The Intricate Art of Being... Joseph Conrad.

Essay by Kaz_RSAHigh School, 11th grade March 2003

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What Makes Joseph Conrad Tick? Do we really know all there is to know about him? We interviewed him to give the world a more accurate look at his life, his work and his complex personality.

Here is our tribute to a man of brilliance...

Conrad was born on December 3rd, 1857, by the name Jozef Teodor Konrad Korezeniowski at Berdicow in the Tsarist Russian occupied Poland. From there it was a bumpy ride along a very controversial and millitant road. His father was a poet and a translator arrested for patriotic conspiracy, thereafter sentenced to a penal exile in Siberia. Eveline, Conrad's mother, petitioned to go with his father (who had helped organise a secret Polish Committee) with Conrad in tow. Three years later she died and his uncle, Tadeusz, took care of him. Another three years later Conrad and his father were allowed to return from exile to Lumberg.

" I have very little recollection of those days... but what I do remember is how great it was to be allowed back into society. My only problem was that it was a society I had never really known and, therefore, could not love." says Conrad. As one can imagine this caused a severe lack of patriotism towards his "home". In 1869 his father died and his grandmother became his guardian, from here he received an education from a tutor at the University of Cracow and once on his feet he packed up and journeyed to Marseilles to complete his dream of being a sailor.

He became a trainee for the French Navy and travelled to the West Indies and Central America in 1874. Here he met Dominic Cervoni... the original model of many characters found in Joseph Conrad's Books (Jean peyrol in Rover, Nostromo in Nostromo, Attilio...