Joseph Conrad's impact has been so profound and far-reaching that, eighty years after his death, he remains an essential cultural reference point. Such phrases as 'heart of darkness' and 'The horror! The horror!' have entered the language, often cited without an awareness of their original contexts. His popular legacy extends to Latin American fiction, to the spy novel, to the terrorist and anarchist character, and to film. The writers he has influenced range from T. S. Eliot to William Faulkner to V. S. Naipaul and John Le Carr. For a writer of 'difficult' fiction he has enjoyed a remarkably wide impact, yet as Marlow proclaims in Lord Jim of the figure whose story he tells, 'he was one of us' and so Conrad remains in fascinating ways.
John Stape, Research Fellow in St Mary's University College, Strawberry Hill, London, has taught in universities in Canada, France, and the Far East. He has edited Notes on Life and Letters and A Personal Record for The Cambridge Edition of Joseph Conrad and has co-edited Volumes 7 and 9 of The Collected Letters of Joseph Conrad. The editor of The Cambridge Companion to Joseph Conrad, he is Contributing Editor of The Conradian: The Journal of the Joseph Conrad Society (UK). He has also written on E. M. Forster, Virginia Woolf, Thomas Hardy, William Golding, and Angus Wilson.
"Formidable ... Stape's succinct way of dealing with Conrad's 'several lives' must be applauded."
"A Fascinating portrait of a mind-boggling, globe-spanningly modern life."
"Conrad is dead. I finished reading in something like a state of mourning. John Stape has brought him so much to life - a living man, a working writer, not a 'study', not a statue - that one can't help suffering with him. I am so pleased to have had the experience of this book. But it's sad as it is triumphant."