Joseph Conrad

Bibliographies and Bibliographers

Wanda Perczak's Polish Conrad Bibliography
Elena Sebezko's "The Socio-Psychological Novels of Joseph Conrad, 1904-1914: The Problem of the Hero and Conflict."
Mitzi C. Anderson - articles on Conrad published in South Africa.
Christopher Gogwilt's The Invention of the West: Joseph Conrad and the Double-Mapping of Europe and Empire
Geoffrey Galt Harpham's One of Us: The Mastery of Joseph Conrad
The Cambridge Companion to Joseph Conrad from Cambridge University Press
Conrad In Academe

Polish Conrad Bibliography:

After 17 years of working on the book Wanda Perczak, a librarian at the Nicolas Copernicus University in Torun, Poland, has published a limited edition bibliography of thousands of Polish works on Conrad.

Perczak, Wanda, Polska bibliografia conradowska 1896-1992 (Polish Conrad Bibliography, 1896-1992), Torun: Wydawnictwo Uniwersytetu Mikolaja Kopernika [1993], 365 s. (Torun: Nicolas Copernicus University Press,1993, 365 pp.) Somehow the Nicolas Copernicus University Press has managed to make a molehill out of a mountain by publishing in only 300 copies of one of the most important feats of bibliographical scholarship ever performed in the melding of the all important Conrad studies in Poland with those in the English speaking world. Wanda Perczak's seventeen year labor of love is by far the most important book to date fostering the long term symbiotic relationship between Anglo and Slavic Conrad scholars which will form a two way bridge to further enhance the cooperation which began with the work of Wit Tarnawski, MD in London just after World War II. Despite an enormous amount of material, for inexplicable reasons this is the first complete bibliography of Conrad studies in Poland and the previously inaccessible to the non-Polish reading scholar materials in the form of an English language gloss needs to be made generally available. Mrs. Perczak is working on an updated edition to cover a complete century of Polish scholarship from 1896 to 1996, but it may take years to get it to press, so a Polish-reading bibliographer is needed to make an English language gloss of the entire book available soon. Why is this rather esoteric little volume so vital? Because it is the first serious effort to list the work done by scholars in Conrad's native land, a land very proud of its English genius and extremely prolific in the production of studies of the novelist's life and work. Through this bibliography Conradists who do not know the Polish language will at least be made aware of the tremendous volume of material on Conrad available in his homeland which can easily be made available in translation.

Surprisingly, the only notice of the book seen to date was a single page review by Maria Mroczkiewicz published in The Conrad News of the Polish Conradian Club of the Society of Friends of the Polish Maritime Museum in Gdansk.

This masterful work opens with an introduction listing the primary bibliographical sources published in Poland and in the Polish diaspora. First come the book length studies with the details of reviews of each, unpublished masters' theses and doctoral dissertations, journals devoted entirely to Conrad, issues of periodicals devoted to Conrad, work in books and periodicals on Conrad's biography, creativity, Polishness and on individual works, ending with reviews of books on Conrad published in other languages. Wanda Perczak covers Conrad's impact on the art world in the form of prose and poetry, music and the plastic arts, film, radio, television and theatrical adaptations. She lists under "Cult" the major Conradists, foreign periodicals devoted to Conrad studies, organizations, memorials, conferences, lectures, meetings, awards, competitions and miscelanea, closing with an index of surnames and pen names appearing in her book.

Elena Sebezko's Work on Conrad

The JCF's Russian representative, Prof. Vladimir M. Bychenkov of the Department of Philosophy at the University of Moscow, faxed us his mother's Conrad bibliography, including an abstract of her 1970 Pedagogical Institute of Moscow doctoral dissertation, which is listed on our "Conrad in Academe" page, "The Socio-Psychological Novels of Joseph Conrad, 1904-1914: The Problem of the Hero and Conflict."

