Conrad First The Joseph Conrad Periodical Archive

The Preface as Pedagogy: Conrad and His Readers

Ellen C. Carillo, University of Connecticut

© Ellen C. Carillo. No part of this text may be reposted or republished without the permission of the author.

[5,474 words]

[First published in Reader: Essays in Reader-Oriented Theory, Criticism, and Pedagogy 61 (Spring 2011): 33–49. Reprinted by kind permission.]


Contemporary reviews of Joseph Conrad’s novels and short fiction were largely complimentary, with only a few offering critical observations on the difficulty of classifying his short stories and novels within the categories of literature available at that time. Yet reviewers consistently harped on the obstacles posed by Conrad’s works to what they called “general readers”. The Academy, for example, declared that An Outcast of the Islands (1896) would “bore” readers, who would find the novel “dull” (Sherry 1973, 28), and the Manchester Guardian warned readers of Lord Jim (1900): “It is not to be accepted easily, it cannot be read in a half dose, and by the great public which multiplies editions it may remain neglected or unknown” (Sherry 1973, 111). Of the stories included in Youth (1902), the Manchester Guardian contended: “It would be useless to pretend that they can be very widely read” (Sherry 1973, 134). The consensus among these reviewers, it seems, was that while they appreciated Conrad’s writing, the reading public would not and—more importantly—could not appreciate his work, a point reiterated by the Athenaeum’s review of The Secret Agent (1907): “The subtlety of his mental processes, the keenness of the artistic senses, have placed him further away from the great reading public—if infinitely nearer to the select few who have trained faculties of literary appreciation” (Sherry 1973, 29).
While there is no basis for their belief that readers were incapable of reading Conrad’s novels, reviewers were correct in their contention that the book-buying public did not read Conrad, who became a bestselling author only late in his career with the publication of Chance (1912). Still, these reviewers—like other reviewers of the time and even contemporary scholars—largely ignored the Author’s Notes written by Conrad for his novels, which indicate his investment in reaching readers. In this essay, I will argue that in these neglected prefaces, Conrad reached out to the reading public in order to help them develop the means he believed they needed in order to appreciate literature and understand their increasingly complex world. In these prefaces, which are pedagogical in nature, Conrad submitted his theories on art to the public while urging the importance of creating artistic representations that more accurately reflect reality, and encouraging readers to remain open to new modes of representation such as impressionism. These theories were then enacted in the novels which followed.
Reaching a range of readers was important to Conrad not only because of the financial stability it offered, but because he believed in the power of literature to transform: “I am sufficient of a democrat to detest the idea of being a writer of any ‘coterie’ . . . . I want to be read by many eyes and by all kinds of them, at that,” Conrad wrote to his publisher in 1918 (Conrad 1987–2003, 6:333). Although Conrad’s views on the value of popularity were rather inconsistent, as early as 1904 he warned H. G. Wells about writing for such a small audience. Most likely commenting on Wells’s A Modern Utopia, Conrad wrote:

Your first few pages proclaim an intellectual exclusiveness . . . . But practically from the point of view of efficiency an exclusive attitude is always a disadvantage; and in social work especially, since it leads straight to clique’ism to the formation of select circles of disciples, to a fatal limiting of influence.
Why should you say that you write only for people who think this or that? . . . . After all why should you preach to people already convinced[?] That sort of thing leads only to a sort of high priesthood in a clique and it should be left to people who seek simply the satisfaction of their vanity. (Conrad 1987–2003, 3:63)

