Conrad And His Contemporaries




Author Joseph H. Retinger

Illustrated by Feliks Topolski

Probably few of his contemporaries had as intimate a relationship with Joseph Conrad as his fellow Pole and lifelong friend, Joseph H. Retinger. Retinger’s life paralleled closely that of Conrad. They were both born in Poland and came as young men to England, where they met when Conrad was beginning to carve for himself the literary career which lifted him to heights of world renown. The two friends moved in the same circles and shared intellectual interests. Their friendship lasted until Conrad’s death.

Conrad showed to his friend Retinger a side of his life unknown to other contemporaries and biographers. Their common roots and language formed a strong bond between them, and it was Retinger who brought Conrad back to Poland after an absence of 40 years. By an odd coincidence, Conrad’s homecoming occurred when war was declared in 1914.