Andrew W. Mellon Undergraduate Fellow in the Humanities
2002—2003 Forum on The Book
College House Humanities Fellow (Spruce)
THE POLISH JOSEPH CONRAD
Joseph Conrad, one of the most important English novelists of the 20th century, was in fact born in Russia-controlled Poland in 1857. He departed from his homeland at the age of 17, and after traveling to various exotic locales he settled in England. Despite this early departure, Podkul asserts that events, people, places, and movements within the Poland of his time influenced his writing. Such influence has yet to be adequately gauged by the academic community. Thus, Podkul's project is explicitly concerned with uncovering the social, literary, and political contexts surrounding Conrad's early years, as well as identifying similarities between the writer's life in Poland and the structure, imagery, themes, content, and characters of his most prominent works.