Conrad’s question “Why should you preach to people already convinced?” suggests his investment in “preaching” to or teaching the reading public, those outside of the coterie for which many Modernists have been accused of writing exclusively. Conrad sees literature as doing “social work” that cannot be achieved if it merely reaches those already committed to the “cause.” Through the instruction offered in his prefaces, Conrad seeks to prepare his readers to make sense not only of his novels, but of their “modern” experiences.
Conrad is an important figure precisely because his work spans both centuries and his prefaces provide a valuable insight into how he imagined the changing face of this public. Conrad looked back to the nineteenth century and the system of values that attached to realism, yet he also looked to the present and his own writing, which made different demands on readers. These Author’s Notes demonstrate how Conrad, writing in a period of literary transition, sought to prepare and guide readers into the twentieth century. Quirky yet insightful, they detail Conrad’s investment in reaching the reading public in order to teach them new methods for reading and judging literature.
Conrad’s Author’s Notes were written at very different points in his career. Some appeared with his novels, others were written for the release of the second editions of his novels. Although there are key differences between the two types of notes—in the later notes, for example, Conrad had an opportunity to respond to reviews and critics—his prefaces, taken as a whole, suggest an investment in teaching readers about fiction, and the importance of reading fiction and valuing a range of forms. Perennial financial problems had forced him to acknowledge the power of marketing, as illustrated by the popular success of Chance, following upon so many commercial failures, thanks to its heavily advertised serialization in the New York Herald in 1912, and syndication by a range of North American newspapers, including New York’s Evening Telegram [LINK], Saskatchewan’s Morning Leader [LINK] and Daily Phoenix [LINK], Oregon’s Eugene Daily Guard [LINK], the Denver Times [LINK], and Montreal Daily Mail [MAIL]. As Cedric Watts notes: “Most important about the publicity is the female audience it targeted. The advertisements for the novel consistently mention this new audience for whom Conrad was writing. One typical advertisement begins like this: ‘A sea story that appeals to women is Chance, by Joseph Conrad, the famous English author’” (Watts 1996, 85). And yet, as will be seen, in these prefaces Conrad’s commitment to instructing readers on how and why to read (his) novels seems to go beyond the financial gains promised by such a strategy.
I begin with the Preface to The Nigger of the “Narcissus,” the only preface that has received significant (albeit unsustained) scholarly attention. Too often, however, it is studied on its own rather than in relation to Conrad’s other prefaces, preventing an understanding of the threads that run through his authorial notes. In the Preface to The Nigger of the “Narcissus” Conrad explains that the “temporary formulas of his craft” (Garnett 1971, 53)— including realism, romanticism, asnd naturalism— will not do justice to his experiences, and “after a short period of fellowship, abandon him— even on the very threshold of the temple— to stammerings of his conscience and to the outspoken consciousness of the difficulties of his work” (53). The intimate relationship he hopes he has established with readers—he consistently appeals to readers as equals, refering to “us,” “we,” and “our” throughout his notes— enables him to guide them to a better understanding of the implications of the new forms they will find in his works and in other modern texts, although he could not predict the latter at that time. Making his readers see in this new way is a difficult feat, for it means asking that they privilege fiction over fact, and the latter was connected to the realist movement in literature, with which readers of the time would have been familiar and comfortable. “Fiction is a history, a human history, or it is nothing,” writes Conrad in his 1905 article on Henry James: “But it is also more than that; it stands on firmer ground, being based on the reality of forms and the observation of social phenomenon, whereas history is based on documents, and the reading of print and handwriting— on second-hand impression. Thus fiction is nearer truth” (Conrad 1924, 17).
This emphasis on fiction reflects Conrad’s investment in the social, or what he calls “a human history,” which does not exist in historical documents or in novels that are committed to realist modes of representation. The preface to The Nigger of the “Narcissus” develops this idea as it implicitly raises the question: What is the relationship between fiction and life? In fact, all of the implied questions that Conrad uses the preface to answer—What is art? What are the responsibilities of the artist? What are the purposes of fiction? What should I gain from reading this book?— serve to encourage these readers to take time to consider the power of fiction, its capacity to intervene in their lives and compel them to notice, contemplate, and react to their world. The most famous sentence from the preface to The Nigger of the “Narcissus” describes his goal most poignantly: “To make you hear, to make you feel—it is, before all, to make you see” (Garnett 1971, 52; emphasis in original). Aiming to help his readers see in new ways, Conrad’s community of readers is built not upon intelligence, but upon the importance of one of the senses, the sense of sight. Although not limited to the five senses—he includes one’s sense of beauty, among others—senses lie at the core of Conrad’s theory of art, a theory inextricably linked to his politics. In emphasizing the senses over other characteristics, Conrad has found a way to highlight the connections among people across national boundaries. All people share these senses.
Not everyone shares knowledge of facts, ideas, wisdom, and “common” sense, however, and Conrad therefore rejects these forms of knowing in the prefaces to The Nigger of the “Narcissus” and Some Reminiscences in favor of abstractions like temperament, emotions, and the senses. Conrad argues that “fiction—if it at all aspires to be art—appeals to temperament [. . .] Such an appeal to be effective must be an impression conveyed through the senses; and in fact, it cannot be made in any other way, because temperament, whether individual or collective, is not amenable to persuasion” (Garnett 1971, 51). He makes a similar point about the importance of the senses in the preface to Some Reminiscences: “The power of sound has always been greater than the power of sense” (Garnett 1971, 199). The sound to which Conrad refers is that of words, which all readers have the ability to hear. The sound of certain words, he suggests, has incredible power: “Shouted with perseverance, with ardour, with conviction, these two [words “Glory” and “Pity”] alone have set whole nations in motion and upheaved the dry, hard ground on which rests our whole social fabric . . . Give me the right word and the right accent and I will move the world” (Garnett 1971, 200–1). In this preface, Conrad draws his readers’ attention to the power of language and its ability not only to “set whole nations in motion” but to bring nations together by “mov[ing] the world.” In this subtle critique of imperialism, it is the power of sound, one of the senses, rather than the power of sense or wisdom that has this capacity. Ultimately, art—which appeals to these senses—can bring people together.
