Mon State Travel on Nevertheless, it is of great importance not to read Nostromo as a straightforward historical fiction. Historical realities as Conrad knew them, primarily from reading, but also through conversations with Cunninghame Graham, not from direct experience, are used as the raw material for the creation of a fictive world that is imaginary (but true). Conrad's own phrase is perhaps, after aIl, the best way to express the use of realist narrative techniques to create a place swarming with people and events that never existed anywhere on land or sea except within the covers of copies of Nostromo, and before that in Conrad's imagination. The magnificent opening description of the sequestered province of Sulaco, eut off from the outside world by the Golfo Placido and by the surrounding mountains, is one way this isolation of Sulaco's imagined (non)community is expressed in Nostromo.
The second part of Conrad's phrase, but true, argues that the fictive events that take place in Nostromo correspond to the way things reaIly happened in Central America at that stage of its history, that is, the moment of United States imperialist and global capitalist interventions. The novel is true to life. The words but true suggest a daim by Conrad that this transformation ofhistorical fact into a complex modernist narrative form is better than any history book at indicating the way history actually happens.
Mon State Travel 2016.