Chance

Chance

A Tale in Two Parts

Book - 1913
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Publisher: Garden City, N.Y. : Doubleday, Page & company, 1913
Branch Call Number: x
Characteristics: vii, 468 p. ; 19 cm

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lukasevansherman
Nov 13, 2014

“Why is it that the stillness of a human being is often so impressive, so suggestive of evil—as if our proper fate were a ceaseless agitation?”
I'm sure many readers here the name of Conrad and groan because they had to slog through his famously dense and difficult novella "Heart of Darkness" in high school or college. While still his most famous and influential work (see "Apocalypse Now"), it's not necessarily his most representative. Many of his other stories would have a nautical theme, but are less heavily symbolic and more conventionally modernist. "Chance," a later novel is unusual in that it focuses on a female character, the intriguingly named Flora de Barral, the daughter of a feckless financier. Conrad employs the recurring character of Marlow, who narrated "Heart of Darkness," as his storyteller. I've been reading Henry James, Conrad's contemporary and acquaintance, and this novel, with its psychological insights, slow developing narrative, and complex style, has affinities with the Master.

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