Conversations with the Prince of Russia (fiction): Modes of storytelling and Joseph Conrad (dissertation)

Lorraine O'Brien

Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis

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[Truncated] The novel “Conversations with the Prince of Russia” is written using realist and epistolary narrative conventions, insofar as emails are epistolary. It represents the experiences and communications of Josef Kozak, an investigative journalist working for an international news agency, and Jess Groves, a West Australian woman teaching, and painting, in Fremantle. The work of Joseph Conrad is central to both characters. Jess finds pleasure in reading Conrad’s work. To her, he is the Prince of Russia, as a seaman is reputed to have described him: a Polish man who survived the exile of both parents, who travelled the world as a sailor, spoke in French and represented, in English prose, many of the literary and political complexities of his time. Jess reads his work and realizes that even in their contradictory nature and historicity, they help to define her own sense of the world. She seeks solace in the work and life of Conrad when faced with loss and loneliness. Josef finds the words of Conrad speak most eloquently of his growing desire for Jess, his estrangement from his family, his distance from Australia and the political intrigues he confronts in the course of his work. The immersion in Conrad’s fictive world affords both characters a common discourse and facilitates their complicated and highly textual romance.
Original languageEnglish
QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
Publication statusUnpublished - 2014

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