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Document Description
Title'Ice or flame' : a thematic study of the fiction of Joseph Conrad
AuthorLaBossiere, Camille R.
DescriptionThesis (Ph.D.)--Memorial University of Newfoundland, 1976. English Language and Literature
Pagination353 leaves.
SubjectConrad, Joseph, 1857-1924--Criticism and interpretation
Degree GrantorMemorial University of Newfoundland. Dept. of English Language and Literature
DisciplineEnglish Language and Literature
NotesBibliography: leaves 331-353.
AbstractConrad abandons as means of ‘seeing' truth traditional formal logic and practical reason, idols worthipped in nineteenth-century positivist thought; and, like Calderon, he adopts a dream-logic of contradictions akin to Nicholas of Cusa's principle of the coincidentia oppositorum. Conrad, like a mystic, struggles ‘to see' the Inconceivable by the light of a synthetic logic and to translate into verbal symbols the unspeakable truth within and without. -- Conrad's logic is the dream-logic of the infinite, the logic of analogy. Expressed analogically as sea, dream, mirror, woman and jungle, the Infinite is mutually-reflected within the craftsman, mankind and the universe. Conrad's works are themselves dreams, dramatic performances of the absurd in a universal playhouse of multiple inter-changing optical and moral perspectives and identities, in which distinctions between reality and illusion, actor and spectator, good and evil, order and anarchy, dreaming and waking are ambiguous and obscure. Immersed in this dream-like, timeless element of contradictions, Conrad's protagonists, landsmen and seamen, initially ignorant of the truth of existence, become ‘raving somnambulists' afloat in a sea of 'ice or flame.' Their subsequent interior vision, a-learned unknowing of truth, coincides with catastrophe. -- The widespread failure of critics to perceive Conrad as a dream-logician and prose-poet of the Infinite, rather than as a craftsman of mere facts and surface logic, accounts for much of the mistranslation of Conrad's semantics of the Inscrutable, for the general misreading of his achievement within the tradition of Western letters, and for the mistaken charges that Conrad sentimentalized women and 'the seaman-self.' Conrad's ironic dream-logic, the logic of the Inscrutable, pervades the corpus of his work and provides its single underlying formal theme. Mankind, 'the intimate alliance of contradictions, ' is Conrad's perennial subject.
Resource TypeElectronic thesis or dissertation
FormatImage/jpeg; Application/pdf
SourcePaper copy kept in the Centre for Newfoundland Studies, Memorial University Libraries
Local Identifier76005975
RightsThe author retains copyright ownership and moral rights in this thesis. Neither the thesis nor substantial extracts from it may be printed or otherwise reproduced without the author's permission.
CollectionElectronic Theses and Dissertations
Scanning StatusCompleted
PDF File(62.52 MB) --
CONTENTdm file name45118.cpd