Joseph Conrad and the Anthropological Dilemma: "bewildered Traveller"
This is the first detailed analysis of Conrad's early works in relation to nineteenth-century anthropology, Victorian travel writing, and contemporary anthropological theory. Conrad's early fiction originated as a response to his travels in so-called primitive cultures: Malaysia, Borneo, and the Congo. As a sensitive observer of other peoples and a notable emigre, he was profoundly aware of the psychological impact of travel, and much of his early fiction portrays both literal and figurative voyages of Europeans into other cultures. By situating Conrad's work in relation to other writings on 'primitive' peoples, John Griffith shows how his fiction draws on prominent anthropological and biological theories regarding the degenerative potential of contacts between European and other cultures. At the same time, however, Conrad's work reflected an anthropological dilemma: he constantly posed the question of how to bridge conceptual and cultural gaps between various peoples. As John Griffith demonstrates, this was a dilemma which coincided with a larger Victorian debate regarding the progression or retrogression of European civilization.
What people are saying - Write a review
We haven't found any reviews in the usual places.
Africa altruism anthropology appear argued attempt barbarism become beginning believed called century character civilization clearly Clifford colonial common Congo Conrad contemporary course criminal Critical degeneration desire early earth empire English ethical European evolution example existence experience fact fear feeling fiction fieldwork foreign going Heart of Darkness human idea identity imperialism implies important individual instincts interest John Kurtz late later Letters literature live Lombroso London look Marlow Maudsley means mind moral native natural never Nordau noted notion novel novella Origin particular passage perhaps period possible primitive cultures progress question Quoted race readers regarding relation remained remarks represented restraint reversion Review Roman savage savagery says seems seen sense social society story suggests theme theory things thought tribe Tylor understand Victorian writes wrote