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Lord Jim: English - German

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Joseph Conrad: Lord Jim. "English German" Zweisprachige Ausgabe. Ubersetzt von Hedwig Lachmann und Ernst Wolfgang Freissler Grossformat, 216 x 279 mm Berliner bilinguale Ausgabe, 2015 Absatzgenau synchronisierter Parallelsatz in zwei Spalten, bearbeitet und eingerichtet von Thomas A. Martin. Erstdruck 1900 im Blackwood's Magazine. Hier in der Ubersetzung von Hedwig Lachmann und Joseph Conrad: Lord Jim. "English German" Zweisprachige Ausgabe. Ubersetzt von Hedwig Lachmann und Ernst Wolfgang Freissler Grossformat, 216 x 279 mm Berliner bilinguale Ausgabe, 2015 Absatzgenau synchronisierter Parallelsatz in zwei Spalten, bearbeitet und eingerichtet von Thomas A. Martin. Erstdruck 1900 im Blackwood's Magazine. Hier in der Ubersetzung von Hedwig Lachmann und Ernst Wolfgang Freissler, S. Fischer, Berlin, 1927. Herausgeber der Reihe: Michael Holzinger Reihengestaltung: Viktor Harvion Umschlaggestaltung unter Verwendung des Bildes: Aleksey Savrasov, The death of the ship at sea, 1862. Gesetzt aus Minion Pro, 11 pt. "


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Joseph Conrad: Lord Jim. "English German" Zweisprachige Ausgabe. Ubersetzt von Hedwig Lachmann und Ernst Wolfgang Freissler Grossformat, 216 x 279 mm Berliner bilinguale Ausgabe, 2015 Absatzgenau synchronisierter Parallelsatz in zwei Spalten, bearbeitet und eingerichtet von Thomas A. Martin. Erstdruck 1900 im Blackwood's Magazine. Hier in der Ubersetzung von Hedwig Lachmann und Joseph Conrad: Lord Jim. "English German" Zweisprachige Ausgabe. Ubersetzt von Hedwig Lachmann und Ernst Wolfgang Freissler Grossformat, 216 x 279 mm Berliner bilinguale Ausgabe, 2015 Absatzgenau synchronisierter Parallelsatz in zwei Spalten, bearbeitet und eingerichtet von Thomas A. Martin. Erstdruck 1900 im Blackwood's Magazine. Hier in der Ubersetzung von Hedwig Lachmann und Ernst Wolfgang Freissler, S. Fischer, Berlin, 1927. Herausgeber der Reihe: Michael Holzinger Reihengestaltung: Viktor Harvion Umschlaggestaltung unter Verwendung des Bildes: Aleksey Savrasov, The death of the ship at sea, 1862. Gesetzt aus Minion Pro, 11 pt. "

30 review for Lord Jim: English - German

  1. 4 out of 5

    Lyn

    If you are a serious student of Conrad, you must read Typhoon, Heart of Darkness, and Lord Jim. After reading Lord Jim, a comparison with Heart of Darkness is unavoidable. The two books were published a year apart; Conrad began Lord Jim first, put it down to write and publish HOD, and then finished the expanded Lord Jim. Much of the tone, themes, imagery and even language are similar if not identical. Heart of Darkness, I think, is the better literary work, and is on a short list of my all time f If you are a serious student of Conrad, you must read Typhoon, Heart of Darkness, and Lord Jim. After reading Lord Jim, a comparison with Heart of Darkness is unavoidable. The two books were published a year apart; Conrad began Lord Jim first, put it down to write and publish HOD, and then finished the expanded Lord Jim. Much of the tone, themes, imagery and even language are similar if not identical. Heart of Darkness, I think, is the better literary work, and is on a short list of my all time favorite novels. It is elegant, simple, focused, relentless and inevitable. Lord Jim, by contrast, is a more ambitious work, complicated both in its telling and design, and ultimately more human. Whereas HOD is fable-like in its earnest minimalism, Lord Jim is intentionally complex, with an almost Faulkneresque omnipresence. Both works present a dialogue between Marlowe and another. In HOD, it is Kurtz, Elliot’s Hollow Man. In Lord Jim it is Jim, an idealistic, but tragic hero; perhaps a nineteenth century Everyman, blessed and cursed alike by maritime European imperialism. Marlowe is a narrator to Kurtz’s story, while he is a central character and a sympathetic observer of Jim. It is this interaction, between Marlowe and Jim that reminds me of The Great Gatsby and there is some evidence that Fitzgerald was an admirer of Conrad’s.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Henry Avila

    Jim, no other name is given except the rather pretentious one of Lord, which he acquires later on. A son of an English clergyman, who seeks adventure, among other things at sea. And becomes the first mate of the rusty, old, local steamer Patna at the age of 23. Going from port to port, mostly in the western Pacific . But everything changes, when taking 800 pilgrims to Mecca, something hits the ship underneath, springing a major leak, not good. Opening a hatch, our friend Jim sees water flooding Jim, no other name is given except the rather pretentious one of Lord, which he acquires later on. A son of an English clergyman, who seeks adventure, among other things at sea. And becomes the first mate of the rusty, old, local steamer Patna at the age of 23. Going from port to port, mostly in the western Pacific . But everything changes, when taking 800 pilgrims to Mecca, something hits the ship underneath, springing a major leak, not good. Opening a hatch, our friend Jim sees water flooding the Patna, any moment she will sink to the bottom of the abyss. Reporting to the obese German captain, what he found. The to be honest not brave officers of the steamer agree with Jim, and decide little time remains, before the vessel goes under. What about all the passengers? Never a big deal, a shortage of lifeboats, will doom them anyways . No warning is given .... Besides, its every man for himself. The captain and his officers take the only lifeboat left (after a vigorous struggle) and go overboard. Leaving one man dead he collapsed of a heart attack. The wavering Jim, finally jumps into the sea, to save himself, no hero. Yet strangely the Patna doesn't disappear under the waves and everyone is rescued by a French gunboat... Of course, all the officers careers are over, after they are picked up too by a different vessel, nobody would hire such cowards. The first mate even testifies at the naval inquiry, the only one of the officers that does , all lose their papers. Later Jim travels from Asian harbor to harbor, he gets supplies for ships in need but always sneaking off when his true identity is discovered. People by then do not care, only the ashamed Jim, still fortune improves when meeting Captain Marlow, an old friend of his. Soon Mr.Stein, a rich European trader with a fabulous butterfly collection, gives him a job, in an Indonesian island jungle. He quickly helps to defeat a local warlord and receives the name Lord Jim for his vigorous efforts . The Englishman has the power, he can do anything he wants there, finding love with a mixed race girl, life can be sweet, however will the moody man every cleanse his soul of his demons? Enemies are around, trying to bring down Lord Jim's jungle kingdom....One of Joseph Conrad's greatest novels, the story of a man who seeks redemption, some place under the sun to live happily, fully, not be condemned for his past indiscretions...A beautiful dream...

