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„The black scepticism of the grave“: Die Todesmetaphysik in Joseph Conrads The Rescue

Søren R. Fauth, Børge Kristiansen

Pages 181 - 204

In <em>The Rescue</em>, the story of Lingard delves into the conflict between Conrad’s ethical principles and his metaphysical beliefs. Lingard serves as a representation of Conrad’s moral values, including fidelity, loyalty, credibility, and solidarity. Beneath these moral principles, however, lies Conrad’s nihilistic metaphysical perspective, characterized by darkness, which essentially renders all moral aspirations meaningless by positing nothingness as the ultimate reality. Lingard’s transformation is marked by the way darkness asserts itself on the narrative level through characters like Captain Jörgenson, Mrs. Travers, his own visions, gradually crippling and negating Lingard’s moral resolve. By the conclusion of the novel, Lingard has forsaken his moral endeavor, turning away from the visible world and finding solace in a death-like state that aligns with the nothingness of darkness. In this, Conrad’s nihilistic metaphysical outlook prevails, undermining and reducing his ethical ideals to mere wishful thinking and hollow illusions.


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