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Under Western Eyes (Penguin Classics) af…
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Under Western Eyes (Penguin Classics) (original 1911; udgave 2007)

af Joseph Conrad (Forfatter)

MedlemmerAnmeldelserPopularitetGennemsnitlig vurderingOmtaler
1,629218,354 (3.82)81
Political turmoil convulses 19th-century Russia, as Razumov, a young student preparing for a career in the czarist bureaucracy, unwittingly becomes embroiled in the assassination of a public official. Asked to spy on the family of the assassin -- his close friend -- he must come to terms with timeless questions of accountability and human integrity.… (mere)
Medlem:lucymdickinson
Titel:Under Western Eyes (Penguin Classics)
Forfattere:Joseph Conrad (Forfatter)
Info:Penguin Classics (2007), Edition: Revised, 343 pages
Samlinger:Study Door, Dit bibliotek
Vurdering:
Nøgleord:Ingen

Work Information

Under Western Eyes af Joseph Conrad (1911)

  1. 10
    Mesteren fra Petersborg : roman af J. M. Coetzee (giovannigf)
    giovannigf: Conrad's most Dostoevsky-esque novel (supposedly written as a retort to Crime and Punishment) shares some of the themes and subjects of Coetzee's novel in which Dostoevsky is the protagonist. Both will help you when you're jonesin' for more Dostoevsky.
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The slippery entry and exit from the variety of characters in Under Western Eyes distinguishes the novel in their number, not in the employment of the formal device itself, which Conrad frequently employed. For here, not only does Conrad dwell among a nest of revolutionaries and expats turned out from their homeland, Russia, but in particular on the psychology of the two key characters, Natalia, the sister of a revolutionary who himself was caught and executed because of the betrayal by Kyrilo, a fellow student of the victim. Forced into exile himself, Kyrilo comes face to face with Natalia and her mother in Geneva. It is there that all the barriers to guilt fall away and Kyrilo and Natalia come to terms with themselves.

Of the host of plotters, schemers, and poseurs that populate the novel's pages, only Natalia seems to emerge intact, sure of her mission in life and duty to others. The rest prove to be nothing more than psychotics whose damage runs from the severe in, yes, Kyrilo and Nicotin to the recoverable in Sophia and Peter.

One note about Natalia. Her role as a mediator of sorts, a heart that unites the workers of the hand with the workers of the mind would be taken up later, with the figure of Maria, in Fritz Lang's film, Metropolis. In that case, the leader of yet another totalitarian ideology would find it an appealing metaphor around which to organize society in Germany during the 1930s. ( )
  PaulCornelius | Apr 12, 2020 |
The thing you have to be prepared for when reading Conrad's political novels, is that he was writing 100 years ago and a disturbing amount of what he portrays fits the present day, and probably always will. I suppose I should see this as the mark of a talented author--he's really just describing people, and we really don't change--but I can't read one of these without becoming somewhat disillusioned by just how little has changed in 100 years of "progress".

Anyway, to the story. This is the least action-packed of Conrad's works that I've read, and it's kind of refreshing. All the real "action" happens before the book starts, and to a character who barely appears in the book himself. The story, instead, is about the consequences for everyone else around him. It's a brilliant ruse to focus on what Conrad does best anyway: writing about emotions and interpersonal conflict, honesty, suspicion, honour and malice. And in the end, the small story of turbulence in a few peoples' lives illustrates much better than any broad narrative could the astonishing power of abstract ideas like patriotism and political systems to crush the individuals caught up in their way.

My one frustration with this book, in common with several of Conrad's others, is that at times he gives the narrator character himself too much attention, and manages to come across rather pompous as a result. I think an editor could have improved this book by cutting a few soliloquies out.... ( )
  eldang | Sep 18, 2019 |
The thing you have to be prepared for when reading Conrad's political novels, is that he was writing 100 years ago and a disturbing amount of what he portrays fits the present day, and probably always will. I suppose I should see this as the mark of a talented author--he's really just describing people, and we really don't change--but I can't read one of these without becoming somewhat disillusioned by just how little has changed in 100 years of "progress".

Anyway, to the story. This is the least action-packed of Conrad's works that I've read, and it's kind of refreshing. All the real "action" happens before the book starts, and to a character who barely appears in the book himself. The story, instead, is about the consequences for everyone else around him. It's a brilliant ruse to focus on what Conrad does best anyway: writing about emotions and interpersonal conflict, honesty, suspicion, honour and malice. And in the end, the small story of turbulence in a few peoples' lives illustrates much better than any broad narrative could the astonishing power of abstract ideas like patriotism and political systems to crush the individuals caught up in their way.

My one frustration with this book, in common with several of Conrad's others, is that at times he gives the narrator character himself too much attention, and manages to come across rather pompous as a result. I think an editor could have improved this book by cutting a few soliloquies out.... ( )
1 stem eldang | Aug 11, 2019 |
Joseph Conrad is a master of imprinting settings and characters whose minds and appearances
are both vivid and demanding.

Unfortunately, in Under Western Eyes, none of the characters inspire compassion or much interest.

Worse still, the plot drags on and on with scant suspense and a patchy and unsatisfying ending.

If only Razumov had tossed the brown packet of rubles to a poor person,
readers might have some respect for his evolving character.

Instead, we are faced with a man who makes an unenviable decision to turn in
a murderer who has killed to advance a cause which Razumov actually believes in.

He doesn't want this man who has come to him for safety and help to ruin his life;
he does that himself. ( )
  m.belljackson | Feb 19, 2017 |
At times slow, as with much of Conrad, but still, preferable for me to Dostoevsky.

My YouTube review is here: https://youtu.be/fnDmJ0qjS4A ( )
  soylentgreen23 | Jul 3, 2016 |
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Joseph Conradprimær forfatteralle udgaverberegnet
Hawthorn, JeremyIntroduktionmedforfatternogle udgaverbekræftet
Hawthorn, JeremyRedaktørmedforfatternogle udgaverbekræftet
Makovsky, VlaadimirOmslagsfotograf/tegner/...medforfatternogle udgaverbekræftet
Meyers, JeffreyIntroduktionmedforfatternogle udgaverbekræftet
Mosley, FrancisIllustratormedforfatternogle udgaverbekræftet
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Political turmoil convulses 19th-century Russia, as Razumov, a young student preparing for a career in the czarist bureaucracy, unwittingly becomes embroiled in the assassination of a public official. Asked to spy on the family of the assassin -- his close friend -- he must come to terms with timeless questions of accountability and human integrity.

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