Stape Notes by J. Fiction Classics Literary Fiction. About Lord Jim This compact novel, completed in , as with so many of the great novels of the time, is at its baseline a book of the sea. Also by Joseph Conrad. Inspired by Your Browsing History. Looking for More Great Reads? Download our Spring Fiction Sampler Now. LitFlash The eBooks you want at the lowest prices.
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Lord Jim, a Tale(1900), by Joseph Conrad, (Penguin Classics)
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Lord Jim has been analysed, reviewed, deconstructed, discussed or explained thousands of times over the last years since publication. I have little little to add to that. I first read it as assigned reading. I found the style tedious. Now, five decades later it is a completely different book.
The long descriptive passages paint irresistible pictures in the mind. On reaching the end instead of putting it down with relief I found myself starring off in to the distance for half an hour. Days later I catch myself wondering about Jim. Joseph Conrad was one of the best English writers in the late s and early s.
His take on the self assigned class of privilege abused by the Europeans at that time is spot on. His description of Jim as a person not able to accept his own imperfections and his self imposed banishment draws the reader to inspect their own values. Bring your dictionary because Conrad's use of the English language of that period is amazing for someone that was not fluent in the language until his mid - twenties. Even though I read the novel in high school six decades ago it was like reading something new.
In my opinion it takes a mature mind to grasp the intricate nature of the story. I read it with a group and we were provoked into hours of discussion. Hooray for another classical writer of the past century. Refreshing enough to make many of the current writers seem like school children. I am now trapped into reading Conrad's other works. One person found this helpful.
Lord Jim is one of the few books that one finds it necessary to reread at least every decade or so. I suppose most of us are introduced to the classic Marlow-narrated books when one is quite young.
And one feels the same sort of deep ambiguity in reading the novella Youth, the longer Heart of Darkness and the even longer Lord Jim. It is always reaffirmed. The "unreliable narrator" ambiguity herein is the subject of many a dissertation. I'm not covering it here because there is always - it has always struck me - a deeper ambiguity. With whom does the reader identify? It has become almost a truism that one comes to identify with the older Marlow as one ages rather than be captivated by the subjects of his stories: The catch lies, of course, in the fact that this older narrator is himself captivated by his younger doppelganger, in some form.
I suppose one might dub it the transitive property of narration. That is to say, you perhaps identify with Marlow now, but Marlow is fascinated with "X", ergo, you are still fascinated with "X," only removed, like Marlowe, by your own life experience. Why is Marlowe, why does the reader become so fascinated with Jim? I think primarily because, as Marlow continually intones throughout the book: It's not as simple as the question of "lost illusions" - for one thing Jim never loses his - It's more the question of whether they are illusions in the first place.
As Stein my personal favourite character herein says: Marlow says of his last visit to Jim on Patusa: