Joseph Conrad’s lengthy series of letters with James Brand Pinker, his literary agent from 1899 to 1922, is his true autobiography. Except for his sea career, this correspondence of over 1200 items touches on virtually every aspect of Conrad’s professional and private life, but is especially compelling in two major areas: first, his day-to-day personal life as he wrote his novels and stories; and, second, the development of the fiction itself, the details of the slow, tortuous manner in which his literary work passed through his mind and pen. As we know, none of his major works came easily, and particularly in his middle years, when he wrote Nostromo, The Secret Agent, Under Western Eyes, Chance and Victory, he was intensely pressed, to the extent that one could claim that Conrad functioned most successfully in literary matters when he was most panicked personally.
KeywordsShort Story Whooping Cough Literary Matter French Translation Creative Imagination
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