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'Who's that Fellow Lynn': Conrad and Robert Lynd

Niland, Richard (2008) 'Who's that Fellow Lynn': Conrad and Robert Lynd. The Conradian : the journal of the Joseph Conrad Society (UK), 33 (1). pp. 130-144. ISSN 0951-2314

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Abstract

While there may be a connection between Lynd's review and Conrad's treatment of Poland and nationality in A Personal Record, it is important to point out that writing on such subjects was not a dramatic departure for him. Nationality and national identity had already featured prominently in his writing. Allan H. Simmons (2006) has pointed out that Conrad was alert to concepts of Englishness, with The Nigger of the 'Narcissus' engaging with the connection between English maritime traditions and national identity. Nostromo presented a wondrously complex vision of a South American nation and the myriad claims to authentic or intangible national identities existing in any given state. In his November 1904 review of Nostromo in The Speaker, Edward Garnett argued that Conrad's novel presented 'a whole national drama' (Sherry, ed., 1973: 175). The Secret Agent ironically observed the activities of marginal, nationally diverse figures at the heart of the British Empire. With "Amy Foster," that novel constitutes Conrad's study of foreignness in English culture, an exposé of the "insular nature of Great Britain" (212). And, perhaps most clearly of all, 'Autocracy and War' (1905) reproduced the rhetoric of nineteenth-century Polish Messianism that had dominated the intellectual climate of Conrad's youth.