  3. 5 out of 5

    Jan-Maat

    The outlook is bleak. Conrad's last book of the nineteenth century offers the certainty that we can never be good enough, if you are lucky disillusionment will result, if less lucky disaster, and your own death will be a mercy. Ideals, civilisation and values, even love, none have a chance in the face of our universal insufficiencies, however before we start getting too pessimistic the novel itself is an exercise in optimism - at least - Conrad demonstrates, we can talk about these things, even The outlook is bleak. Conrad's last book of the nineteenth century offers the certainty that we can never be good enough, if you are lucky disillusionment will result, if less lucky disaster, and your own death will be a mercy. Ideals, civilisation and values, even love, none have a chance in the face of our universal insufficiencies, however before we start getting too pessimistic the novel itself is an exercise in optimism - at least - Conrad demonstrates, we can talk about these things, even with aplomb and in foreign languages like English. There is such magnificent vagueness in the expectations that had driven each of us to sea, such a glorious indefiniteness, such a beautiful greed of adventures that are their own and only reward! What we get...In no other life is the illusion more wide of reality - in no other is the beginning all illusion- the disenchantment more swift - the subjection more complete (p.101) In a heap of ways this book reminded me of Heart of Darkness, playing with the same themes, though from a different point of view, using the same Marlow narrator to frame the central narrative. The Kurtz character is the central figure in this story but we are closer to him. Conrad expands the stream of narration style to book length and in this edition Conrad added a later defence arguing that this was a realistic conceit, there have been longer speeches in parliament he says, however he doesn't seem to have settled the issue definitively by having the book recorded on to wax cylinders and inventing the audio book. The back cover records praise from Virginia Woolf, and it is not so far, I suppose, from stream of narrative to stream of consciousness. The chief thing which caught my attention at least to start with is how character driven the book is. Conrad dreams up his Jim, sets him on the page like some clockwork toy and then watches his non-linear progression - what will happen to such and such a person when they are in a position when they realise they are not good enough, what will they do then? If they were to get a second chance how might that come about and how might that chance play out, so long as we assume that every that happens must be congruent with 'Jim's' character? And there we go we have a novel. It is quite remarkable. For a while I was uncomfortable with the storyline of broken white man floats in on 'native' population and saves them, rules over them justly as their Lord, but Conrad wasn't comfortable with anything so straight forward either - a happy colonialist ending was not congruent with his or 'Lord Jim's' character. The downside is that Heart of Darkness is better, compressed, distilled, punchier, this book is only going to come out the worse in comparison.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Megan Baxter

    It has been over a week and a half since I last finished a book. This is so extremely unusual. I'm trying not to hold it agains the collection of books I've been reading that week in a half, but at times it's hard. I find myself eyeing Ulysses suspiciously, poke The Reality Dysfunction every once in a while to see if it's moved, or tuck The Idiot in my purse to try to get through just a little more. (Does anyone else think it's odd that a 600+ Dostoyevsky book is the only one that will fit in my It has been over a week and a half since I last finished a book. This is so extremely unusual. I'm trying not to hold it agains the collection of books I've been reading that week in a half, but at times it's hard. I find myself eyeing Ulysses suspiciously, poke The Reality Dysfunction every once in a while to see if it's moved, or tuck The Idiot in my purse to try to get through just a little more. (Does anyone else think it's odd that a 600+ Dostoyevsky book is the only one that will fit in my purse?) And Lord Jim, which I've also had underway for most of that time. And is the first of the bunch I actually finished. Note: The rest of this review has been withdrawn due to the recent changes in Goodreads policy and enforcement. You can read why I came to this decision here. In the meantime, you can read the entire review at Smorgasbook

  5. 5 out of 5

    Jason Koivu

    Ponderous and difficult to follow, but still a beautiful piece of work. I say "difficult to follow" in the sense that Conrad did not always balance his action and exposition in Lord Jim. There were large sections of backstory or the minutia of character. Certainly character is the cornerstone of this work in which a man buries himself deeper and deeper into a manageable backwoods fiefdom of sorts in order to escape his own failings on the larger stage of civilization, so it's hard to fault Conra Ponderous and difficult to follow, but still a beautiful piece of work. I say "difficult to follow" in the sense that Conrad did not always balance his action and exposition in Lord Jim. There were large sections of backstory or the minutia of character. Certainly character is the cornerstone of this work in which a man buries himself deeper and deeper into a manageable backwoods fiefdom of sorts in order to escape his own failings on the larger stage of civilization, so it's hard to fault Conrad on this point. The "show, don't tell" writers' credo is perhaps driven home more today than it was in his time, so my complaint is biased since I'm viewing the book through a modern day reader's mentality. And although I love philosophy so much I considered majoring in it in collage, I personally prefer to read work that moves. Yes, do give me inner struggles, philosophizing, moralizing and the like, but I'd rather they were slipped into the action, like a pill hidden in the dog's food in order to get the animal to eat it. This animal will swallow pretty much anything if it's wrapped in a delicious facade. I'm only human.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Ahmad Sharabiani

