By Robert Hampson

Conrad's secrets and techniques explores a number knowledges which might were common to Conrad and his unique readers. Drawing on examine into exchange, policing, sexual and monetary scandals, altering theories of trauma and modern war-crimes, the publication presents contexts for Conrad's fictions and produces unique readings of his work.

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When Taminah next appears, in Chapter 5, she is shadowing Nina, both literally and metaphorically. At the start of the chapter, Babalatchi sees ‘Nina’s long canoe drift past, the girl sitting in the stern bending over Dain’, and then, ‘a few minutes afterwards he saw Bulangi’s slave-girl paddling in a small dug-out to the town with her cakes for sale’ (AF, 61). Later in the chapter, Dain and Nina become aware of Babalatchi’s skiff behind them and Taminah’s canoe in front of them (AF, 70). As this suggests, Nina’s developing relationship with Dain is observed with interest by both Babalatchi and Taminah.

In the first place, the battles between the Carlists and the supporters of Don Alfonso XII were over by February 1876: the Third Carlist War ended on 28 February when Don Carlos crossed the road bridge into exile in France. As Najder notes, police archives in Marseilles contain information about Carlists and ships involved in arms-trafficking, but all this belongs to a period prior to Conrad’s arrival. There is no evidence, in police files and press reports, for Carlist activity in Marseilles in the years 1877 and 1878.

However, as Watt observes, it is only when he has negotiated the next snag in the river, that Marlow allows his understanding time to identify these ‘little sticks’ and decode the series of events: ‘Arrows, by Jove! ’ (HoD, 110). 59 In The Deceptive Text (1984), Cedric Watts developed the term ‘delayed decoding’ to describe not just a local feature of Conrad’s narrative technique but a larger, overarching component of Conrad’s oblique narrative method – what he called ‘covert plots’. In Almayer’s Folly, for example, Conrad foregrounds the family dynamics as a result of which Almayer’s ‘dream’ of a golden future for himself and his daughter comes into conflict with his daughter’s plans for her own future.

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