September 2004 Joseph Conrad Conferences

    In reporting on the conferences in Pisa and in Opole, I have decided, rather than summarizing the papers given, many of which will be published in full in the post-conference volumes currently in preparation, to give an idea of the future direction of some Conrad research. My aim is to show a couple of examples of what may be appearing at future Conrad conferences, work currently in progress, rather than work completed.

    Therefore, though the Italian and Polish conference schedules are attached for the convenient reference of this website’s readers, the material which I think may be especially useful to Japanese scholars is the three documents by Jakob Lothe, Richard Niland, and Fausto Ciompi.

    Jakob Lothe’s work on narrative is widely known and respected in Japan. For that reason, Japanese scholars will be interested to know about his forthcoming major project. And the Project Proposal Professor Lothe has most kindly made available to the Tokyo/Kyoto Conrad Group may also provide a valuable model of how such a proposal is set out.

    Richard Niland’s name will not be known to most Japanese Conrad scholars. He is currently a post-graduate student at Oxford University, and my idea in asking him for a summary of his current research and future directions he intends to take is that his example may be encouraging to young Japanese students. When so much of the published material available is written by established scholars it may well be of interest to young researchers to be put in touch with the work of peers outside Japan, and also to see an example of the work of a younger scholar presenting at an international conference.

    Fausto Ciompi’s paper on the Italian reception of Conrad is included for a rather different reason. I hope it may inspire a reader of this website to undertake a similar survey of Joseph Conrad’s reception in Japan. In the Japanese case similarly, the needed survey would trace the history and pattern of Conrad translations as well as the responses of Japanese readers, including readers who were themselves artists and intellectuals, as well as the academic scholars. Such a critical survey would be very timely, as Conrad is increasingly being used to focus a reassessment of the late 19th and early 20th century Pacific as an area, rather than as a collection of disparate nations and separate histories.

(Ann Lane Bradshaw, Japan Women’s University)