    785. Lord Jim, Joseph Conrad Lord Jim is a novel by Joseph Conrad originally published as a serial in Blackwood's Magazine from October 1899 to November 1900. An early and primary event in the story is the abandonment of a passenger ship in distress by its crew, including a young British seaman named Jim. He is publicly censured for this action and the novel follows his later attempts at coming to terms with himself and his past. تاریخ نخستین خوانش: سوم ماه نوامبر سال 1997 میلادی عنوان: لرد جیم؛ نو 785. Lord Jim, Joseph Conrad Lord Jim is a novel by Joseph Conrad originally published as a serial in Blackwood's Magazine from October 1899 to November 1900. An early and primary event in the story is the abandonment of a passenger ship in distress by its crew, including a young British seaman named Jim. He is publicly censured for this action and the novel follows his later attempts at coming to terms with himself and his past. تاریخ نخستین خوانش: سوم ماه نوامبر سال 1997 میلادی عنوان: لرد جیم؛ نویسنده: جوزف کنراد؛ مترجم: صالح حسینی؛ تهران، نیلوفر، 1362؛ در در 415 ص؛ موضوع: داستانهای نویسندگان سده 19 م سفر به خیر مسافر اعماق دریاها و جان آدمیان! خواندن لرد جیم دشوار است، اما اگر هیچ سطری را بی دقت لازم رها نکنیم، و گاه حتی بندی یا فصلی را دوباره بخوانیم، به چنان تجربه ای میرسیم که در خوانش رمانهای عصر ما کمتر رخ میدهد. پسری به نام جیم، به امید زندگی پرماجرا، به فکر می‌افتد که ملوان شود. روزی به عنوان دستیار سوار کشتی کهنه‌ ای می‌شود که مسافران را جابجا می‌کند. توفان درمی‌گیرد و نزدیک است که کشتی غرق شود. جیم، در برابر ترسی که در ژرفای درون هر انسانی خفته است تسلیم می‌شود و به همراه سه نفر دیگر، بر تنها قایق موجود سوار می‌شود و کشتی را با هرچه در آن است رها می‌کند. کشتی معجزه‌ آسا نجات می‌یابد و یک کشتی توپ‌ انداز فرانسوی موفق می‌شود آن را تا خشکی یدک بکشد. به زودی بازرسی را آغاز می‌کنند. جیم که اقبال کمتری از همسفرهایش داشته، در این ماجرا سرافکنده می‌شود. «مارلو»ی پیر، که مردی نیکوکار است، در جستجوی کشف راز این نامردمی برمی‌آید. او می‌خواهد به جیم کمک کند تا زندگی‌ خویش را از نو بسازد و او را به چندتن از دوستانش که در مشرق زمین مستقر هستند می‌سپارد. قهرمان داستان، در مقام پادو از بندری به بندر دیگر می‌رود؛ بی‌ آنکه بتواند در محلی استقرار یابد، زیرا مایل است ناشناس باقی بماند. سرانجام با یک تاجر آلمانی به نام اشتاین برخورد می‌کند که او را به پاتوزان، جزیره‌ ای دور افتاده در مجمع‌ الجزایر مالزی می‌فرستد؛ این جزیره عرصه ی جنگ داخلی است. جیم به سختی از چندین توطئه جان به درمی‌برد. سپس رهبری حزب دورامین، دوست قدیمی اشتاین را به عهده می‌گیرد و موفق می‌شود علی را، که مردی طماع است، شکست دهد و اعتماد بومیان را به دست آورد. قدرت و شجاعت جیم به زودی بر سر زبانها می‌افتد و عشق در وجود بیژو، دختر یک مالزیایی، به او لبخند می‌زند. بیژو در دومین ازدواج خود به همسری کورنلیوس درآمده بود، کسی که جیم جانشین او شده است. به نظر می‌آید که گذشته جیم خاطره‌ ای ناخوشایندی بیش نبوده است. اما در این وقت، مردی سفیدپوست که به جرم تجارت غیرمجاز تحت تعقیب یک کشتی اسپانیایی است، به پاتوزان می‌رسد: این شخص نادرست براون نام دارد، و امیدوار است که با به آتش و خون کشیدن آن سرزمین، دوباره به مال و منال برسد. در حالیکه بومیان خود را برای مبارزه آماده می‌کنند، جیم به براون امکان می‌دهد، تا آنجا را ترک گوید؛ به شرط آنکه به هیچ‌کس صدمه‌ ای نرساند. چه خیال باطلی! زیرا این جانی، به راهنمایی کورنلیوس که کینه‌ ای سخت از جیم به دل دارد، بومیانی را که اعتماد کرده‌ اند غافلگیر می‌کند، و با قتل عام کردن آنها، پسر دورامین را نیز به قتل می‌رساند. و اما پایان کار جیم بسیار تأسف‌بار است. او می‌بیند که بار دیگر اعتماد همنوعانش را از دست داده است. خواهشهای بیژو و سایر دوستانش را ناشنیده می‌گیرد، و حتی کوششی برای اثبات بی‌گناهی خود نمی‌کند: او، که بی‌ سلاح در برابر دورامین ظاهر می‌شود، خود را به شکلی رقت‌ انگیز از میان برمی‌دارد. این داستان که به تمامی از زبان «مارلو»ی پیر حکایت می‌شود، ممکن است که گاهی خوانشگر را خسته کند؛ اگرچه لحن آن به خوبی با عذابهای قهرمان داستان منطبق است. علاقه ی شگفت‌انگیزی که نویسنده به قهرمان داستان، حتی در بدترین لحظه‌ های سقوطش، ابراز می‌دارد، از این اثر یکی از بارزترین تجسمهای برادری انسانها را می‌سازد. ا. شربیانی

