Joseph Conrad and the Adventure Tradition

Joseph Conrad and the Adventure Tradition

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Andrea White
Cambridge University Press, 3/18/1993
EAN 9780521416061, ISBN10: 052141606X

Hardcover, 245 pages, 23.6 x 16 x 2.7 cm
Language: English

Nineteenth-century adventure fiction relating to the British empire usually served to promote, celebrate and justify the imperial project, asserting the essential and privileging difference between 'us' and 'them', colonizing and colonized. Andrea White's study opens with an examination of popular exploration literature in relation to later adventure stories, showing how a shared view of the white man in the tropics authorized the European intrusion into other lands. She then sets the fiction of Joseph Conrad in this context, showing how Conrad in fact demythologized and disrupted the imperial subject constructed in earlier writing, by simultaneously - with the modernist's double vision - admiring man's capacity to dream but applauding the desire to condemn many of its consequences. She argues that the very complexity of Conrad's work provided an alternative, and more critical, means of evaluating the experience of empire.

1. Constructing the imperial subject
nineteenth-century travel writing
2. Adventure fiction
a special case
3. Them and us
a useful and appealing fiction
4. The shift toward subversion
the case of Rider Haggard
5. Travel writing and adventure fiction as shaping discourses for Conrad
6. Almayer's Folly
7. An Outcast of the Islands
8. The African fictions
(I) - An Outpost of Progress
9. The African fictions
(II) - Heart of Darkness.