Conference Reports:国際会議参加報告
* The Twenty-Seventh Annual London Conference, 12-14 July 2001
Yoko Okuda
The Joseph Conrad Society (UK) held its Twenty-Seventh Annual International Conrad Conference at the Polish Social and Cultural Association (P.O.S.K.), London, on 12-14 July 2001. Altogether, about twenty-five participants from Holland, Sweden, Italy, the United States, the Republic of South Africa, Korea, and Japan, as well as from the United Kingdom, took part, including a number of young graduate students. In the opening speech, Keith Carabine, the conference organizer, reported the sad news that Hans van Marle had died in Amsterdam on Saturday, 7 July at the age of seventy-nine.

The conference consisted of eleven plenary sessions, a guided tour of the HQS Wellington, a presentation of a radio broadcast of Orson Welles' 'Heart of Darkness' (1945), and the showing of the film adaptation of The Rover (1967) directed by Terence Young. Papers covered a wide variety of perspectives, ranging from intertextuality and narrative technique to popular culture and postcolonialism, and the works discussed included Nostromo, The Secret Agent, 'Heart of Darkness', 'Falk', and A Set of Six.

The first session began with Mary Morzinski's paper which examined the intertextuality of 'Heart of Darkness' and Plato's The Republic, focusing on the shadow and sun imagery, followed by Stephen Arkin's analysis of the unsettling effect of the narrative structure of 'Falk', and Helen Smith's discussion of Conrad's Foreword to Turgenev as a personal letter to Edward Garnett, taking issue with his emphasis on Conrad's Slavic qualities.

In the second session, Paul Russell looked at the self-questioning aspect of Conrad's short stories, and Robert Hampson demonstrated how Conrad's stories in A Set of Six differ from contemporary magazine stories in plot, structure and narrative technique, while Keith Carabine examined the deceptive nature of Conrad's short stories, often playing with the reader's expectations.

In the following session, Stephen Donovan addressed Conrad's relationship with contemporary advertising, showing slides of advertisements, some of which might have influenced on Conrad's works. Anthony Fothergill, replacing Andrea White, introduced some interesting readings of Conrad's works preserved in the diaries and journals of some German readers, such as a member of the German U-boat and an army conscript.

The second day of the conference started with John Lester's comparative study of 'A Terrible Strange Bed' by Wilkie Collins and Conrad's 'The Inn of Two Witches', pointing out some of the differences in detail, such as the superiority of Conrad's visual percept-iveness. After the coffee break, Gail Fincham and Merry Pawlowski gave a joint presentation on 'Heart of Darkness'. First, Gail Fincham argued the possibility of Conrad's having used some of the themes in The Republic in 'Heart of Darkness', such as justice vs. tyranny, ethics vs. politics, and psychic discovery. Merry Pawlowski examined in detail how Conrad revised the observations of such explorers as Mungo Park, Livingston, and Stanley, and, in particular, how he ignored their observations on African women.

In the next session, Rodie Sudbury looked at the relationship between Conrad and his wife, introducing letters exchanged between Jessie and Edward Garnett, and came to the conclusion that Jessie absorbed energy from and used it for Conrad.

After this session, we went to visit HQS Wellington, moored at Temple Stairs on the Thames, where we were joined by Owen Knowles. One of the former captains of the ship took us on a guided tour and showed us some interesting items, such as the steering wheel of the Otago and a model of the Torrens, and afterwards invited us to tea and biscuits.

The final day of the conference opened with Rod Hartgers' close textual analysis of the first paragraph of Nostromo, demonstrating how the intruding voice contains both colonial and native voices. After coffee, we listened to a half-an-hour radio programme of 'Heart of Darkness' broadcast on 13 March 1945, in which Orson Wells plays both the parts of Marlow and Kurtz. This was followed by Susan Spiedel's comparative study of Conrad's The Secret Agent and Hitchcock's film version, Sabotage, showing how Hitchcock has replaced the novel's use of ironic narrative technique by such devices as screen-in-the-screen and Cockney jokes.

In the eighth session, the film adaptation of The Rover (1967), directed by Terence Young and starring Rita Hayworth and Anthony Quinn, was shown by Gene Moore, who regards it as the best film adaptation of Conrad's works.

In the final session, Linda Dryden examined the influence of 'Heart of Darkness' on modern popular culture, such as the film, Star Trek. Next, Sid Reid addressed the editorial problems of 'A Smile of Fortune', pointing out the superiority of the typescript over the manuscript. Finally, Abdul Bahani, replacing Alison Wheatley, discussed the influence of the music of some composers, such as Wagner and Puccini, on Conrad.

The traditional vin d'honneur was held in the Conrad Room as customary, and Gene Moore and Gena Maresch gave us some moving reminiscences of Hans van Marle. Later, a few new acquisitions of prints depicting Conrad and Henry James were introduced. The conference ended successfully with a well-attended and very lively gala dinner held in a private room, at the end of which Rick Gekowski gave an entertaining after dinner speech entitled 'Adventures in the Book Trade,' telling us how he became a second-hand bookseller, and informing us of the current situation of the second-hand books by Conrad.