  7. 5 out of 5

    Jango

    So much to say about this novel. One one hand it's an adventure tale, but on the other it's a harbinger of the modern novel, told from various points of view, creating an almost cubist vision of one man's struggle with guilt and morality. The prose is beautiful and the characters fascinating, every one of them plagued by their own inner demons. Jim, himself, is almost a younger version of Kurtz from Heart of Darkness, but my favorite characters were probably Brierly, the forboding sea captain, a So much to say about this novel. One one hand it's an adventure tale, but on the other it's a harbinger of the modern novel, told from various points of view, creating an almost cubist vision of one man's struggle with guilt and morality. The prose is beautiful and the characters fascinating, every one of them plagued by their own inner demons. Jim, himself, is almost a younger version of Kurtz from Heart of Darkness, but my favorite characters were probably Brierly, the forboding sea captain, and Stein amidst all his butterflies. This novel is steeped in so much beauty and melancholy. The passages about the Patna disaster are devastating. Well worth a read.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Matt

    Lord Jim is an incredibly frustrating book. It's part imperial adventure, part psychological study, in the vein of Joseph Conrad's most famous work, Heart of Darkness. However, whereas Heart was brief and elegant, Lord Jim is a repetitive slog. I spent as much time trying to figure out who was telling the story as I did actually enjoying the story. The book tells of the eponymous Jim, who is a mate aboard the merchant ship Patna, which is carrying hundreds of Muslim pilgrims. Mid-voyage, the ship Lord Jim is an incredibly frustrating book. It's part imperial adventure, part psychological study, in the vein of Joseph Conrad's most famous work, Heart of Darkness. However, whereas Heart was brief and elegant, Lord Jim is a repetitive slog. I spent as much time trying to figure out who was telling the story as I did actually enjoying the story. The book tells of the eponymous Jim, who is a mate aboard the merchant ship Patna, which is carrying hundreds of Muslim pilgrims. Mid-voyage, the ship has engine trouble, and then starts taking on water. A squall is coming. The captain and crew is convinced that the Patna is going to sink. They are equally convinced that telling the pilgrims of this fact will start a panic resulting in all their deaths. So the brave captain and his hearty men depart the ship in a lifeboat. Jim follows suit. The only problem: the ship doesn't sink. Later, it is towed into harbor, with no loss of life. The crew of the Patna, Jim included, go on trial before the shipping board. Eventually, he loses his sailing certificate. Of all the men, only Jim seems ashamed. And he is really ashamed. I mean pathological. Most of this book is devoted to his all-consuming wallow. The story is told in typical Conrad fashion, by which I mean it utilizes every contrivance known to LOST. The first section of the book is written in the third-person. This was my favorite part. It was fast-moving, uncluttered, and clear. Then Marlow, the loquacious raconteur from Heart of Darkness shows up and starts spinning his story. Apparently recovered from the jaundice he got searching for Kurtz, Marlow is in the mood to talk. And talk. And talk. He's the quintessential drunk uncle on Thanksgiving. Long after everyone else has fallen asleep watching the Dallas game, he's still there, wine in hand, telling you the same thing for the fourth time. This was my first view of Jim. He looked as unconcerned and unapproachable as only the young can look. There he stood, clean-limbed, clean-faced, firm on his feet, as promising a boy as the sun ever shone on... The next roughly two-thirds of the book is told in first person by Marlow. This section utilizes nested dialogue, so that Marlow will be relating a story in which a person within that story is also relating a story. (The number of unreliable narrators in Lord Jim is astounding). When you look at a page, you see a mass of quotation marks. It all gets very confusing. Just to make it more confusing, every once in awhile the book will jump back to third-person. Then the book ends with a letter(!) written by Marlow to an unnamed man who'd been listening to the original story. It was the nested dialogue that did me in. There's really no reason why you have to use quotation marks as Marlow tells his story. It would've been much simpler to just shift the book from third to first person while Marlow talks, instead of working Marlow's extended monologue into the third-person format, requiring the use of quotation marks inside quotation marks. For whatever reason, Conrad is insistent on jamming these essentially first-person narratives into third-person. This choice wasn't a big deal in Heart of Darkness because the framing device was much simpler: start by introducing Marlow; Marlow tells his story; end with Marlow finishing story. In Lord Jim, it's a much bigger problem, because the narrative is jumping all over the place. There are stories told within stories; at times it's like opening a Russian nesting doll. There are dozens of tangents and digressions and trying to keep straight who's doing the talking - whether it's Marlow or Jim or some other characters - requires constant attention. I was also disappointed by how repetitive this book was. Marlow takes an interest in Jim, for reasons I can only surmise (old man obsessed with young man...oh I'll just stop), and tries to get him a job. Jim takes the job, does a good job, then quits whenever the Patna is brought up. So Marlow gets Jim another Job, Jim does a good job...etc. Finally, Marlow, through the help of his friend Stein, finds Jim employment on the island of Patusan, in the Malay Archipelago. Here, Jim becomes a benevolent Kurtz and earns his honorific "Lord." He falls in love with a mixed-race girl named Jewel, becomes friends with Dain Waris, a chief's son, and generally seems content (though he will never stop brooding about his moment of cowardice, to the point where I wanted to slap the taste right out of his mouth). The finale comes when a buccaneer named Gentleman Brown invades Patusan and Jim shows that a man's character is indeed his fate. There are parts to like about Lord Jim. Conrad is a great writer, and it almost goes without saying that if you read this book, you will find masterful descriptions, colorful imagery, and incisively wielded similes. Every morning the sun, as if keeping pace in his revolutions with the progress of the pilgrimage, emerged with a silent burst of light exactly at the same distance astern of the ship, caught up with her at noon, pouring the concentrated fire of his rays on the pious purposes of the men, glided past on his descent, and sank mysteriously into the sea evening after evening, preserving the same distance ahead of her advancing bows...The awnings covered her deck with a white roof from stem to stern, and a faint hum, a low murmur of sad voices, alone revealed the presence of a crowd of people upon the great blaze of the ocean. Such were the days, still, hot, heavy, disappearing one by one into the past, as if falling into an abyss of ever open in the wake of the ship; and the ship, lonely under a wisp of smoke, held on her steadfast way black and smoldering in a luminous immensity, as if scorched by a flame flicked at her from a heaven without pity. The nights descended on her like a benediction.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Nandakishore Varma

