‘An air of expectant life’

The significance and continuity of The Rescue
  • Daniel R. Schwarz


Writing The Rescue (1920) was Conrad’s most difficult task as an author. Between 1896 and 1899, he worked on The Rescue intermittently before abandoning it in the middle of what is now part IV, after Edith Travers arrives on Lingard’s brig. At one point he went eight days and produced one page:

To be able to think and unable to express is a fine torture. I am undergoing it—without patience. … Other writers have some starting point. Something to catch hold of. … They lean on dialect—or on tradition—or on history—or on the prejudice or fad of the hour; they trade upon some tie or some conviction of their time—or upon the absence of these things. … I have had some impressions, some sensations—in my time;—impressions and sensations of common things.

(19 June 1896, LL, 1, p. 192)


Secret Sharer Superficial Resemblance Foreign Accent Lunatic Asylum Romance World 
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  1. 2.
    See Daniel R. Schwarz, Conrad: ‘Almayer’s Folly’ to ‘Under Western Eyes’ (London: Macmillan; Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 1980).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 3.
    Quoted in Baines, Conrad: A Critical Biography (New York: McGraw-Hill, 1960), p. 223.Google Scholar
  3. 8.
    Moser, Conrad: Achievement and Decline (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1957), p. 146.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Daniel R. Schwarz 1982

Authors and Affiliations

  • Daniel R. Schwarz
    • 1
  1. 1.Cornell UniversityUSA

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