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The Mirror Of The Sea
by Joseph Conrad
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When Lord Jim first appeared in 1900, many took Joseph Conrad to task for couching an entire novel in the form of an extended conversation--a ripping good yarn, if you like. (One critic in The Academy complained that the narrator "was telling that after-dinner story to his companions for eleven solid hours.") Conrad defended his method, insisting that people really do talk for that long, and listen as well. In fact his chatty masterwork requires no defense--it offers up not only linguistic pleasures but a timeless exploration of morality.
The eponymous Jim is a young, good-looking, genial, and naive water-clerk on the Patna, a cargo ship plying Asian waters. He is, we are told, "the kind of fellow you would, on the strength of his looks, leave in charge of the deck." He also harbors romantic fantasies of adventure and heroism--which are promptly scuttled one night when the ship collides with an obstacle and begins to sink. Acting on impulse, Jim jumps overboard and lands in a lifeboat, which happens to be bearing the unscrupulous captain and his cohorts away from the disaster. The Patna, however, manages to stay afloat. The foundering vessel is towed into port--and since the officers have strategically vanished, Jim is left to stand trial for abandoning the ship and its 800 passengers.
Stripped of his seaman's license, convinced of his own cowardice, Jim sets out on a tragic and transcendent search for redemption. This may sound like the bleakest of narratives. But Lord Jim is also touching, elevating, and often funny. Here, for example, the narrator describes the ship's captain (proving that clothes do indeed make the man):
He made me think of a trained baby elephant walking on hind-legs. He was extravagantly gorgeous too--got up in a soiled sleeping suit, bright green and deep orange vertical stripes, with a pair of ragged straw slippers on his bare feet, and somebody's cast-off pith hat, very dirty and two sizes too small for him, tied up with a manilla rope-yarn on the top of his big head. You understand a man like that hasn't a ghost of a chance when it comes to borrowing clothes.This is formidable prose by any standard. But when you consider that Conrad was working in his third language, the sublime after-dinner story that is Lord Jim seems even more astonishing an accomplishment. --Teri Kieffer
The New York Times Book Review
A book of the rare literary quality ofLord Jim is something to receive with gratitude and joy, and with a sense of a distinction conferred upon the readers of romance.
Conrad's haunting story of adventure turned tragedy portrays a young man's struggle against his own weaknesses. Because of its complex characters, shifting settings and roving points of view, Lord Jim needs an attentive and insightful narrator. Nigel Graham is just such a performer. Keeping a cool, steady tone, Graham captures the excitement and terror of the story. Listeners are lead in and out of grueling psychological sketches which run side by side with scenes of intense characterizations and action. Graham handles all with expertise. Vocal characterizations and accents are present but not overwhelming; the narrator ensures the story's continuity. J.S.G. (c)AudioFile, Portland, Maine
Laurence Davies, Dartmouth College
Is there room for yet another Lord Jim? The answer is emphatically yes.
Allan Simmons, General Editor of The Conradian
Professor Watts's assiduity and thoroughness make this edition of Lord Jim a delight...
Contains the Author's Note.
This classic novel is about a young naval officer named Jim with high hopes of glory, but when he faces his first trial of courage, he fails miserably. When the cargo ship Jim is on starts to sink, he jumps into a lifeboat to save himself instead of waking the doomed pilgrims. This action haunts him the rest of his life, but he does get another chance to redeem himself. The narrator, Captain Marlow, is the same as in "Heart of Darkness". Please Note: This book is easy to read in true text, not scanned images that can sometimes be difficult to decipher. The Microsoft eBook has a contents page linked to the chapter headings for easy navigation. The Adobe eBook has bookmarks at chapter headings and is printable up to two full copies per year. Both versions are text searchable.
The Merriam-Webster Encyclopedia of Literature
Novel by Joseph Conrad, published in 1900. Originally intended as a short story, the work grew to a full-length novel as Conrad explored in great depth the perplexing, ambiguous problem of lost honor and guilt, expiation and heroism. The title character is a man haunted by guilt over an act of cowardice. He becomes an agent at an isolated East Indian trading post. There his feelings of inadequacy and responsibility are played out to their logical and inevitable end.
From the Publisher
This book is in Electronic Paperback Format. If you view this book on any of the computer systems below, it will look like a book. Simple to run, no program to install. Just put the CD in your CDROM drive and start reading. The simple easy to use interface is child tested at pre-school levels.
Windows 3.11, Windows/95, Windows/98, OS/2 and MacIntosh and Linux with Windows Emulation.
Includes Quiet Vision's Dynamic Index. the abilty to build a index for any set of characters or words.
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