"A Mad Art Attempting the Inconceivable": Rethinking Irony in The Secret Agent

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Son, YoungJoo
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서울대학교 인문대학 영어영문학과
영학논집 27(2004): 20-37
The Secret Agentironic methodmoral education
As the composition of The Secret Agent neared its end, Joseph Conrad became increasingly defensive about his work. In his correspondence of 1906 and 1907, he repeatedly disclaims any philosophical, moral, or political significance of the novel, insisting that anarchism was a wholly incidental element in his work. As a response to the contemporary attack on the "moral squalor of the tale" (7), Conrad in the "Author's Note" (1920) again attempts to 'justify" his choice of anarchism and use of an "ironic method" (11). Asserting that "there was no perverse intention, no secret scorn for the natural sensibilities of mankind at the bottom of my impulses," he proceeds to state that "applying an ironic method to a subject of that kind was formulated with deliberation and in the earnest belief that ironic treatment alone would enable me to say all I felt I would have to say in scorn as well as in pity"(11)
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College of Humanities (인문대학)English Language and Literature (영어영문학과)영학논집(English Studies)영학논집(English Studies) No.27 (2004)
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