A Personal Record | Joseph Conrad

Conrad began dictating the series of loose autobiographical sketches that would become ‘A Personal Record’ in 1911, when he was half way through writing ‘Under Western Eyes’. His avowed aim was to give his readers a sense of ‘the man behind the work’, and he certainly succeeded in creating a vivid impression of the kind of Joseph Conrad he would have liked to have been seen as: a man capable of wry humour and self-deprecation, but a sober, serious man too, prepared to face life as he found it. While some of the moments Conrad recalls seem slight enough in themselves – a general’s daughter barges into his room while he is writing the end of ‘Nostromo’; he supervises the unloading of a pony for the real Almayer up a river in Borneo – his manner of interweaving various episodes, abruptly dropping one and leaping to another epoch of his life, interspersing all with reflections on life and his own art – all this is Conrad at his most engaging.

Genre(s): Memoirs

Joseph Conrad (1857 – 1924)

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