    This is the classic tale of redemption - a man, running from himself for a momentary act of cowardice which brings lasting shame, atones for it in the depths of the Eastern jungles. Brilliantly plotted and beautifully written - only the undertone of white supremacy strikes a sour note sometimes.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. I generally only bother to review books I enjoyed- especially since I'm not bothering much to go back to review those I read quite some time ago. Lord Jim requires a review. Why did I loathe this book so much... I was an English major in college. I have a master's degree in English literature. I love books! This book is the only novel I have ever read that put me to sleep. I could not get involved in the action. Conrad's verbose English diction and excessively correct grammar infuriated me. His s I generally only bother to review books I enjoyed- especially since I'm not bothering much to go back to review those I read quite some time ago. Lord Jim requires a review. Why did I loathe this book so much... I was an English major in college. I have a master's degree in English literature. I love books! This book is the only novel I have ever read that put me to sleep. I could not get involved in the action. Conrad's verbose English diction and excessively correct grammar infuriated me. His style frustrated me, his plot was essentially non-existent, and I hated the characters. I had no empathy for them, I had no desire to read it, and plogging through it killed brain cells. I admit that I read this in high school- it is entirely possible that I would reject it less now that I am more attuned with Conrad's purpose. I don't particularly care. If I have to hate one author, one book, with a passion? This is it! Nothing made me happier than the tragic ending.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Capsguy

    The first half of this book is heavy work, Conrad throws a lot at you without a lot of dialogue to break it up. A very psychological novel based on the internal conflicts and consequences of past actions; in this case, the staff abandonment of a ship believed to be sinking with hundreds of ethnic travellers aboard. This is told from various viewpoints, with each character having immense development and all trying to come to terms with their own inner debacles and problems. You`re going to find tha The first half of this book is heavy work, Conrad throws a lot at you without a lot of dialogue to break it up. A very psychological novel based on the internal conflicts and consequences of past actions; in this case, the staff abandonment of a ship believed to be sinking with hundreds of ethnic travellers aboard. This is told from various viewpoints, with each character having immense development and all trying to come to terms with their own inner debacles and problems. You`re going to find that this novel takes a lot of concentration and time to get through, I certainly would not recommend reading it somewhere where you could easily be distracted. I felt empathy for Jim, prior to any catastrophe occurring it is so easy for us to believe that we could do any heroic deed necessary to overcome a calamity or thread, like grandeur. The truth is however, that we instinctively as humans recoil from the threat of danger, especially when life-threatening. Self-preservation often prevails. In the aftermath, especially in the eyes of those who were not at the event, it can easily be seen as cowardice but unless they were in a very similar situation, how can they be in a position to judge? I myself am often an outgoing and confident individual, it is a part of who I am. However, at times when I have shied away from particular instances, afterwards I cannot help but feel resentment towards myself. I cannot wonder how I would have acted if I was in Jim`s shoes. Anyways, going off on a bit of a tangent here, I hate reviewing books. In summation, a great tale of redemption with such an immense amount of content readily available to be analysed, coinciding with great quality prose by Conrad that it is more than understandable why this book has been labelled one of the best books ever written. One last note, cannot emphasise the importance of comparing this to Heart of Darkness. Both written almost literally together, featuring similar ethical and individual dilemmas and the same narrator! Oh yeah, and Conrad was the best at writing sea-faring stories. Sorry AMERICA!

  12. 4 out of 5

    Steve

    I don’t know if there has ever been an out and out study of Conrad’s influence on T.S. Eliot, but I couldn’t help but feel, while reading Lord Jim that the influence goes beyond the footnote. The most famous is of course Eliot’s epigram from Heart of Darkness (“Mistah Kurtz -- he dead.”). (Lesser known is another Heart of Darkness epigram – before Pound waved it off – that got things rolling in “The Wasteland.”) However, buried deeper in the “Hollow Men” are the lines “Between the idea / And the I don’t know if there has ever been an out and out study of Conrad’s influence on T.S. Eliot, but I couldn’t help but feel, while reading Lord Jim that the influence goes beyond the footnote. The most famous is of course Eliot’s epigram from Heart of Darkness (“Mistah Kurtz -- he dead.”). (Lesser known is another Heart of Darkness epigram – before Pound waved it off – that got things rolling in “The Wasteland.”) However, buried deeper in the “Hollow Men” are the lines “Between the idea / And the Reality…/ Falls the Shadow.” These lines, which could come from a number of places (knowing Eliot) are so central to Lord Jim, and stated so prominently, that I’m certain Eliot had a copy squirreled away somewhere. Jim is a romantic (much like Conrad must have been) who has dreams of the sea, and heroic ideas about himself. The “realities” Jim encounters will soon wreck these fixed assumptions, but Jim never abandons or adjusts his ideas regarding duty and obligation. No one is harder on Jim than Jim himself. This moral dilemma is pure Conrad, the kind of thing one encounters in a number of his stories and novels. Jim, in many ways, might be the perfect crystallization, in a character, of this dilemma (though an argument could be made for the darker Nostromo). Jim is Conrad’s flawed angel of light, his Billy Budd. It’s clear Conrad has much invested in him, so much so that plot mechanics seem secondary to the character. In fact, in my edition, before the start of the novel, Conrad says that, while believing an author should not favor (in public at least) one book more than another, he is not “grieved and annoyed by the preference some people give to my Lord Jim.” This is probably because Jim is the closest we will get to Conrad (who, as a young man, would attempt suicide) himself. Jim’s not a suicide, but he does want to lose himself after the shame of abandoning a ship full of pilgrims. This shame, this failure, creates an unbridgeable gulf in Jim. The resulting trial catches the eye of Marlow, who narrates Jim’s story. But to say “narrates” is as simplistic as it gets. The storytelling weaves in and out, not following a linear path. Events are concealed or only partially revealed to the reader, as Marlow backs up, remembers, speculates, etc. All of this can get quite annoying – if you let it. For me, Conrad is a writer you should read aloud. He casts a spell, and at his best (and I would put Lord Jim among Conrad’s best), it’s a spell that will last. Little moments, such as a conversation with a French Lieutenant regarding Jim, struck me as modernist writing at its very best, pregnant with meaning, dense, in both image and word, as a poem. And yet, for all the misty musings, Conrad can be a writer of action. There are few writers I know that can so successfully muse over the tragic nature of man, and then write about shotgun duels on the beach. If you like that kind of range in your reading, Conrad’s your man.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Lobstergirl

