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Eastern FiguresOrient and Empire in British Writing$
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Douglas Kerr

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9789622099340

Published to Hong Kong Scholarship Online: September 2011

DOI: 10.5790/hongkong/9789622099340.001.0001

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(p.53) 4 Crowds
Eastern Figures

Douglas Kerr

Hong Kong University Press

This chapter discusses the ways in which the East has been imagined in the figure of the crowd, by Western observers whose own difference literally singles them out. It focuses on the figure of Conrad's Lord Jim, whom the author believes to be a rather compromised avatar of that heroic individualism that was one of the ways Western men were visible to themselves in the age of the empire. The author also views Lord Jim as both an example and a radical critique of the figure of the Western individualist and the Eastern crowd defined in relation to each other.

Keywords:   crowd, Western observers, Lord Jim, heroic individualism, Western individualist

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