George Z. Gasyna. Polish, Hybrid, and  Otherwise: Exilic Discourse in Joseph Conrad and Witold Gombrowicz.  Continuum, 2011.

"Polish, Hybrid, and Otherwise examines the triple compact made by displaced authors with language, their  host country, and the homeland left behind. It considers the entwined  phenomena of expatriation and homelessness, and the artistic responses to  these conditions, including reconstructions of identity and the creation of  idealized new homelands. Conrad and Gombrowicz, writers who lived with the  condition of exile, were in the vanguard of what today has become a thriving  intellectual community of transnationals whose calling card is precisely  their hybridity and fluency in multiple cultural traditions. Conrad and  Gombrowicz's Polish childhoods emerge as cultural touchstones against which  they formulated their writing philosophies. Gasyna claims that in both cases  negotiating exile involved processes of working through a traumatic past  through the construction of narrative personae that served as strategic  doubles. Both authors engaged in extensive manipulation of their public  image. Above all, Conrad and Gombrowicz’s narratives are united by a desire  for a linguistic refuge, a proposed home-in-language, and a set of  techniques deployed in the representation of their predicament as subjects  caught in-between."

Christopher GoGwilt. The Passage of  Literature: Genealogies of Modernism in Conrad, Rhys, and Pramoedya.  Oxford University Press, 2011.

"Joseph Conrad, Jean Rhys, and Pramoedya  Ananta Toer are writers renowned for crafting narratives of great technical  skill that resonate with potent truths on the colonial condition. Yet given  the generational and geographical boundaries that separated them, they are  seldom considered in conjunction with one another. The Passage of  Literature unites the three in a comparative study that breaks away from  traditional conceptions of modernism, going beyond temporal periodization  and the entrenched Anglo-American framework that undergirds current  scholarship. This study traces a trio of distinct yet interrelated modernist  genealogies. English modernism as exemplified by Conrad's Malay trilogy is  productively paired with the hallmark work of Indonesian modernism,  Pramoedya's Buru quartet. The two novel sequences, penned years apart,  narrate overlapping histories of imperialism in the Dutch East Indies, and  both make opera central for understanding the cultural dynamic of colonial  power. Creole modernism--defined not only by the linguistic diversity of the  Caribbean but also by an alternative vision of literary history--provides a  transnational context for reading Rhys's Good Morning, Midnightand Wide Sargasso Sea, each novel mapped in relation to the  colonial English and postcolonial Indonesian coordinates of Conrad's The  Shadow-Line and Pramoedya's This Earth of Mankind. All three  modernisms--English, Creole, and Indonesian--converge in a discussion of the  Indonesian figure of the nyai, a concubine or house servant, who represents  the traumatic core of transnational modernism. Throughout the study,  Pramoedya's extraordinary effort to reconstruct the lost record of  Indonesia's emergence as a nation provides a model for reading each  fragmentary passage of literature as part of an ongoing process of  decolonizing tradition."

Tamas Juhasz.Conradian Contracts: Exchange and Identity in the Immigrant  Imagination. Lexington Books, 2011.

"This book treats Joseph Conrad's simultaneous interests in  exchange, contracts, and the condition of displacement. The central  hypothesis is that the novelist‒s characters face the option of signing  or rejecting what might, with some generalization, be called a social  covenant. These individuals conduct a lonely or marginal existence and,  to ease their isolation, they would like to (re)enter a community. For  this reason, they are ready to contribute to larger collective causes  and comply with those restrictions that social life, in its contractual  aspect, requires. As Julia Kristeva puts it, 'The foreigner is the one  who works,' yet engagement in transactions in order earn a social  position is fraught with difficulties. In return for their contribution,  these hard-working characters do not always receive the compensation  that they had in mind, especially when their definition of companionship  violates the boundaries of legality and social propriety. Their private,  illicit interests are bound to clash with communal ones, and the ensuing  negotiating, readjustment, or compromise-seeking either crush the  individual party or result in a redefinition of the notion of contract.  This link between exchange and displacement is explored in nine  narratives. Just as the concept of exile is used in a broad, often  metaphorical sense (ranging from characters who are actual migrants  through individuals who occupy a marginal position within their native  community to individuals who are caught between conflicting  cultural-economic models), the trade or contractual alliance that can  create, or at least promise, a sense of communal belonging and personal  recognition is also manifold in its definition. Although it always  includes, if to varying degrees, the transference of economic goods or  entering a specific agreement, exchange is never limited to  legal-material procedures. Instead, various emotional investments,  sexual transactions, and narcissistic reciprocities supplement the  representation of actual commerce, inviting critical ideas from economic  anthropology, post-structuralism and Lacanian psychoanalysis."

Robert P. McParland. Bloom's How to Write About Joseph Conrad. Blooms  Literary Criticism, 2011.

Leonard Moss. The Craft of Conrad. Lexington Books, 2011.

