a kindly man

20 Because doctors recommended a seaside environment for Joseph’s health, he moved to France. As a young man Conrad lived on his uncle’s funds and made several sea voyages as a sailor. 4

21 Teenage Conrad goes to Marseilles, where he enters French merchant marine; during these years he completes a number of voyages to the Caribbean and in 1877 he may have engaged in some gunrunning on behalf of Spanish rebels. Marseilles, France 3

22 1878 In February Conrad is presumed to have shot himself in the chest, an incident that for years was disguised as a duel. Was this a drastic reaction to an unhappy love affair?…

23 More adventures …at the age of 17 Conrad had signed on his first English ship—served on 18 different vessels— worked up the ranks: second mate, first mate, finally to captain… In addition to smuggling guns, Conrad at one point had to run his ship aground to avoid capture for smuggling. Lost all his money gambling in Monte Carlo.

24 Lost all his money gambling in Monte Carlo

25 *1890 Conrad was in Belgium Congo as part of a European trading company but left before the year ended. He apparently was weakened by malaria and his psychological and moral senses were shaken by his witnessing the exploitation of the natives in Africa

26 Despondent about working opportunities and earning small wages, Conrad began writing his first novel Almayer’s Folly. The book, which received favorable critical notice, describes the turmoil and adventures of his early years at sea.

27 It is interesting to note that at this point in his life Conrad was conversing daily in Polish, writing letters in French, and thinking in English as he worked on the manuscript of Almayer’s Folly!

28 Conrad’s middle years were peaceful and relatively uneventful. In 1896 he married Jessie George and the family rented a farm in Kent (England). The Conrads had two sons: Borys and John.

29 Apparently Conrad was not especially close to his sons because of his aloof personality. Personal troubles included bouts of severe illness as well the anguish of writing. His writing was, however, critically well received. Conrad supplemented the family income by writing short adventure fiction for popular magazines.


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