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 Volume 16/1: includes forum "Victorian Women Traveling"
 January 2018

 Volume 15/2
 June 2017

 Volume 15/1: includes forum "Audionarratology"
 January 2017

 Volume 14/2: includes forum "Modern Jewish Spaces"
 June 2016

 Volume 14/1: includes forum "Saul Bellow as a Novelist of Ideas"
 January 2016

 Volume 13/2: includes forum "Comics and the Canon"
 June 2015

 Volume 13/1: includes forum "TheGhetto as a Victorian Text"
 January 2015

 Volume 12/2: includes forum "The Novel and Theories of Love"
 June 2014

 Volume 12/1
 January 2014

 Volume 11/2: includes forum "Translating Philip Roth"
 June 2013

 Volume 11/1
 January 2013

 Volume 10/2: includes forum
 June 2012

 Volume 10/1: includes forum "Fernando Pessoa and the Issue of Heteronymy
 January 2012

 Volume 9/2: Dickens: Uneasy Pleasures
 June 2011

 Volume 9/1
 January 2011

 Volume 8/2: British Women Writers
 June 2010

 Volume 8/1 includes forum "The Ethics of Temporality"
 January 2010

 Volume 7/2: Eyewitness Narratives
 June 2009

 Volume 7/1
 January 2009

 Volume 6/2: Narrative Knowing, Living, Telling
 June 2008

 Volume 6/1
 January 2008

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 June 2007

 Volume 5/1
 January 2007

 Volume 4/2: Narrative as a Way of Thinking
 June 2006

 Volume 4/1
 January 2006

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 June 2005

 Volume 3/1
 January 2005

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 June 2004

 Volume 2/1
 January 2004

 Volume 1/2
 June 2003

 Volume 1/1
 January 2003

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Updated Up To 18/01/2017
Volume 8, Number 1 (January 2010) : 67--90
Conrad’s “Woman as Truth” Topos
“Supposing Truth Is a Woman -- What Then?”
William Freedman
Rubric A: Topoi

Abstract

 

That Conrad’s novels and shorter tales are rife with dangerous women has often been noted. Typically, the beauty, exoticism and richly sexual allure of these women threaten the protagonists’ self-possession that is tantamount, for them and for Conrad, to masculine integrity and self worth. But woman in these fictions constitutes a threat not only to the protagonists’ success, survival, or well being, but to the coherence of Conrad’s texts. Deeply embedded in an ancient and persistent tradition that identifies woman with truth itself, woman in Conrad is an emblem of dangerous or forbidden knowledge. Her pervasive presence, then, is both a symbol and an effective cause of the narratives’ ambivalent attitude toward revelation, discovery, and truth. Fascinating, promising, and seductive, like truth itself, she draws the internal seeker and the author on. Menacing and forbidden, she thwarts all efforts at possession. Beginning with evidence of the explicit identification of woman with truth in Conrad’s fictions, the essay focuses on the literary, philosophical, mythic, and psychological history of the equation, connecting her variegated representations in the texts with comparable images of woman in these sources.

 


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