Conrad’s emphasis on the senses and temperament becomes especially clear in the last sentence of the preface to Almayer’s Folly: “Their hearts [of the people in far-off countries]—like ours—must endure the load of the gifts from Heaven: the curse of facts and the blessing of illusions, the bitterness of our wisdom and the deceptive consolation of our folly” (Garnett 1971, 38). As Conrad denigrates facts and wisdom he also uses this space to point out that we are alike since we all “must endure the load of the gifts from Heaven,” and we all must live with “the curse of facts and the blessing of illusions, the bitterness of our wisdom and the deceptive consolation of our folly” (Garnett 1971, 38). In this preface he also emphasizes the importance of noticing details, such as colors and shadows: “The picture of life, there [in far-off countries] as here, is drawn with the same elaboration of detail, coloured with the same tints. Only in the cruel serenity of the sky, under the merciless brilliance of the sun, the dazzled eye misses the delicate detail, sees only the strong outlines, while the colours, in the steady light, seem crude and without shadow. Nevertheless it is the same picture” (Garnett 1971, 37).
When these prefaces are considered together, we begin to see the political implications of Conrad’s investment in this view of art. Conrad seems not only to be instructing his readers about impressionism, this new form of writing, but he also uses art to teach them about the importance of unity across national lines. The preface to Almayer’s Folly argues that noticing the details— rather than only the strong outlines— can actually result in a brotherhood among people from all countries and cultures. Noticing the details of a piece of art teaches one to notice also the details of “the picture of life,” Conrad seems to say. Readers are thus taught how to apply lessons about art to their lives. In so doing, countries and cultures that are generally thought to be dissimilar actually begin to resemble one another: “There is a bond between us and that humanity so far away . . . I am content to sympathize with common mortals, no matter where they live; in houses or in tents, in the streets under a fog, or in the forests behind the dark line of dismal mangroves that fringe the vast solitude of the sea. For, their land—like ours—lies under the inscrutable eyes of the Most High,” writes Conrad in the preface to Almayer’s Folly (Garnett 1971, 38).
Despite Chinua Achebe’s and other scholars’ accounts of the racism that pervades Conrad’s novels, his prefaces tell a different story, or one that, at the very least, complicates more recent accounts of Conrad’s politics. Conrad’s commitment to equality and inclusiveness is apparent not just in the tone Conrad chooses for his prefaces, but in Conrad’s direct address to working men—the “men with their hands busy about the work of the earth” (Garnett 1971, 52)—in the Author’s Note to The Nigger of the “Narcissus.” Conrad includes those readers who otherwise might not have the opportunity to access or participate in a conversation about art. The immediate world that Conrad hopes to move, to affect, is that of the laborer, the “common man” who is too busy working to notice the connections among mankind. Conrad’s role as an artist—as he understands and elaborates it in his prefaces—is to teach his readers to expand their idea of what constitutes good art. As he does so he informs them of the moral demands that their particular time period places on them. And while Conrad may not have been able to foresee a time without Western domination or imagine that “India, Africa, and South America also had lives and cultures with integrities not totally controlled by the gringo imperialists” (Said 1994, xviii), Conrad uses his prefaces to address the atrocities of imperialism. If Conrad can help his readers to expand their idea of art so that it includes impressionism, he can also enlighten them—through the language of humanity, solidarity, and fellowship—on the abuse of colonial power.
As he did in the earlier prefaces, in his later prefaces, Conrad continues to use the space of the preface to help readers open their minds to forms beyond realism. In these later prefaces, Conrad asks readers to re-imagine the hierarchies that order their lives. Conrad disrupts the hierarchy that privileges fact over fiction in that he tries to show his readers that realist fiction is no longer an adequate means of representing reality and that they, instead, should consider the value in other forms. He does so, however, in a more subtle manner than we saw in the earlier prefaces. In fact, he misleads readers by locating his fictions in history and depends upon readers’ familiarity with realism in order to ultimately undermine this mode of representation. These prefaces seek to appeal to readers’ familiarity with certain elements of realism as many of Conrad’s later prefaces detail the origins of his story and his characters, often locating both in reality. He writes of characters as if they are real, historical figures with whom he has spoken, and only upon reading his novels does one realize that these are characters he has constructed for his novels.
Perhaps offering an explanation of this practice, Conrad’s 1905 essay “Books” emphasizes that novelists must offer readers their some aspect with which they are already familiar: “In truth every novelist must begin by creating for himself a world, great or little, in which he can honestly believe. This world cannot be made otherwise than in his own image; it is fated to remain individual and a little mysterious, and yet it must resemble something already familiar to the experience, the thoughts, and the sensations of his readers” (Conrad 1924, 6). His own novels, with their emphasis on perception, their methods of narration, time shifts, and changing points of view, were, however, potentially new to the reading public of the late nineteenth and early twentieth century. In these prefaces, Conrad roots his fictions in reality, thus giving his readers the facts he thinks they want before he introduces them to the “mysterious” and “individual” worlds he creates in his novels.
We see a representative example of this technique in his preface to Nostromo, in which Conrad initially seems to be tying his fiction to actual historical events and people but ultimately blurs the boundaries between fact and fiction. In his preface, Conrad writes of the origins of his fictional story, noting that Don Jose Avellanos, Minister to the Courts of England and Spain, was his “principal authority for the history of Costaguana” (Garnett 1971, 88): “In justice to myself, and to allay the fears of prospective readers I beg to point out that the few historical allusions are never dragged in for the sake of parading my unique erudition, but that each of them is closely related to actuality” (Garnett 1971, 89). In this excerpt, the reader expects to garner a better understanding of the historical origins of the story only to have Conrad claim that Don Jose Avellanos—a character in the novel, not an actual person—is responsible for the story. Conrad makes a similar move in the preface to The Mirror of the Sea (1906) when describing Dominic, a character from that novel, in human terms: “He and I were engaged together in a rather absurd adventure, but the absurdity does not matter. It is a real satisfaction that in my very young days there must, after all, have been something in me worthy to command that man’s half-bitter fidelity” (Garnett 1971, 90).
Vivienne Rundle and Allison Wheatley disagree over the extent to which Conrad used these later prefaces to control readings of his novels and, more generally readings of his legacy. Certainly Conrad did use the space to answer critics who reviewed his work, and his letters and other writings confirm his anxiety over his reputation and what happens to one’s work when it is given over to the public: “And it is only for their intentions that men can be held responsible. The ultimate effects of whatever they do are far beyond their control. (Garnett 1971, 150). Still, studying these later prefaces without paying attention to the earlier ones—as Rundle and Wheatley both do—means yanking them from the larger context to which they belong. This prevents one from seeing the threads that run through both, and how the later prefaces further develop the pedagogy Conrad has devised in the early prefaces. In these later prefaces, Conrad revises his pedagogy so that it does not outright reject the realist form and its related reading practices. Instead, Conrad captures readers’ attention in the prefaces by offering them the opportunity to depend upon their ways of reading realist novels, and once he has their attention and their trust, he can teach them how to think beyond this form and why to value others.

