Leo Gurko (essay date 1962)
SOURCE: Gurko, Leo. “The Reluctant Underground.” In Joseph Conrad: Giant in Exile, pp. 7-20. New York: Macmillan 1962.
[In the following excerpt, Gurko explores some of Joseph Conrad's writings in the context of his exile from Poland.]
The tragedy of Poland was not only geographic, but psychological. It was bad enough that fate had ringed her with powerful enemies. Worse still was that the same fate did not equip her to discharge effectively the role demanded by a malevolent geography.
For nearly two centuries Poland has been forced, against her own nature and traditions, into a conspiratorial underground, a role she has played with notable...
(The entire section is 5235 words.)