'Books can be written in all sorts of places': Conrad's Transnational Beginnings

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The essay starts from the multiple beginnings of Conrad's career as a writer. It then considers the first four chapters of A Personal Record (and their account of the composition of Conrad's first novel, Almayer's Folly). The essay then focusses on A Personal Record as part of the writing process of Under Western Eyes. It examines the transnational components of his account of the writing experience of Almayer's Folly: writing in English in a French harbour about a Dutchman living in Borneo. The essay traces two strands: a transnational, cosmopolitan strand that produces Conrad the 'passionate European' and a more troubled relation with Polish patriotism and nationalism.
Original languageEnglish
Article number2
Pages (from-to)29-39
Number of pages11
JournalL'Epoque Conradienne
Early online date25 Apr 2019
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 25 Apr 2019


  • Joseph Conrad
  • beginnings
  • transnationalism
  • A Personal Record
  • Under Western Eyes
  • Almayer's Folly
  • displacement
  • Poland
  • nationalism
  • lost home
  • borderlands
  • borderland szlachta

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