    Finally, an answer to my question "what novel contains the phrase a sinister pantaloon?" Objectively speaking, I didn't enjoy this read. But also speaking objectively, I appreciate the way this book sits on the cusp of the transition from 19th-century adventure writing to 20th century modernism. An omniscient narrator tells the story of first mate Jim abandoning his ship full of Muslim pilgrims. Then Conrad inserts his favorite narrator Marlow, who picks up the story of the rest of Jim's life, hi Finally, an answer to my question "what novel contains the phrase a sinister pantaloon?" Objectively speaking, I didn't enjoy this read. But also speaking objectively, I appreciate the way this book sits on the cusp of the transition from 19th-century adventure writing to 20th century modernism. An omniscient narrator tells the story of first mate Jim abandoning his ship full of Muslim pilgrims. Then Conrad inserts his favorite narrator Marlow, who picks up the story of the rest of Jim's life, his self-exile. I didn't realize Conrad was friends with Ford Madox Ford, but I thought as I was reading of the way Ford constructs narratives and shifts points of view.

  14. 4 out of 5

    aPriL does feral sometimes

    I don't know why but ‘Lord Jim’ somehow echoes Star Wars. Same mythic quality, same romantic dreaming of quest hopefulness and testing of one's mettle until something really bad happens and naive inexperience gives way to heartrending reality. But Star Wars goes on to space opera where ‘Lord Jim’ is more of a singular man's destiny. Star Wars does not possess any moral uncertainties, but Lord Jim accurately reflects the real-life play of moral decisions made on the fly that destroy or uplift a p I don't know why but ‘Lord Jim’ somehow echoes Star Wars. Same mythic quality, same romantic dreaming of quest hopefulness and testing of one's mettle until something really bad happens and naive inexperience gives way to heartrending reality. But Star Wars goes on to space opera where ‘Lord Jim’ is more of a singular man's destiny. Star Wars does not possess any moral uncertainties, but Lord Jim accurately reflects the real-life play of moral decisions made on the fly that destroy or uplift a person in the eyes of society after the fact. Lord Jim cannot be a hero or villain in his own eyes until society makes the call, yet Jim has a peculiar internal moral guide that is a more difficult master to satisfy. A terrifying lack of self-forgiveness sets Jim on a unique adventure of finding redemption on a literal clean slate, a reinvented do-over that completely wipes out the previous universe where he so totally messed up. It's as if the clean cut, upright handsome blond appearance of a 21-year old Jim forced him to be driven not only to clear himself with the world but it had to be an epic toxic cleansing of soul scrubbing. The usual fear of death in all human beings is underlying Jim's destiny yet never overt. Conrad mentions again and again how much Jim's physical appearance affects how people see his behavior. His youth is very important to the story yet like death only hinted at periodically as a logical excuse for him which no one allows him especially himself. The act of defining oneself within the imposed standards and limits of society, any society in the world, is a tough business and deadly serious if one is a friendless outsider. The soundness of a man can be the key to it all. At least that seems to be main of the interesting themes Conrad explores in Lord Jim.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Amy

    Loved this book. Here's a great statement! "'And because you not always can keep your eyes shut there comes the real trouble -- the heart pain -- the world pain. I tell you, my friend, it is not good for you to find you cannot make your dream come true, for the reason that you not strong enough are, or not clever enough. Ja! ... And all the time you are such a fine fellow too! Wie? Was? Gott im Himme! How can that be? Ha! ha! ha!'" Stein, (from Joseph Conrad's, "LORD JIM")

