Synopses & Reviews
Lord Jim is a classic story of one man's tragic failure and eventual redemption, told under the circumstances of high adventure at the margins of the known world which made Conrad's work so immediately popular. But it is also the book in which its author, through a brilliant adaptation of his stylistic apparatus to his obsessive moral, psychological and political concerns, laid the groundwork for the modern novel as we know it.
With An Introduction By Norman Sherry
An expert on the works of Joseph Conrad, Professor Norman Sherry is the author of Conrad's Eastern World, Conrad's Western World and Conrad and His World. He is also the editor of Conrad: The Critical Heritage, and the official biographer of Graham Greene.
From the Hardcover edition.
Lord Jim (1900): Jim is one of Conrad's most complex creations, and Conrad explores, along the vast horizon of this gorgeous novel, the phenomena of shame, guilt, retribution -- and redemption. How right it is for our times!
Originally published in 1904, Nostromo is considered by many to be Conrad's supreme achievement. Set in the imaginary South American republic of Costaguana, the novel reveals the effects of unbridled greed and imperialist interests on many different lives. V.S. Pritchett wrote, "Nostromo is the most strikingly modern of Conrad's novels. It is pervaded by a profound, even morbid sense of insecurity which is the very spirit of our age."
Lord Jim tells the story of a young, idealistic Englishman--'as unflinching as a hero in a book'--who is disgraced by an act of cowardice while serving as an officer on the Patna, a merchant-ship sailing from 'an Eastern port' with a party of Muslim pilgrims. His life is blighted: an isolated scandal assumes horrifying proportions. An older man, Marlow, befriends Jim, but his efforts to find him employment meet with little success until, at last, he is able to establish him in Patusan, a remote native settlement on one of the islands of the Malay Archipelago.
This immortal novel of the sea tells the story of a British sailor haunted by a single youthful act of cowardly betrayal. To the white men in Bombay, Calcutta, and Rangoon, Jim is a man of mystery. To the primitive natives deep in the Malayan jungle, he is a god gifted with supernatural powers. To the beautiful half-caste girl who flees to his hut for protection, he is a lord to be feared and loved.
Lord Jim—Conrads classic portrait of a mans guilt, his search for forgiveness, and his final, tragic redemption—is a work of enduring value and one of the worlds great masterpieces.
About the Author
Joseph Conrad, christened Josef Teodor Konrad, Nalecz Korzeniowski, was born on December 3, 1857, in a part of Russia that had once belonged to Poland. His parents were members of the landed gentry, but as ardent Polish patriots, the suffered considerably for their political views. Orphaned at eleven, Conrad attended school for a few years in Cracow, He soon concluded, however, that there was no future for a Pole in occupied Poland, and at sixteen he left his ancestral home forever.
The sea was Conrad's love and career for the next twenty years. In the French merchant marine, he sailed to the West. Indies, smuggled guns to Spanish rebels, ran into debt, and bungled a suicide attempt Then in the British merchant navy, he rose to first mate and finally to captain, sailing to Australia and Borneo and surviving at least one shipwreck. In 1890 he contracted to become captain of a Congo River steamer, but the six months he spent in Africa led only to disillusionment and ill health; this episode would become the basis for Conrad's masterpiece, Heart of Darkness. Reluctantly leaving the merchant service, he settled in England and completed his first novel, Almayer's Folly, already begun at sea.
Hi subsequent works, many of which drew upon his sea experiences, include The Nigger of the "Narcissus" (1897), Lord Jim (1900), Heart of Darkness (1902), Youth (1902) Typhoon (1903), Nastromo (1904), The Secret Agent (1907), The Secret Sharer (1910), Under the Western Eyes (1911), and Chance (1913). The man who was twenty-one years old before he spoke a word of English is now regarded as one of the superb English stylists of all time. Conrad died almost literally on his desk in 1924, at the age of sixty-six.