Rereading Conrad’s novels in light of his prefaces
Perhaps the most dramatic indictment of realism comes at the beginning of Lord Jim as the narrator describes Jim’s time in the witness-box: “The light of a broad window under the ceiling fell from above on the heads and shoulders of the three men [lawyers], and they were fiercely distinct in the half-light of the big court-room where the audience seemed composed of staring shadows. They wanted facts. Facts! They demanded facts from him, as if facts could explain anything” (Conrad 1996, 22). As much as Jim tries to go on to offer a detailed, vivid account of what happened on the Patna, his impressions are rejected by these three men who only want facts. The narrator reports that Jim did not have the chance to recount the “shades of expression,” the “complicated aspect that could be remembered by the eye,” or the “spirit of perdition” because “a question to the point cut short his speech, like a pang of pain, and he felt extremely discouraged and weary” (Conrad 1996, 23). Unlike Jim, whose impressions count for nothing, Conrad’s readers can hone their senses through impressionist art, like his novels. Doing so, however, means that they must relinquish their dependence on the values that realism embodies.
A more layered and nuanced treatment of realism comes in the form of the narrator in Under Western Eyes who consistently reminds readers that he is reporting fact and not telling a story. Introducing the second part of the novel, the narrator explains:

A man of imagination, however, inexperienced in the art of narrative, has his instinct to guide him in the choice of his words, and in the development of the action. A grain of talent excuses many mistakes. But this is not a work of imagination; I have no talent; my excuse for this undertaking lies not in its art, but in its artlessness. Aware of my limitations and strong in the sincerity of my purpose I would not try (were I able) to invent anything. I push my scruples so far that I would not even invent a transition. (Conrad 2003, 67)

