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Conrad and History$
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Richard Niland

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780199580347

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199580347.001.0001

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Conrad and the Philosophy of History: Youth, Poland, and the Romantic Past

Conrad and the Philosophy of History: Youth, Poland, and the Romantic Past

Chapter:
(p.15) 1 Conrad and the Philosophy of History: Youth, Poland, and the Romantic Past
Source:
Conrad and History
Author(s):

Richard Niland

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199580347.003.0002

This chapter introduces the Polish philosophical background to Conrad's life and writing. By outlining the importance of Hegel's philosophy of history in nineteenth-century Europe, the chapter analyses the Polish response to this thought giving a detailed study of Polish philosopher August Cieszkowski, a relatively neglected figure. The chapter then outlines the clash between Romanticism and Positivism in Conrad's Polish heritage before concluding with a discussion of how these conflicting attitude to history and the nation appear in The Nigger of the ‘Narcissus.’

Keywords:   Polish, Hegel, philosophy of history, nineteenth century, Cieszkowski, romanticism, positivism, history, nation, Nigger of the Narcissus

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