  16. 5 out of 5

    David Sarkies

    Running Away from One’s Past 4 October 2018 I remember watching a movie years ago when I didn’t have a job. It was about this guy who was trapped on the island of Borneo during World War II, and became involved with a native village where he ended up becoming king. Things went quite well for a while until the Japanese invaded the island and basically destroyed the village, despite the attempts of the natives to prevent them from doing so. In the end, while this man was still technically king, he Running Away from One’s Past 4 October 2018 I remember watching a movie years ago when I didn’t have a job. It was about this guy who was trapped on the island of Borneo during World War II, and became involved with a native village where he ended up becoming king. Things went quite well for a while until the Japanese invaded the island and basically destroyed the village, despite the attempts of the natives to prevent them from doing so. In the end, while this man was still technically king, he had basically become king of nothing. The reason I raise this is because this book reminds me quite a lot of that particular movie. Lord Jim begins with our protagonist, Jim, as a crewmember on a ship, taking a group of Muslims to Mecca for the Haj. The ship strikes something in the water, which we believe is the wreck of another ship (something that was all too common in those days) and starts taking on water. Now, tradition has it that the passengers should be allowed to escape first, followed by the crew, and finally by the captain. Well, this wasn’t the case here because the crew and the captain all flee leaving the passengers to their fate. Well, the problem was that the ship didn’t end up sinking, and the passengers didn’t end up dying, when the crew were rescued they were in big trouble. I’m not entirely sure whether this is still the case today, but from the book we gather that this was a particularly big deal at the time Conrad was writing. In a way this was the law of the sea. Sure, some of the ideas were more tradition than they were law, but the thing was is that these duties were in place so that people would be comfortable traveling by sea, which was pretty dangerous as it was, without fear of being deserted by the only people that know anything about piloting a boat. Well, boats are pretty expensive, so I guess there is also that incentive, but when you hear of stories of refugees in modern times being set adrift in the Mediterranean without any guarantee of actually making it to Europe, it does make one wonder of the possibility of being taken for a ride when making a sea voyage. Well, it seems that the admiralty took this action pretty seriously, especially since the first third of the book actually deals with Jim’s trial. Basically, he is found guilty of misconduct, and is no longer allowed to work on a boat. It is a pretty horrid penalty for somebody whose only skill is working on ships. Mind you, this is still the case today with many professions, particularly for those who are stripped of their privileges for misconduct, though ironically I have known lawyers that still seem to be able to work as lawyers despite the fact that they have been struck off the bar. Yet these is an element of shame here, because it does not matter where Jim goes, he has been branded as a coward. I guess that is why he ends up on this island in Indonesia, where he becomes a lord. I do wonder whether things like this actually happened in reality – a white person comes across a tribe and decides to live with them, and the tribe, so enamoured by this person’s wisdom, decide to make them king. Apparently the movie I mentioned was a true story, but I can’t remember. This is not the case here, but rather it is Conrad exploring the nature of a man who has lost everything. Yet the story doesn’t end here, because once again the village is under threat. Basically some rouges have found it, and it comes down to the question of whether they loot it or not, and whether Jim lets them go free. Well, he decides to do just that, however his act of mercy really doesn’t produce a change in the men, but then again, it was always going to be a trap. One interesting thing is that there seemed to be similarities with Heart of Darkness, but then again both books were written around the same time. However, in Lord Jim, we have our protagonist attempting to flee society for different reasons. He has brought shame on himself for his act of cowardice, and all he wants to do is run away. Ironically, one theme that seems to stick is how we simply cannot run away from our past, or from the people that haunt us. Jim and his cohorts thought that maybe, their passengers would die and they would be left free and clear. However, this is not the case, because they survived, and his act of cowardice was discovered. Yet, one could argue that he just followed along with everybody else, yet this is no excuse either – Jim had a choice to make, and he decided to follow along with the others than actually doing the right thing and remaining on board. The thing is that his act caught up with him, and even though he tried to hide on the island, it just seemed, that in the end, the world simply is not big enough.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Anascape Taylor

    First, the bad news. In Lord Jim, Conrad launches full-bore into every idea, with a thoroughness verging on overdevelopment. The power of brevity is not explored in his writing style. Choosing realism over poetry, he paints a sharp picture akin to a photograph where other writers may have reached for enigma. But such a tender criticism, it must be said, could only be given to a great work. However, Conrad oddly tries to paint his subject matter as enigmatic using finery and detail, and the resul First, the bad news. In Lord Jim, Conrad launches full-bore into every idea, with a thoroughness verging on overdevelopment. The power of brevity is not explored in his writing style. Choosing realism over poetry, he paints a sharp picture akin to a photograph where other writers may have reached for enigma. But such a tender criticism, it must be said, could only be given to a great work. However, Conrad oddly tries to paint his subject matter as enigmatic using finery and detail, and the result sometimes seemed to be an overextension, almost gaudy in places. The second blemish in Lord Jim is Conrad’s one-dimensional portrayal of women and natives. I won’t expound too much on this one, but “the girl” could have been called by a name for as many times as she is mentioned (even Jim’s pet name for her would have been preferable to the million references to “the girl”), and Dain Waris’ character is left nearly untouched, for the important role he is said to have played in Jim’s life. Many less important characters get more attention. These are the sharpest criticisms I can come up with for Lord Jim, which is otherwise a complete and beautiful plunge into the boundless depths of human fear and repentance. The language is crisp, elegant, flawless (which some will love and others will resent). It is a great tale of adventure, bold and memorable. Once you read it, Jim will pop up quietly in your own life when you find yourself haplessly scrabbling to right old wrongs, long dead and buried.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Jacob Appel

