Document Type


Publication Date

Winter 2022


Focusing on Joseph Conrad’s Nostromo, this essay historicizes the treatment of what we now call post-traumatic stress disorder, demonstrating how Conrad anticipated our current understanding and treatment of the illness. The second part of the essay addresses Nostromo’s treatment of historiography. Part three is concerned with epistemology and the relationship between neurological discoveries concerning the gap between perception and consciousness, relating those discoveries to Conrad’s use of delayed decoding.


This is a pre-copy-editing, author-produced PDF of an article accepted for publication in MFS Modern Fiction Studies, volume 68, number 4, in 2022 following peer review. This article may not exactly replicate the final published version. The definitive publisher-authenticated version is available online at

Peer Reviewed



Johns Hopkins University Press



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