Both Fyodor Dostoevsky and Joseph Conrad were great reformers of the modern novel, who had rejected the existing conventions and proposed their own new aesthetics. There is, however, one important difference between the two (or, at least, there seems to be one at first sight): Dostoevsky’s prose is often called philosophical; it deeply influenced several important thinkers, such as Nietzsche and Camus, and was the source of inspiration for an entire philosophical current known as the Russian Religious Renaissance, while nothing of the kind can be said about Conrad. Does that mean that his prose is devoid of philosophical content or that he did not have his own, original, anthropological and ontological concept? Certain ambiguities in critical commentaries to his work, especially those written by Polish critics, suggest that Conrad is probably more philosophical than we used to think. The author of the article tries to reconstruct his anthropology, ontology and ethics. First, he rejects a certain ‘moralistic’ interpretation of Conrad, common – particularly, but not exclusively – in Polish culture, then he describes three types of existence discerned by the writer (i.e. the natural, immoral, and moral ones) and, finally, emphasises Conrad’s strong sense of the absurdity of nature, its enmity towards the human being, as well as the absence of God in the universe. All this leads us to a conclusion that Conrad – contrary both to the prevailing opinion and his own literary nickname – had rather little in common with the romantic tradition and was actually “a classic in a romantic form”.
Sławomir Mazurek — dr hab., profesor nadzwyczajny w Instytucie Filozofii i Socjologii Polskiej Akademii Nauk, specjalista w zakresie filozofii rosyjskiej, autor książek poświęconych tzw. rosyjskiemu renesansowi religijnemu, m.in.: Wątki katastroficzne w myśli rosyjskiej i polskiej; Utopia i łaska. Idea rewolucji moralnej w rosyjskiej filozofi i religijnej.
Pismo założone przez Leszka Kołakowskiego, Bronisława Baczkę i Jana Garewicza ukazuje się nieprzerwanie od 1957 r.