"Driven by his concern for the tortuous human pursuit of  'ideal values,' Joseph Conrad sometimes tells more than he shows. He  indulged his talent for philosophical speculation, and critics usually  follow that lead. They fix their attention on broad themes (imperialism,  nihilism, etc.), with only passing reference to literary strategies. But  fiction is not philosophy. This study, rather than rehash the 'big  ideas' that preoccupy most commentators, focuses on technique, Conrad's  ingenious variations on a recurring narrative plan animated by images  mingling light with darkness and by exhilarating rhetoric. Paradox  shapes the narrative plan, the images, and the rhetoric. The story  'design' unfolds a test of manhood with ironic consequences; characters  oscillate between impulsive desires and elevated moral convictions,  degrading the shadowy standard they desperately try to enact; the  rhetoric proposes certainties and yet uncovers negations, vacillations,  and contradictions. As one of Shakespeare's characters says, 'I would by  contraries execute all things.' Appropriately, Conrad's images bring  together, or alternate between, clarity and obscurity. The geographical  settings are often exotic, but nature's most 'common everyday' visual  facts, light and darkness, become the author’s chief pictorial  reference. Conrad exploits the coupling of 'sunshine and shadows' not  only as antagonists but also, surprisingly, as paradoxical partners.  That coupling may be his most original artistic contribution.

Kenneth B. Newell.Conrad's Destructive Element: The Metaphysical World-View Unifying Lord Jim. Cambridge Scholars Press, 2011.

"This book argues for a new interpretation of  Joseph Conrad's novel Lord Jim based on readings from not only its  published text but also its principal manuscript text. Newell argues that  extensive use of the manuscript text has not been a feature of any other  work on Lord Jim, and such use helps bring into focus a fixed pattern  of meaning and an implicit unity that Conrad said the novel has. This result  controverts not only postmodern critics, who say that the novel lacks any  fixed pattern of meaning, but almost all critics since its publication, who  have said that it lacks unity--specifically, that it separates into two  halves, the Patna half and the Patusan half. However, Newell suggests  that with the help of the manuscript text, a detailed interpretation  extending over the whole of Lord Jim shows it to be a unified whole.  As Conrad wrote to his publisher four days after completing the novel, it is  'the development of one situation, on one really from beginning to end.'  Most recent Lord Jim criticism discusses the novel from a standpoint  critical of the author and in epistemological terms, whereas the present  book discusses it from a standpoint sympathetic to the author and in  symbolic and metaphysical terms. The metaphysical question that pervades the  novel and helps unify it is whether the 'destructive element' that is the  'spirit' of the Universe ahs intention--and, beyond that, malevolent  intention--toward any particular individual or is, instead, indiscriminate,  impartial, and indifferent. Depending (as a corollary) on the answer to that  question is the degree to which the particular individual can be judged  responsible for what he or she does or does not do. Newell sees variant  responses to the question or its corollary are provided not only by several  characters and voices in Lord Jim but also by a letter of Conrad's  and by excerpts from works by Arthur Schopenhauer, Thomas Hardy, James  Thomson ('B. V.'), and John Stuart Mill."

Mallikarjun  Patil. Indian Companion to Joseph Conrad. Authorspress, 2011.

Katarzyna Sokolowska. Conrad and Turgenev:Towards the Real. East European Monographs, 2011.

"Conrad and Turgenev: Towards the Real offers a comparative  analysis of Joseph Conrad's and Ivan Turgenev's output and focuses on their  outlooks and ideas concerning art, personality, and history. The analysis is  based on Conrad's and Turgenev's major novels such as Lord Jim, Nostromo, Almayer's Folly, An Outcast of the Islands, ‘The  Return,’ Victory, The Secret Agent and Rudin, Home  of the Gentry, One the Eve, Fathers and Sons, Smoke,  as well as selected novellas, short stories, essays and letters. The  affinities and differences between the two writers are discussed within the  framework of realism and modernism. Main problems addressed are the relation  between reality and representation in the two author's major works; the  concept of the self and its duality, and the pessimistic vision of history  devoid of purpose. The study is intended to highlight the affinities between  Conrad and Turgenev, to acquaint the readers with those aspects of  Turgenev's output that form the context for Conrad's oeuvre, to trace  the echoes of Turgenev's aesthetics and world view in Conrad's texts and to  show how Conrad, a disciple of great realist masters, balanced his new  modernist awareness against Turgenev who relies on the framework of  realism."

Agata Szczeszak-Brewer. Empire and Pilgrimage in Conrad and Joyce.  University Press of Florida, 2011.

"Though they were born a generation apart, Joseph Conrad and James Joyce  shared similar life experiences and similar literary preoccupations. Both  left their home countries at a relatively young age and remained lifelong  expatriates. Empire and Pilgrimage in Conrad and Joyce seeks to offer a  fresh look at these two modernist writers, revealing how their rejection of  organized religion and the colonial presence in their native countries  allowed them to destabilize traditional notions of power, colonialism, and  individual freedom in their texts. Throughout, Szczeszak-Brewer attempts to  demonstrate the ways in which these authors grapple with the same  issues--the grand narrative, paralysis, hegemonic practices, the  individual's pilgrimage toward unencumbered self-definition--within the  rigid bounds of imperial ideologies and myths. The result is an  investigation of the writings of Conrad and Joyce and of the larger literary  movement to which they belonged."