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Joseph Conrad

L'Epoque Conradienne

With the collaboration of of Ned Sparrow of the Baltimore Art Institute we have received at the request of Anne Luyat of the University of Avignon the 1996 edition of the Conrad Society of France's journal, L'Epoque Conradienne from Jean Pierre Moreau of the University of Limoges. While we look for someone whose French is above the doctoral tool level to review the volume, we note with interest the following:

1. The issue is devoted to papers presented at a May, 1996 conference at Lyon devoted to "Conrad and the Epistemological Break."

2. Jeremy Hawtorne of the University of Trondheim, Norway presented "Breaking Loose from Oneself: Perspectival Shift as Epistemological Break in Conrad," (pp. 7-27) in which he mentions the connections between the "Unabomber" trial and The Secret Agent, adding, "...According to a report circulated on the internet, Conrad's novel - in which 'a mad professor ditches academia and fashions a bomb' - may have been read by the accused man [Theodore Kaczynski] along with Conrad's other works 'about a dozen times'. The accused man is alleged to have used the alias 'Conrad' or 'Konrad' at least three times while staying at a hotel in Sacramento where he allegedly went to mail bombs. Verloc never thought of the possibility of sending his bombs by post."

3. Reynold Humphries of the Universite Charles de Gaulle - Lille III contributed "Tarrying with History: The Secret Agent as Agency of Contradiction" (pp. 57-68) in which he refers to his own article, "Is there Life before Capitalism? Fetishism and Reification in Nostromo," Q/W/E/R/T/Y, Universite de Pau, 1992 (pp. 135-141) and Rebecca Scott's "The Woman in Black: Race and Gender in The Secret Agent," The Conradian, Amsterdam/Atlanta: Editions Rodopi, Vol. 17, No. 2, Spring, 1993 (pp. 39-58), both a little out of the way.

4. Frederic Regard of the Universite Jean Monnet -Saint - Ettienne contributed a piece entitled "Facing the Image: Joseph Conrad's Ineluctable Modality of the Visible" (pp. 69-91), in which he quotes Frederic Jameson's "Romance and Reification: Plot Construction and Ideological Closure in Joseph Conrad," in The Political Unconscious: Narrative as a Socially Symbolic Act, 1981, rpt. London, Routledge, 1989, p. 208. Other interesting references are Claude Maisonnat's "L'Ancre conte la plume: l'ecriture double de Joseph Conrad", Josine Paccaud-Hughet's "Conrad, un moderne?" and his own "The Function of the Painting in Heart of Darkness" (pp.53-90) in Melange Conradienne, Grenoble, Grenoble UP, 1992. Also interesting are references to Vincent Pecora's "Heart of Darkness and the Phenomenology of Voice," Novel, 20, 2, 1987, pp. 123-37 and J. Hillis Miller's Heart of Darkness Revisited," in Tropes, Parables, Performatives, New York, Harvester, Wheatsheaf, 1990.

5. Josiane Paccaud-Hughuet of the Universite Lumiere-Lyon-II who contributed the volume's preface also contributed the fourth and final essay in English, "The Master Discourse and the Irreverent Tongue in "An Outpost of Progress" (pp. 94-114).

6. The volume closes with a review of the J. H. Stape and Owen Knowles edition of A Portrait in Letters: Correspondence to and about Conrad, Rodopi, Amsterdam and Atlanta, 1996 by Anne Luyat of the Universite d'Avignon and two theses abstracts in French which are here reprinted in the original while we await a translation for inclusion in the Conrad in Academe volume of the Thesis Bibliography Series (TBS) scheduled to appear late this year.

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