The narrator’s repeated reminders that he is simply reporting the facts from “the document” rather than “invent[ing] the mere bald facts of [Razumov’s] life” (Conrad 2003, 1) ask the reader to believe that this story that Conrad has written is true. In calling attention to his telling of this “factual” narrative, the narrator paradoxically reminds readers that they are in fact reading fiction. The narrator’s inability to even “invent a transition” reminds readers that Conrad is, in fact, transitioning to the second part of the (fictional) story. In other words, the narrator’s insistence on reminding readers that he has not composed a fictional account reminds readers that Conrad has. The effect is a complicated and layered reading experience that urges readers to consider both how the account of Razumov’s life is composed and how they are to perceive it. It is the effect—the reading experience—that is so important to Conrad: “In this matter of life and art it is not the Why that matters so much to our happiness as the How” (Garnett 1971, 207). The method of perception, rather than the object or event that is being perceived, is what proves important to Conrad’s pedagogy. Conrad is, after all, invested in changing his readers’ modes of perception, and not the object of their perception. In Under Western Eyes, readers are compelled to become aware of the multiple ways in which they perceive the story that is being told as their attention is drawn to how the narrator is composing the narrative and how Conrad has composed the narrator. Conrad discussed the importance of perception with Francis Warrington Dawson (who took down his comments verbatim) in 1913:

