Conrad and Exploratory Science – The Conradian, 2008

“Conrad and Exploratory Science.” The Conradian 33.1 (2008): 43-56.

“An innocent, exploratory science has ceased to exist because it has become a thing of legend. To flourish in the inert and corpulent world of The Secret Agent, science must adapt, evolving into the sinister and egoistic science of The Professor. Stevie, the guileless and ‘truth-seeking’ scientist of Conrad’s idealism in the Preface to The Nigger of the ‘Narcissus,’ cannot survive in such a milieu, where all insist upon self-delusion […] Lord Jim and The Secret Agent seem regretfully to inform the reader of the absence of an alternative: the wide-eyed purity of scientific inquiry is an illusion, a fanciful and childish ideal now dead, and yet, imperishable and tantalizing, hovering like a preserved butterfly, ‘defying destruction…displaying a splendor unmarred by death.'”

Read the rest.


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