The Secret Agent
A Simple TaleBook - 2004
From Library Staff
multcolib_RegLib_TomF Jan 08, 2015
"The Secret Agent is the unsurpassed ancestor of a long series of twentieth-century novels and films which explore the confused motives that lie at the heart of political terrorism. In its use of powerful psychological insight to intensify narrative suspense, it set the terms by whic... Read More »
multcolib_recommends5 Mar 21, 2014
Mr. Adolph Verloc operates from a seedy Soho shop, where he deals in pornography and espionage. Idle, treacherous, and self-righteous, he makes his wife, Winnie's, life one of silent mystery.
In a corrupt London underworld of criminals, terrorists, and fanatics, Mr. Verloc is assigned to plant a bomb. The tragic repercussions for his family show how Conrad's ironic voice is concerned not with politics but with the terrible fates of ordinary people.
From the critics
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". . . ALL idealisation makes life poorer. To beautify it is to take away its character of complexity—it is to destroy it. Leave that to the moralists, my boy. History is made by men, but they do not make it in their heads. The ideas that are born in their consciousness play an insignificant part in the march of events. History is dominated and determined by the tool and the production—by the force of economic conditions.* Capitalism has made socialism, and the laws made by the capitalism for the protection of property are responsible for anarchism. No one can tell what form the social organisation may take in the future. Then why indulge in prophetic phantasies? At best they can only interpret the mind of the prophet, and can have I no objective value. Leave that pastime to the moralists, my boy.”
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