Literary Precedents for Outpost of Progress

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Although there are no obvious literary models for "Outpost of Progress," it may be assumed that Conrad was offering an ironic comment on the imperialist fiction of such writers as Rudyard Kipling and H. Rider Haggard. Conrad's protagonists are diametrically opposed to the hardy and stubborn defenders of British imperial tradition in Kipling's fiction, although here, as in Heart of Darkness, it is Belgian imperialism in the territory known as the Belgian Congo which is the primary target.

However, Conrad's story, rooted in the realistic tradition of nineteenth century fiction, is reminiscent of short stories tracing the decline of their main characters by Guy De Maupassant—such as "A Piece of String." At the time of the composition of Almayer's Folly (1895), his first novel, Conrad was reading Maupassant with pleasure and this writer remained something of a model of realism for Conrad throughout his career...

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This section contains 170 words
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