Characterized by Conrad himself as his “most deeply meditated novel,” Under Western Eyes enjoyed a warm reception on its publication in October 1911. In the century since it has rewarded readers with various pleasures. Exploring the intertwined subjects of personal morality, the nature of the State, national character and identity, and covertly digging into the tensions of his family’s past, the novel is the last of Conrad’s sustained excursions into overtly political territory.
This collection of eleven essays considers Conrad’s achievement from several perspectives. Opening with a provocative essay on the text’s genesis, it surveys intertextual relations and influences, considers its ethical challenges, its psychological appeal to our time, and its contemporary reception and reception in Russia.
Addressed to the scholar of literary Modernism, “Under Western Eyes”: Centennial Essays offers a vivid snapshot of current critical technologies. This well-balanced collection should help the student and classroom teacher alike in pursuing further the novel’s richly layered interests.
Paul Eggert: Conrad’s Working Methods in Under Western Eyes: The Editorial Challenge
Yael Levin: The Interruption of Writing: Uncanny Intertextuality in Under Western Eyes
Jeremy Hawthorn: Generic Transformations in Under Western Eyes and “The Secret Sharer”: Echoes of E. T. A. Hoffmann’s “The Sandman” and Dostoevsky’s “The Double”
Richard Niland: “Unfit for Action . . . Unable to Rest”: Goethe, Lermontov, and Under Western Eyes
Catherine Delesalle-Nancey: Underground Explosion: The Ethics of Betrayal in Under Western Eyes and Malcolm Lowry’s Under the Volcano
Daphna Erdinast-Vulcan: The Conradian Subject-in-Process: The Question of Ethics in Under Western Eyes
Carola M. Kaplan: Conrad’s Fatherless Sons: Betrayal by Paternity and Failure of Fraternity in Under Western Eyes
Josiane Paccaud-Huguet: Conrad Our Contemporary? The Case of Under Western Eyes
Andrzej Busza: Under Western Eyes and “The Theatre of the Real”
Ludmilla Voitkovska: A View from the East: The Russian Reception of Under Western Eyes
John G. Peters: Under Western Eyes: An Explosive Review