Course | Joseph Conrad: Speaking of His Own Time and to Our Own [In Progress]

Registration Price Qty
Tuitionshow details + $250.00 (USD)   Expired
Member Tuitionshow details + $225.00 (USD)   Expired
Delancey Society Tuitionshow details + $225.00 (USD)   Expired

Date / Time

  • June 9, 2020
    6:00 pm - 8:00 pm


2008-2010 Delancey Place, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 19103, United States



Henry James said to Joseph Conrad, “No-one has known—for intellectual use—the things you know, and you have, as the artist of the whole matter, an authority that no one has approached.”  More than almost any of the other major writers of his time, Conrad was a man with considerable experience of the rapidly evolving world of the late 19th century.  He was born into a Poland that existed only in its people’s historic memory (his citizenship was Russian).  From ages 5-11 he experienced, with his parents, life in the Russian gulag.  He had a 20 year career as a sailor, with one trip up the Congo river.

In this course we’ll study three of Conrad’s major works.  “Heart of Darkness” explores issues of colonialism, bureaucracy and race.  Lord Jim appears to be a typical 19th century colonial adventure-romance while questioning the presumptions of that genre and exploring issues of personal responsibility.  The Secret Agent, the only one of Conrad’s major works set in Britain, strongly foreshadows the work of later writers like Graham Greene and John le Carré in its exploration of the world of spies, double agents and the cynical manipulation of political opinion by both foreign powers and local authorities.



Joseph Conrad syllabus


About the Instructors

Raymond Brebach is an emeritus professor of English at Drexel University.  His research has centered on the work of Joseph Conrad and he is especially interested in Conrad’s manuscripts.  Over the last 35 years he has done considerable work for The Cambridge Edition of the Works of Joseph Conrad, serving as contributing editor, and he is assistant editor of  ’Twixt Land and Sea.


About Rosenbach Courses

Revisit beloved classics or experience new ones with Rosenbach courses. Book lovers delve into fiction, history, and poetry with the guidance of a literary expert and the company of other readers. See all upcoming courses.