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|Title:||"A PURELY SPECTACULAR UNIVERSE": JOSEPH CONRAD AND IMPRESSIONISM|
|Authors:||York, Mary Lorraine|
|Advisor:||Shrive, F. N.|
|Keywords:||English Language and Literature;English Language and Literature|
|Abstract:||<p>This study essentially offers an alternative method for the comparative study of literature and visual art in general, and of Conrad's fiction and the artistic movement known as Impressionism in particular. Rather than dealing with literal resemblances between visual tableaux and prose passages (a practice of limited usefulness), the comparative critic should deal in analogy; he or she should deal with the various ways in which artists working in widely varying media strive to express the same essential visions. <br /> The works of Joseph Conrad, when thus studied from the point of view of Impressionist theory—the theory of man's basic inability to ascertain anything beyond the ephemeral and the apparent—reveal a curious transition from a sparkling vision of man striving to discover the mysteries within himself, to what G. K. Chesterton called the essence of Impressionism: "that final scepticism which can find no floor to the universe." In fact, the subtle gradations range from the technical virtuosity of the early Almayer's Folly to the final, deterministic fragments of Suspense. The pivotal point of Conrad's gradually darkening vision is to t be found in the masterpieces of his middle years—Nostromo and The Secret Agent—wherein the nerfect balance between Impressionist philosophy and artistic expression is tinged with an ever-deepening cynicism.<br /><br /> One of the main and basic contributions of this thesis, however, is simply the argument that Conrad was not only an Impressionist author but an Impressionist philosopher. His far-ranging curiosity, his immediate grasp of abstract notions and his associations with figures such as Bertrand Russell all speak powerfully of a mind always searching, as is Marlow in Lord Jim, for "some exorcism against the ghost of doubt."</p>|
|Appears in Collections:||Open Access Dissertations and Theses|
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