Autobiography as evasion: Joseph Conrad's 'A Personal Record'

Prescott, Lynda (2004). Autobiography as evasion: Joseph Conrad's 'A Personal Record'. Journal of Modern Literature, 28(1) pp. 177–188.




The article presents the autobiographical context in Joseph Conrad's "A Personal Record." A Personal Record was written and serialized (in the English Review) during 1908-1909. Conrad's changing intentions for this work, and his later additions to it a "Familiar Preface" in 1911 and an "Author's Note" in 1919 reveal something of his anxieties about his reputation as a writer and about his national identity as a Pole who has become a British subject (and writes in English). The slightly cryptic note in his allusion to nationality in the Waliszewski letter modulates, in "A Personal Record," to more subtle forms d of evasiveness, but at this stage in his career the divisions in his sensibility were clearly hard to reconcile.

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