Joseph Conrad (born Józef Teodor Konrad Korzeniowski), a British writer who did not speak English fluently until his early twenties, is a figure perennially hard to place in literary history. As his biographer, Zdzisław Najder, remarks, in Poland he was often considered a late Romantic. Others saw him as a realist in Gustave Flaubert's mode. In the English-speaking world he is usually placed among early modernists. An unquestionable master of style in his adopted language, Conrad was a penetrating, relentless, and thoroughly modern observer of a human individual cast in extreme circumstances and forced to make existential choices in a seemingly impassive, mute universe. Critics credit him with enriching English letters with non-English themes and sensibilities. Jaroslaw Anders discusses the continued resonance of Conrad's work in today's world of multiplying political, social, cultural, and ethical uncertainties.