Joseph Conrad: A Personal Remembrance by Ford Madox Ford
Determined not to write a biography about his friend Joseph Conrad (1857-1924) in the usual dry style, Ford Madox Ford (1873-1939) instead produced a novel. As a result, some biographical facts are given less emphasis than others, in particular the acrimony which later blighted relations between the two men. But the work is distinguished by its liveliness and by a wealth of vivid detail. Ford describes Conrad's remarkably long-eared horse, his haphazard use of adverbs and their fraught collaboration over their second joint novel, Romance, during which Ford's carefully unexciting style provoked the adventure-loving Conrad to depression. Ford's impressionistic portrayal of Conrad as an elegant, likeable swindler and 'beautiful genius' strikes a far richer chord than a purely historical account. First published in 1924, just after Conrad's death, this work remains a striking example of creative non-fiction, instructive for scholars and students of English literature.