There is a convention that only six or seven novel forms exist, & all writers are expected to adapt themselves to those forms. If everybody has agreed to look at a landscape in one way, I don’t see why we should not look at it in another. It does not hurt for us to stand on our head to see it, if it has grown stale to us when we look at it standing on our feet. (qtd. in Ambrosini 1991, 197)

We see Conrad experimenting with different modes of narration and multiple points of view throughout his novels. As he develops new forms and ways of seeing, he takes his readers along with him on this journey in his prefaces as he tries to convince them that these new ways of seeing are necessary, both aesthetically and politically.

Conrad redefines didacticism
Although Conrad is trying to teach his readers to recognize (if not adopt) his world view, his mode of instruction is also characterized by a commitment to encouraging readers to seek out their own answers to questions. In the later prefaces he often refuses to answer simple questions about the plot of a story so that readers may do so for themselves. In the preface to Typhoon and Other Stories (1903), Conrad writes, “But what is the subject of Falk? I personally do not feel so very certain about it. He who reads must find out for himself” (Garnett 1971, 79). In the preface to Nostromo, Conrad makes a similar statement: “It is for the reader to say how far [the characters in Nostromo] are deserving of interest in their actions and in the secret purposes of their hearts revealed in the bitter necessities of the time” (Garnett 1971, 89). These moments in which Conrad hands over the interpretive reigns to readers are perhaps indicative of his discomfort with instruction and didactic literature:

I do not mean to hint that anybody had ever done me the injury (I don’t mean insult, I mean injury) of charging a single one of my pages with didactic purpose. But every subject in the region of intellect and emotion must have a morality of its own if it is treated at all sincerely; and even the most artful writers will give himself (and his morality) away in about every third sentence [. . .] I cannot say that any particular moral complexion has been put on this novel but I do not think that anybody had detected in it an evil intention. And it is only for their intentions that men can be held responsible. The ultimate effects of whatever they do are far beyond their control. (Garnett 1971, 150)

Although Conrad creates a binary between didacticism and morality, arguing that we must not confuse the two, his own didacticism—his investment in guiding his readers— seems inextricably tied to his morality. You’ll recall that Conrad suggests that readers pay attention to detail, ignore the boundaries of literary traditions, and remain open to new traditions. Part of this openness involves his readers looking more closely and maybe even reassessing their views on imperialism. Conrad tries to impart in his readers an appreciation for all people and nations. He writes of equality, humanity, and brotherhood across boundaries. Just as important as what he says is how he says it, and Conrad consistently instructs his readers from the position of an equal. His distrust of didactic literature potentially comes from this belief in equality since didactic literature potentially locates the author as the expert who speaks down to the readers beneath him. Conrad avoids this sort of relationship with readers, not only by using inclusive pronouns throughout his prefaces, but by consistently downplaying his own authority, inviting and reminding his readers of their interpretive responsibilities. Although Conrad is not willing to label his writing as didactic—or anything for that matter1— it might not be far off to do so. In effect, in these prefaces Conrad re-imagines the didactic by creating a more equitable relationship with his readers/“students” as he teaches them about new ways of seeing.
Conrad’s views on didacticism also seem tied to his anti-elitism and commitment to the masses as just a few sentences after demeaning didacticism he prides himself on never having “sinned against the basic feelings and elementary convictions which make life possible to the mass of mankind” (Garnett 1971, 50). For someone invested in the “mass of mankind” rather than a coterie, the intent to teach might be seen as an arrogant endeavor that necessarily creates inequalities, and his teaching techniques support such a reading. In addition to appealing to readers as equals throughout the early and later prefaces, he downplays his abilities as a writer, often turning to the “readers to determine” (Garnett 1971, 74) a great deal about the texts, thus dissolving the traditional distinction between author(-ity) and reader. Conrad expands his very own rather narrow definition of didacticism throughout these prefaces, all the while maintaining that a preface “is spoken in perfect good faith, as one speaks to friends” (Karl and Davies 1983, 377). In these short works, Conrad creates a space for authority that is characterized by humility, generosity, and a belief in equality. He has not written difficult novels for the sake of difficulty or to alienate readers. Instead, his novels represent the complex world in ways he believes realism and other modes cannot. Rather than expecting that his artistic sensibilities need not be explained to readers (or that they were incapable of participating in such discussions), he deliberately and consistently engages readers directly in his prefaces. In these prefaces he can guide and assist—not proselytize—his readers in a manner that is marked by a commitment to inclusiveness. These prefaces are essentially didactic works that challenge Conrad’s own prejudices about didacticism and ultimately suggest variations on the traditional student-reader/teacher-author relationship.



