This study of the philosophical aspects of Conrad's novels offers evidence that the works exhibit a powerful existential strain, foreshadowing many central concerns of 20th-century modernism. The author reveals that Conrad's fiction is replete with ideas from Sartre, Camus, Jaspers, Marcel, Heidegger, Kierkegaard and Nietzsche. Like Camus, Conrad suggests that man, thrown by chance into an absurd universe, must rebel against the condition of mere functionalism induced by circumbient obstacles which include other people, who should be used to enhance one's life through existential commitment, fidelity and communication. The author points out Conrad's emphasis on the supremacy of emotions over abstract rationality, with particular stress on feelings such as alienation, despair, anxiety and nausea - and their conquest by Heideggerian resolve that is able to transcend nihilism and provide a personal sense of self-justification.
List of Plates - Preface - List of Abbreviations - Being in the World - The Quest for Selfhood - Condemned to be Free - Being with Others - Epilogue - Notes - Select Bibliography - Index