Joseph Conrad’s Prose in the Context of Contemporary Philosophy of Responsibility

Joseph Conrad’s Prose in the Context of Contemporary Philosophy of Responsibility




Joseph Conrad, responsibility, ethics


Referring to the methodology associated with the history of ideas, the Author of the article presents the philosophy of responsibility in Joseph Conrad’s prose, focusing on two novels: “The Shadow-Line” and “Lord Jim”. He argues with certain previous interpretations of both works and brings out the correspondence of the writer’s intuition with the reflections on responsibility formulated in the writings of contemporary philosophers of responsibility, especially Emmanuel Lévinas and Dietrich Bonhoeffer.

The philosophy of responsibility – which has been experiencing a dynamic development in recent years – sheds new light on Joseph Conrad’s works. In the world he created in his novels, the phenomenon of responsibility shines with various shades of meaning, which so far have not been explored by researchers. Hence a handful of reflections below.

Author Biography

Wojciech Kudyba, Cardinal Stefan Wyszyński University in Warsaw, Poland

Professor of humanities, historian of literature, literary critic, poet, and prose writer. The head of the Department of Contemporary Literature and Literary Criticism at Cardinal Stefan Wyszyński University in Warsaw. The deputy editor-in-chief of the “Twórczość” journal. He has published in, among others, “Pamiętnik Literacki”, “Teksty Drugie”, “Studia Norwidiana”, “Ethos”, and “Ruch Literacki”. The author of schol- arly books on the poetry of Cyprian Kamil Norwid, Janusz S. Pasierb, Joanna Pollakówna, Jan Polkowski and many other contemporary poets. He has published five volumes of poetry, three novels, and three short story collections.