The Several Lives of Joseph Conrad by John Stape

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The Several Lives of Joseph Conrad
is the first new biography in more than a decade of one of modern literature’s most important writers--whose work remains widely read and acutely relevant eighty years after his death. In this authoritative, insightful book, we see Joseph Conrad as a man who consistently reinvented himself. Born in 1857 in Berdichev, Ukraine, he left home early and worked as a sailor out of Marseilles; traveled to the Far East and Africa with the British merchant navy; and, finally, in 1891, settled in England, beginning a precarious existence as an novelist and family man. Here is a Conrad for our moment: a man with a deep sense of otherness; a writer with multiple cultural identities who wrote in his third language and whose fiction became the cornerstone of literary Modernism.

With his exceptional knowledge and understanding of Conrad, and drawing on unpublished letters and documents, John Stape succeeds in casting an illuminating new light on the life of a willfully enigmatic man who remains one of the greatest writers of his, and our, time.
 

About John Stape

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John Stape is Research Fellow at St. Mary’s University College, London. He has taught in universities in Canada, France, and the Far East. He is the editor of The Cambridge Companion to Joseph Conrad, and co-editor of two volumes of The Collected Letters of Joseph Conrad. He divides his time between Vancouver and London.From the Hardcover edition.
 
Published May 25, 2011 by Vintage. 400 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, Literature & Fiction. Non-fiction

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We learn a good deal about the provenance of such masterpieces as Lord Jim, Nostromo, Heart of Darkness and The Nigger of the “Narcissus.” But Stape’s decision to eschew analysis of these works misses opportunities to support his eloquent summary assertion that “Conrad speaks for an awareness of ...

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Bookmarks Magazine

a writer with multiple cultural identities who wrote in his third language and whose fiction became the cornerstone of literary Modernism.
With his exceptional knowledge and understanding of Conrad, and drawing on unpublished letters and documents, John Stape succeeds in casting an illuminatin...

Apr 10 2008 | Read Full Review of The Several Lives of Joseph C...

Project MUSE

In the case of Conrad we find an enormous number of saved letters and correspondences, two biographical reminiscences published by Conrad himself, four biographical volumes by Jessie Conrad, a characteristically unreliable volume by Ford Maddox Ford, a number of pamphlets written by friends and a...

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Tucson Citizen

According to a new biography, Conrad was a complex man who consistently reinvented himself, “transforming fiction into life and, in turn, life into literature.” Stape, a Research Fellow at St. Mary’s University College in London, documents how Conrad took to the seas at 16, first working as a ...

Mar 20 2008 | Read Full Review of The Several Lives of Joseph C...

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