Magazine
Latest Issue

Why Conrad’s The Secret Agent is the perfect novel for our time

Written after the Heart of Darkness, the novelist's secret agent thriller gains a new relevance today

By Will Self   June 2019

Joseph Conrad's 1907 spy thriller has a surprising degree of relevance today

 

There is a passage in Siegfried Sassoon’s wartime diaries in which he recounts the experience of sheltering in a dugout on the Western Front during a savage German bombardment, with a group of officers—and men—all of whom were reading the works of Joseph Conrad. At the time Conrad was one of a handful of writers capable of bridging the gap between paramount artistic ambition—repurposed for the machine age by Ezra Pound with his slogan,…

Register today to continue reading

You’ve hit your limit of three articles in the last 30 days. To get seven more, simply enter your email address below.

You’ll also receive our free e-book Prospect’s Top Thinkers 2020 and our newsletter with the best new writing on politics, economics, literature and the arts.

Prospect may process your personal information for our legitimate business purposes, to provide you with newsletters, subscription offers and other relevant information.

Click here to learn more about these purposes and how we use your data. You will be able to opt-out of further contact on the next page and in all our communications.

We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to letters@prospect-magazine.co.uk

More From Prospect