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Conrad and Intellectual Movements

Niland, Richard (2009) Conrad and Intellectual Movements. In: Joseph Conrad in Context. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, pp. 163-170. ISBN 0521887922

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Abstract

In The Historical Novel (1937), Georg Lukács wrote that Walter Scott 'had no knowledge of Hegel's philosophy and had he come across it would probably not have understood a word' (Lukács, p. 30). Conversely, Conrad's fiction incorporated a wealth of historical, philosophical, and aesthetic ideas resulting from the writer's overt dialogue with nineteenth-century European thought. The philosophy of Rousseau, Herder, Hegel, the Polish Romantics and Positivists, Schopenhauer, Nietzsche, and Bergson represents the intellectual backdrop to Conrad's explorations of individual and communal identity.