The abstract reads:

The author, taking into account the general problems of Conrad's evolution sees the specific task in the study of the mature work of the writer (1904-1914). The attempt is made on the basis of the analysis of his novels and short stories of this period to understand the specificity of his romantic-realism, of the narrative manner and style, the originality of characters and composition. An important place in the dissertation belongs to the consideration of Conrad's work on the crossing of the English, Polish and Russian traditions. Conrad-writer's development is analyzed against the broad background of English literary experience, in relationship to the world of Defoe, Hardy, Stevenson, Kipling, Galsworthy and Wells. Conrad's correspondence is used in the dissertation, with special attention being paid to the Polish correspondence of the writer and to the place of Poland in his works. The author considers Conrad's estimates of Turgenev, Tolstoi, Chekhov, the problem "Conrad-Dostoyevsky," the influence of "narodniki" literature upon the novel Under Western Eyes.

Sebezko's articles follow:

"Conrad's Heart of Darkness," in 15th Conference of the Pedagogical Institute of Kaluga, Book of Abstracts, Kaluga, 1968

"The Person and Society in Conrad's Nostromo" in The Problems of the Method, Style and Literary School in the Study and Teaching of Literature, Moscow, 1969

"Turgenev and Conrad" in The Pages of Russian Literature, Kaluga, 1969

"The Aesthetical and Literary Positions of Conrad" in The Problems of World Literature, Moscow, 1970

"The Hero and Conflict in Conrad's Novel, Victory" in The Problems of Russian and World Literature, Moscow, 1970

"Aesthetical Specificity in Conrad's Novel, Nostromo" in The Historico-Literary Collection of Articles, Kaluga, 1970

"The Problems and Aesthetical Specificity of Conrad's Novel, The Secret Agent" in The Problems of Russian and World Literature, Tula, 1972

"The Essence of the Tragic in Conrad's Early Short Stories" in The Problems of Specificity in the Genre, Minsk, 1974

"The Skill of Conrad as the Author of Short Stories" in The Problems of the Writer's Skill, Tula, 1975

"The Composition of Conrad's 'Youth'" in Book of Abstracts of the Pedagogical Institute of Moscow, Moscow, 1977

Forthcoming: An article, "Bunin and Conrad: Philosophy of Love"

Forthcoming: A monograph, from Conrad to Hill [sic]

Conrad in South Africa

Mitzi C. Anderson of the University of South Arica, Pretoria, the JCF's National Editor for South Africa, was kind enough to compile the following list of articles on Conrad published in her country:

Marshall, Paula, A Conradian Praisesong, reviewed by A. Konan, Critical Arts, Vol. 9, Issue 1, pp. 21-29, 1995. The abstract reads: "Reckons Paula Marshall is among those writers who work relentlessly to present positive images of Africa and the diaspora. Her efforts are best seen in "Praisesong for the Widow," appropriating themes, patterns and techniques from Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness. Analyses and discusses "Praisesong for the Widow."

Heyns, M, Expulsion and the Nineteenth Century Novel: The Scapegoat in the English Realist Fiction, reviewed by K. Scherzinger, UNISA ENGLISH STUDIES, Vol. 33, Issue 33, pp. 51-52, Sept., 1995. Heyns offers a challenging perspective on 19th century texts and refers to novels by Jane Austen, Charles Dickens, George Eliot, Joseph Conrad and Henry James. He explains the use of the scapegoat in texts, and the narrative community as opposed to the fictional community. The book is well researched and referenced and is published by Clarendon Press, 1994.

Meyer, S., "A Reading of Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness," UNISA English Studies, Vol. 33, Issue 2, pp. 27-32, Sept., 1995. The abstract reads: "Meyer analyses the colonizing process as it is portrayed in Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad. Heart of Darkness tries to fix a centre as a point of safe anchorage. The geocentric point in Heart of Darkness is a tussle between London and the Congo. The metaphysical centering of meaning takes place in Marlowe's quest, which is a search for truths and values. The semantic centre is invented with language revealing the real unsettled meaning."

