- File Size: 849 KB
- Print Length: 258 pages
- Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
- Publication Date: May 16, 2012
- Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
- Language: English
- ASIN: B0084753UI
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Lending: Enabled
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #13,165 Free in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Free in Kindle Store)
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Lord Jim Kindle Edition
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|Length: 258 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
|Page Flip: Enabled||
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Top customer reviews
As Conrad says, the beginning of the story is REALLY good. The telling gets a bit carried away, in my opinion. But I am probably the least qualified to asses his work and you should read it to make your own assessment.
The book is not about guilt at all, but about shame.
So let's say: Shame and Redemption.
This is Marlow's Third. After Heart of Darkness and Youth, Lord Jim should have become a third long story about Conrad's alter ego's experiences. The Congo, the Indian Ocean, and then the Arab Sea were the locations, but then the Jim story grew out of proportion and became Conrad's longest book so far. One might argue that it is two books in one: the shame of having been caught in a cowardly act (augmented by the shame brought on the white race, as observed by one of the judges in Jim's trial), and the redemption through an act of mad blind courage.
Marlow becomes Jim's patron after his disgrace. He wonders about the young man, 'one of us', a British gentleman, who broke the code of conduct and who will not believe that he is to blame. Jim has the guts to face the charges. Or is he too cowardly to do the right thing and disappear terminally? (As his judge does over undisclosed disgraces of his own, when he commits suicide, shockingly in view of his acknowledged superiority as a human specimen.)
Marlow helps Jim to find a new footing, and finds new grounds for self-reproach: Jim must be a hero and Marlow knows this was unavoidable and he should have stayed away from interference. Till the end, Marlow will not cease to wonder: was the man a coward?
My first picture of Lord Jim was Peter O'Toole. I watched the movie before I knew the name Joseph Conrad. After reading the novel now for the second time, I will try to watch the film again. I have a suspicion that Peter O'Toole, in all his brillance, damaged the spirit of Conrad's Jim. My recollection of an oversensitive sufferer does not quite match with Marlow's Jim, who is robust, impulsive and brooding, but does not have this saintly suffering face and expression.
And a word to Mr. John Stape, the Conrad biographer, who wrote the notes, and who may know Conrad well, but who annoyed me in the notes regarding A.R.Wallace and J.W.Goethe.
First of all, claiming that Jim's benefactor Stein is modelled on Wallace is nonsense. Stein is a trader who becomes wealthy in the archipelago and who is a hobby zoologist with an experience as an assistant to a famous zoologist in the islands long ago. That man may have been Wallace, but not Stein. Zero similarity of character. And by the way, 'coleoptera' are not a species of winged beetles. Elementary, Watson!
And then, Goethe was absolutely not a romantic poet, Mr.Stape; better brush up your lit-history. And to translate the line from Goethe's Tasso: 'in gewissem Sinne mein' as 'unambiguously mine' is horribly misunderstood. Booh, Mr.Stape!
It also reminded me of Pynchon's classic problem. Most people are familiar with The Crying of Lot 49 and Heart of Darkness thanks to both being popular books to include when introducing high school students and college freshmen to classic works of modern and contemporary literature. Both Conrad and Pynchon's bigger AND better stuff requires more time and work.
This is a fantastic novel, and a regenerative work of art.
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