Sidney Pawling of Heinemann refused to print the text of Conrad's preface with the novel and, although it had appeared in the New Review for December 1897, it did not appear in book form until the 1914 Doubleday & Page edition in the United States. Only in 1921 did it appear as a preface in Heinemann's collected edition.
Knowles and Moore note that "this 'Preface' has... come to be seen as Conrad's artistic manifesto" (p.326). For Karl it is "a document of overwhelming personal and aesthetic importance for him. It was... his personal summation of the life of the artist up to 1897 and... a harbinger of the artist to come" (p.394).
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