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The Mirror of the Sea Paperback – September 1, 2003


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 264 pages
  • Publisher: Wildside Press (September 1, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1592244165
  • ISBN-13: 978-1592244164
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.6 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #12,112,090 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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From the Publisher

5 1.5-hour cassettes --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

Joseph Conrad was a Polish novelist who lived most of his life in Britain and didn't learn English until age 21. The young Conrad lived an adventurous life involving gunrunning and political conspiracy, and apparently had a disastrous love affair that plunged him into despair. He served 16 years in the merchant navy.In 1894, at age 36, Conrad reluctantly gave up the sea, partly because of poor health and partly because he had decided on a literary career. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By H. Schneider on October 17, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
When Conrad was struggling with the writing of big fat novels like Nostromo or Razumov (Under Western Eyes), he was suffering. Writing was torture. He needed an escape mechanism, and he also needed money. This edition unites the 2 products of that double motive. The first is a collection of essays about the sea, the second a short autobiographic walkabout.

I like A Personal Record a lot better than The Mirror of the Sea.

With Conrad, fiction beats non-fiction.
An amazon friend's review of a Gide essay collection recently was entitled `non fiction beats fiction'. (Gide was Conrad's French friend in the literary world.)
My opinion on Conrad is: while Gide's fiction may have sunk with time, and his essays may still be floating, with Conrad it is the other way round. His sea fiction has enormous buoyancy, while his essays have a certain leaden quality.

During his struggle with Nostromo, in 1904/5, Conrad wrote, on the side, and by dictation at night (I am wondering about the opportunities involved in that), a series of sketches of autobiographical nature. They were all published separately in newspapers and magazines, and then collectively as The Mirror of the Sea.
The book was a critical success, but it has been shown that it was unreliable as a biographical source. Conrad made things up and misrepresented facts. Which proves my point, he was a fiction writer.

The book is a lament of the lost culture of the sailing ship, and at the same time of a closed chapter of his own life. He had quit the sea for the life of a writer on land, and it was a hard life, the writing.

JC says in his own introduction: I have attempted here to lay bare ... the terms of my relation with the sea. ...
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Format: Hardcover
Joseph Conrad (born Jozef Teodor Konrad Korzeniowski - 1857–1924) was a Polish-born English novelist who experienced life in both the French and British navies. He took his rich experiences, and turned them into fascinating, realistic literature about life in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, when colossal empires bestrode the Earth.

This wonderfully fascinating book was first published in 1905 (at least that is what my 1926 edition says), and is NOT a novel. The Mirror of the Sea is a collection of autobiographical essays that were originally published as a series of magazine articles. Each essay is about Joseph Conrad’s true love, the sea, covering such subjects as landfalls and departures, the nature of captains and officers, anchors, and so much more.

Yes, this book shows Conrad’s love of the sea, and is an excellent read, explaining how a ship worked, throughout its career. Indeed, if you are a fan of nautical books, then I must say that you really must read this book – it will give you a true understanding of what the mariners are saying and what they mean.

I really enjoyed this book, and do not hesitate to recommend it.
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