A Play of Unbearable Horror: Laughing Anne
Joseph Conrad’s Within the Tides (1915) is a collection of short stories written from 1910 to 1914: “The Planter of Malata”, “The Partner”, “The Inn of the Two Witches: A Find” and “Because of the Dollars”. As Knowles and Moore summarise, Within the Tides “generally received flattering reviews, (but) it is nowadays commonly thought to contain some of his least distinguished work”, although they add that “The Planter of Malata” and “Because of the Dollars” are worth reading because of their “interesting formal and thematic links with Victory” (Knowles and Moore, 2001, 450). Part of the reason for what many see as the inadequacy of the Within the Tides short stories is the fact that they were all first published in popular literary magazines such as the Pall Mall Magazine (“The Inn of the Two Witches”), Harper’s Magazine (“The Partner”) and the Metropolitan Magazine (“The Planter of Malata” and “Because of the Dollars”). Writing for these magazines made particular demands towards “populism”. In 1913, the Metropolitan Magazine approached Conrad to write something for them, as long as it was not in the style of Heart of Darkness:
If we could have from Mr Conrad another short story like “The Brute” we would reach our public with all the certainty in the world. (CL5, 322n)
KeywordsShort Story Imperial Masculinity Secret Agent Conventional Realism Final Scene
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© Richard J. Hand 2005