Conrad on the Borderlands of Modernism: Maurice Greiffenhagen, Dorothy Richardson and the Case of Typhoon
Recently, borders and borderlands have become the common theoretical currency of anthropology, cultural, and postcolonial studies. But in this chapter I re-deploy these terms to offer an alternative perspective on familiar readings of Conrad’s contribution to literary modernism in the context of narrative experimentation and literary aesthetics at the turn of the twentieth century. As a focus, I will use Conrad’s initial publication of Typhoon, ﬁrst considering the writer’s encounter with the artist Maurice Greiffenhagen, who provided illustrations for Typhoon’s serialization in Pall Mall Magazine (1902) and later for The Rescue in Land and Water (1919).1 Second, I consider Typhoon’s impact on a later exponent of high modernism, the writer Dorothy Richardson, whose epic novel series, Pilgrimage, is associated with the representation of female consciousness.2 The relationships of both painter and writer to Conrad, occurring as they did on the “borderlands” of their mainstream artistic engagements, remain largely overlooked in critical discussions of Conrad. Yet a study of these artists’ protomodernist and modernist aesthetic practices reveals surprising conjunctions, emending our view of Conrad’s development of protomodernist writing while revising our assumptions about his impact on subsequent innovators of high modernist ﬁction.