Joseph Conrad: Under Western Eyes

(1710 words)

Conrad's four-part spy-novel, following on from his previous treatment of anarchists in England in The Secret Agent (1907), was informed by his early life in Russian-held Poland, his parents” radical political activities, and his education in Switzerland after his parents' death. It is a story concerned with revolutionaries in a Russian police-state under the Tsar. The narrator is an Englishman who teaches languages in Geneva. His story is composed of his own observations combined with the diary of a Russian student called Razumov, and he sees himself as “a mute witness of things Russian, unrolling their Eastern logic under my Western eyes”.

The hero of Under Western Eyes, Kyrilo Sidorovitch Razumov …

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Childs, Peter. "Under Western Eyes". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 17 July 2001
[, accessed 27 September 2016.]