By Daniel R. Schwarz (auth.)
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Additional info for Conrad: The Later Fiction
The tales published in Within the Tides (I9I5}-'The Inn of the Two Witches: A Find', 'The Partner', 'The Planter of Malata' and 'Because of the Dollars'-possess the quality neither of Conrad's great short stories nor even of the lesser novels of the later phase. Written in the I 9 I o- I 4 period, their emphasis is on plot, and to an extent theme, but not character analysis. Characters within the narrative do not develop gradually as they interact with circumstances or other persons; rather, they remain fixed or are manipulated into sudden change at the conclusion of hectic adventures.
The Rescue enabled him to recapture his literary youth, the period of A/mayer's Folly, An Outcast of the Islands and his favourite work, The Nigger of the 'Narcissus'. In the three later works he is, like Marlow in 'Youth', placing his back to the future and looking longingly into the past with the hope of recapturing lost feelings of energy, vitality, and success. Finally, in The Rover and in the long fragment Suspense, he sought an historical panorama in the Napoleonic period. While we do not know what he would have done with Suspense, the backward journey into the historical past in The Rover is an occasion for expressing deep personal concerns.
Conrad cannot seem to decide whether Renouard is a morbid neurotic or a solitary vessel of lost values. Because Conrad detests his female lead, Felicia, he needs to emphasise how she destroys Renouard. His narrator satirises Renouard's adolescent romanticism and exposes him as a sexually frustrated man who has fallen in love with Felicia, although she is the epitome of the life he despises. On the one hand, like Kurtz and Falk, Renouard has atavistic impulses; at one point, he imagines himself taking Felicia to some 'profound retreat as in the age of Cavern men' (p.
Conrad: The Later Fiction by Daniel R. Schwarz (auth.)