Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name




First Advisor

Jan Gorak


Central Europe, Cultural Geography, exile, Joseph Conrad, Milan Kundera, Poland


Author: Torgeir Ehler

Title: One of Us: Joseph Conrad's Under Western Eyes and A Personal Record

Advisor: Jan Gorak

Degree Date: June 2009


This present work explores the relationship of Joseph Conrad's status as a Polish exile to his creative and biographical work. Its main focus is on the tandem publications of the novel Under Western Eyes and his autobiographical volume A Personal Record, both published within a year of each other and written contemporaneously. The first chapter is a short biographical survey of Conrad's life and addresses some later biographical works by his wife, among others. An overview of critical works that deal with Under Western Eyes is presented in the second chapter. An investigation into narrative structure and its use in creating a heteroglossic text is investigated in the third chapter. How this strategy reflects Conrad's personal stake in the novel and how the novel and its creation affected the author's ability to cope with his own homo-duplex geographies is also addressed herein. The fourth chapter then concerns itself with Conrad's attempt to create a truly heteroglossic, autobiographically based persona for public consumption in Britain, while keeping true to his function as a `cultural bridge'. An early effort at communicating the exile's predicament and failure to bridge the cultural divide in the story `Amy Foster' is taken up in the fifth and final chapter. The legacy of Conrad's effort is also discussed herein as relevant to the work of Milan Kundera and Erich Maria Remarque.


Recieved from ProQuest

Rights holder

Torgeir Ehler

File size

223 p.

File format





British and Irish literature, Slavic literature, European history