"A visionary exploration of the life and times of Joseph Conrad, his turbulent age of globalization and our own, from one of the most exciting young historians writing today. Migration, terrorism, the tensions between global capitalism and nationalism, and a communications revolution: these forces shaped Joseph Conrad's destiny at the dawn of the twentieth century. In this brilliant new interpretation of one of the great voices in modern literature, Maya Jasanoff reveals Conrad as a prophet of globalization. As an immigrant from Poland to England, and in travels from Malaya to Congo to the Caribbean, Conrad navigated an interconnected world, and captured it in a literary oeuvre of extraordinary depth. His life story delivers a history of globalization from the inside out, and reflects powerfully on the aspirations and challenges of the modern world. Joseph Conrad was born Jozef Teodor Konrad Korzeniowski in 1857, to Polish parents in the Russian Empire. At sixteen he left the landlocked heart of Europe to become a sailor, and for the next twenty years travelled the world's oceans before settling permanently in England as an author. He saw the surging, competitive "new imperialism" that planted a flag in almost every populated part of the globe. He got a close look, too, at the places "beyond the end of telegraph cables and mail-boat lines," and the hypocrisy of the west's most cherished ideals. In a compelling blend of history, biography, and travelogue, Maya Jasanoff follows Conrad's routes and the stories of his four greatest works -- The Secret Agent, Lord Jim, Heart of Darkness, and Nostromo. Genre-bending, intellectually thrilling, and deeply humane, The Dawn Watch embarks on a spell-binding expedition into the dark heart of Conrad's world--and through it to our own"-- Provided by publisher.
"From one of America's most exciting historians, the astonishing life and times of Joseph Conrad, a visionary guide to the turbulent age of globalization Shakespeare and the Elizabethans, Goethe and the Romantics -- great artists can become tutelary spirits for their age. As Maya Jasanoff argues, Joseph Conrad did not merely embody the soul of his time, he anticipated our own. Through his journeys from Poland to France, England to Malaysia, Belgium to Congo, he witnessed a turning point in international history. He learned first-hand about immigration, terrorism, imperial oppression, the dangers of nationalism, and the promise and peril of rapid technological innovation. His life and work present an inside history of globalization and eerily reflect the hypocrisies of the West's most cherished ideals. Joseph Conrad was born Jozef Teodor Konrad Korzeniowski in 1857, in a region of Poland then controlled by Russia, Europe's most autocratic empire. By 1862, his father had been arrested for fomenting revolution and his family sentenced to exile, where a series of miserable forced relocations precipitated the illnesses that killed both of Conrad's parents before he was eleven. At sixteen, fleeing an orphan's sadness, he abandoned everything he knew to pursue the unlikely dream of becoming a sailor. From the deck of a ship, he saw the surging, competitive "new imperialism" that placed a flag on every populated part of the world by century's end. He got a close look, too, at the places "beyond the end of telegraph cables and mail-boat lines," as empires expanded their reach into the so-called dark places of the earth"-- Provided by publisher.