Hooper, M. J., "Cultural Translation and Cross-border Readers: Ethnography and the Postcolonial Paradigm," Current Writing, Vol. 6, Issue 1, pp. 13-27, April, 1994. The annotation says that the article discusses cross-culturality and postcolonialism with reference to Heart of Darkness and includes Lewis Nkosi. The abstract reads: "Discussion of the elements of culture and language in the study and teaching of English literature, in terms of the text of Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad, and of the value of ethnography for literary analysis of cross culturality.

No author or editor, "Four Tales, by Joseph Conrad: A Study Guide," Guidelines Study Aids, The Blue Book Series, Craighall Guidelines, 1993, 32 pp., price, Rand 19.99. A note says the guide is to be used with Four Tales.


Christopher Gogwilt's July, 1995 Stanford University Press book, The Invention of the West: Joseph Conrad and the Double-Mapping of Europe and Empire, seems to be already out of print with no reprint date available. The card catalog description offered by Amazon Books reads:

By placing Joseph Conrad's fiction at the center of an examination of the term "the West," this study reconceives the major contours of Conrad's work to show how the contemporary commonplace idea of the West emerged around the turn of the century from the combined and related phenomena of European expansion and a crisis of democratic politics. The author argues that twentieth-century ideas of the West can be traced to the convergence of two distinctive discursive contexts: the "new imperialism" of the 1890's that gave wider currency to oppositions between East and West, and the influence of nineteenth-century Russian debates on Western European ideas of Europe. The work of Conrad is shown to be uniquely suited to studying the relation between these two cultural and political contexts, since they provided Conrad with his two great themes -- colonialism and revolution.


With the needs of a diverse, undergraduate student population in mind (many of whom do not have English as a first language) and aiming at currency in terms of present literary studies, we have published a new version of Heart of Darkness. It provides students with the basis for an investigation of literary representations of cultural others. Although our approach is particularly relevant for South African students in the light of this country's recently acquired post-colonial status, the new edition will also be of assistance to all students for whom Conrad's novela is not fully accessible linguistically and/or culturally. In addition to helpful notes and the glossing of possibly unfamiliar words, our introduction places the work in the context of its time. A section is devoted to an analysis of the Achebe/Conrad debate and responses to it. The volume was published in 1998 by the University of South Africa Press, Pretoria and was prescribed for study in 1999. (Submitted by the edition's editors, Deidre Byrne, Michael Titlestad and Mitzi Anderson, all of the University of South Africa).

The JCF is trying to make the book available through it's Conrad Books division. Please contact us if you are interested in purchasing or reviewing the book.


Geoffrey Galt Harpham's One of Us: The Mastery of Joseph Conrad, Univ. of Chicago Press, $14.95 (paper) "...has followed Conrad's most tenebrous themes, his darkest conceits, with pilgrim's passion. The compulsive coordinates of Conrad's vision -- men, ship, sea and wind -- are finely crafted into a compelling discussion of Conrad's ethic of political and psychic survival. The brilliant insights in this work come from Harpham's ability to immerse himself in the destruction and perversion of Conrad's writing, and return to the surface still carrying those echoes of the deep that make Conrad's work endlessly illuminating and unfathomable," according to Homi K. Bhabha of the Univ. of Chicago.


Cambridge University Press offers The Cambridge Companion to Joseph Conrad edited by J. H. Stape of the Japan Women's University of Tokyo in paperback for $17.95. Included in this "...introduction to the fiction of Joseph Conrad, one of the most influential novelists of the twentieth century...." are essays by Owen Knowles, Gail Fraser, Cedric Watts, J. H. Stape, Eloise Knapp Hay, Jacques Berthoud, Keith Carabine, Robert Hampton, Jacob Lothe, Andrea White, Kenneth Graham and Gene Moore.

Conrad In Academe:

The revision of the 1964 University of Kentucky Press bibliography of dissertations, theses and honors essays with abstracts where available progresses. Anyone aware of a Conrad paper which may have been missed is requested to notify the JCF immediately.

Return to the JCF Homepage.