1. Conrad occasionally compared his work to that of Robert Louis Stevenson, which would locate Conrad within the adventure tradition. More consistent, though, were his letters to reviewers, including to Richard Curle who was to write a review of J. M. Dent’s second edition of Conrad’s works, in which Conrad implored them to treat him as more than a writer of “sea yarns.” Expanding readers’ views of him was especially important because it had the potential to expand his readership, something he was committed to throughout his life. Conrad’s Chance (1912)—the most popular novel he wrote and the only one that became a best-seller—was actually written for a female audience, and helped to change his image and expand his otherwise largely male readership. With the success of Chance, Conrad continued to deliberately target a female audience.


Works Cited

Ambrosini, Richard. 1991. Conrad’s Fiction as Critical Discourse. New York: Cambridge University Press.

Conrad, Joseph. 1924. Notes on Life and Letters. New York: Doubleday.

-----. 1983–2007. The Collected Letters of Joseph Conrad. Ed. Frederick Karl and Laurence Davies. 9 vols. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

-----. Lord Jim. 1996. New York: Norton.

-----. Nostromo. 2002. New York: Dover.

-----. Under Western Eyes. 2003. New York: Dover.

Garnett, Edward, ed. 1971. Conrad’s Prefaces to His Works. New York: Haskell House.

Jean-Aubry, Georges, ed. 1927. Joseph Conrad: Life and Letters. 2 vols. New York: Doubleday.

Karl, Frederick R. and Laurence Davies, ed. 1983. The Collected Letters of Joseph Conrad Volume I. New York: Cambridge University Press.

Rundle, Vivienne. 1995. “Defining Frames: The Prefaces of Henry James and Joseph Conrad.” The Henry James Review 16.1: 66–92.

Said, Edward W. 1994. Culture and Imperialism. New York: Vintage.

Sherry, Norman. 1973. Conrad: The Critical Heritage. Boston: Routledge and Kegan Paul.

Watts, Cedric. 1996. “Marketing Modernism: How Conrad Prospered.” Modernist Writers and The Marketplace. Eds. Ian Willison, Warwick Gould, and Warren Chernaik. New York: St. Martin’s Press.

Wheatley, Allison. 2003. “Real and Desired Readers of Conrad.” Conradiana. 35.1–2: 7–19.


Ellen C. Carillo is an Assistant Professor of English at the University of Connecticut and the Writing Coordinator at its Waterbury Campus. Her 2007 doctoral dissertation was on the “modernist pedagogies” of Joseph Conrad, Ezra Pound, and Virginia Woolf, and her more recent work is in the field of Rhetoric and Composition. Her scholarship has been published in Feminist Teacher, Rhetoric Review, The Writing Lab Newsletter,and Reader: Essays in Reader-Oriented Theory, Criticism and Pedagogy as well as in several edited collections.


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