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A set of six

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"Conrad wrote the stories that make up A Set of Six (1908) between late 1904, in the immediate wake of Nostromo (1904), and the spring of 1907, when he was attending to page proofs of The Secret Agent (1907). Yet another story - never finished if, indeed, ever begun - about 'a bomb in a hotel' also hovered in his mind at this time. As Conrad acknowledged in his brief preface to the volume's first American edition (1915), the stories, 'if not an organic whole', none the less constitute 'a homogeneous group written with a certain unity of method' (5.10-11), concentrated on incident and action (Letters, IV, 29-30) and were all based, he claimed, upon real-life events. Ranging widely in their geographical settings and time periods, the six tales further explore the preoccupations of his longer fictions - perhaps most broadly, the multifarious nature and manifestations of power and violence, major themes in Nostromo and central to The Secret Agent, both of which interrupted and dislodged from his desk the long-evolving Chance (1914)"--

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