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. This is my third reading of "Lord Jim" at intervals of roughly 15 years, and it remains a work to be read slowly and carefully, savored like a fine cigar or a cognac. Those who approach the book like a cigarette and a beer are likely to finding themselves choking and throwing up. "Lord Jim" truly is a novel like no other: part adventure tale, part narrative of moral redemption, part modernist exploration of the very nature of storytelling. The readers's guide is Captain Charles Marlow (known to C This is my third reading of "Lord Jim" at intervals of roughly 15 years, and it remains a work to be read slowly and carefully, savored like a fine cigar or a cognac. Those who approach the book like a cigarette and a beer are likely to finding themselves choking and throwing up. "Lord Jim" truly is a novel like no other: part adventure tale, part narrative of moral redemption, part modernist exploration of the very nature of storytelling. The readers's guide is Captain Charles Marlow (known to Conrad admirers-and many resentful high school students--from "Change" and "Heart of Darkness"), a complex figure who describes himself as "doomed to be the recipient of confidences; and to be confronted with unanswerable questions." Yet there is also an omniscient narrator, at times, who frames Marlow just as Marlow frames Jim. So one finds oneself wondering: Why is Marlowe relating this story? Is it Jim's story of Marlow's? It is also worth noting that Marlowe acquires most of the story secondhand: He is not aboard the Patna when its crew abandons ship, not present for Brown's raid on Patusan. And much of the narrative, from Brierly's suicide to Corenelius's domestic strife, is related third-hand. Every story hides inside another story, masking fact and shielding truth behind a fine mist. When Marlow says that he remembers Jim through a cloud, he is merely reinforcing the various narrative techniques. Yet there is magic in this novel that transcends the literary devices and often anchor-heavy prose. The moment where Jewel and Jim first find love may be among the most perfectly distilled scenes of romantic connection in all of literature: "The word was still, the night breathed on them, one of those nights that seem created for the sheltering of tenderness, and there are moments when our souls, as if freed from a dark envelope, glow with an exquisite sensibility that makes certain silences more lucid than speeches." Who hasn't known such a night? Yet who has ever expressed the poignancy of the moment so well? Conrad's characters, far removed as they may be from our own world, are instantly recognizable in their emotions: one can envision Jim's parson father, sitting in his vicarage and penning letters about loyal dogs and injured horses; the mercenary captain of the Patna; Stein, after losing his wife and child, retreating to a world of mounted butterflies. And beyond characterization, Conrad has a profound and original insight into human nature. We are told that Jewel "feared the unknown as we all do, and her ignorance made the unknown infinitely vast." Or that Marlow, in a sentimental mood, felt a "strange and melancholy illusion, evolved half-consciously, like all of our illusions, which [he] suspect[s] only to be a visions of remote unattainable truth, seen dimly." Of course, Conrad (as channeled through Marlow) is a romantic of sorts, an author who can write in earnest that "the human heart is vast enough to contain all the world." At his core, he is a fatalist whose novels are structured on human blindness, acquiescence or resistance to destiny. He writes of Jim's testimony at the Patna inquiry, "it is my belief that no man ever understands quite his own artful dodges to escape from the grim shadow of self-knowledge." A modern reader may ask whether Jim's fate was inevitable or the product of his choices. In Conrad's vision, this seems to be a fruitless distinction--Jim's choices stem inevitably from the very fact that he is Jim. There is a reason why this book consistently ranks among the twentieth centuries "best" works of literature. My fear is that while the text remains unchanged in its brilliance, the audience for reading work that requires genuine effort continues to decline. Some of the other reviews on this site make this text sound inscrutable (like the nautical version of Finnegan's Wake), while nothing could prove further from the truth: "Lord Jim" will reward readers who approach with good will and patience.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Ivana Books Are Magic

    This is one of those novels that may take (a bit) more time to read. Now, there is no sense in talking about how long it will take you to read this one because that is very individual. As well as that infamous 'difficulty' factor, it is something that is bound to differ from person to person. It took me some time to read this one, but I MUST say it is one of those books that is certainly worth the effort. You know that feeling when you have read some amazing book and even though it may have take This is one of those novels that may take (a bit) more time to read. Now, there is no sense in talking about how long it will take you to read this one because that is very individual. As well as that infamous 'difficulty' factor, it is something that is bound to differ from person to person. It took me some time to read this one, but I MUST say it is one of those books that is certainly worth the effort. You know that feeling when you have read some amazing book and even though it may have taken you (some/ a lot/ considerable amount of ) time to read it, you end up really happy with what you did with your time. Well, I think that what makes this read so 'time- consuming' to some (not all readers seem to share this view but some have complained about the reading process) is its sophisticated narrative. However, this novel wouldn't be a masterpiece that it is without it, so let's not make this complex narrative sound like a flaw in the writing while in fact it is one of its strongest posts. I'm certainly happy that I devoted my time to it and I enjoyed every second of reading this novel. In fact, I plan to reread it these days. Let's get back on the track, shall we? The best way to start is from the beginning. The very first paragraph focuses on the protagonist of the novel, young Jim. Right from the start, we get this vivid image of him. I think it can be maintained that he is described in detail even at the start. Obviously, there is only as much as can be done to introduce a character that develops mostly during the course of the novel. Jim is quite young when the novel starts. Still, it is remarkable how at the very start (with a limited amount of words) we as readers get introduced with various aspects of both Jim's outer and inner self. Naturally, with a writer as skilled as Conrad, this shouldn't be a surprise. The character of Jim, so central for this novel, is examined so many times in this novel and the writer does this in a way that manages to be both complex and simple at the same time. The opening chapter (and much of what follows) is full of wonderful descriptions and the kind of lyrical prose that I immensely enjoy. I particularly liked the descriptions of the sea. Conrad is a true master when it comes to that and you can tell that right from the start. Similarly to The Heart of Darkness, the story (for most part) is told by a narrator named Marlow. Unlike the famous novelette, the narrative in "Lord Jim" is not chronological. Moreover, it's sometimes told from different points of view and it sure can be a bit confusing. There is a large number of ever present digressions. Even once the story (the plot) really starts, new characters are introduced over and over again. In addition to that, there are so many things going on that at some point you'll probably feel a bit lost. I know I did. In addition, there are long pages where nothing goes on besides philosophical meditations. In that way it could be said that the novel is a bit odd. Nevertheless, I really liked it. Once I really got into it I found it to be a brilliant piece of writing. Lord Jim as a character remained somewhat of an enigma for me. Although I must say the way that novel is written (and by that I mean its sophisticated narrative) really enables the reader to get into psychology and inner states of Jim. This is one character that is portrayed from different angles and that casts very different shadows. Despite of that or maybe because of that I found him to retain much of the mystery that seems another of his remarkable features. This mystery surrounds him like a fine mist from the start to the end of the novel. I know what I said about him being introducted with skillful words (at the very start of the novel) and all about how it just get better (yes, I know that I have added how he is mastefully potrayed) but that doesn't mean that I feel like I have him completely figured out. However, that makes him even more fascinating. Now, another thing this novel has in common with the famous novelette (short novel) that I happened to mention earlier is its question of Western influences/politics on the other parts of the world. This book can be divided in two parts and the second part of the book happens in an imaginary land (an island). I must admit that I did not really pay much attention to theme of colonialism while I was reading this novel, although there are references to it. I was probably too occupied with the personality of Jim and the theme of guilt and redemption to think about anything else. Maybe that theme is not as central in this one, I'm not sure, but so it seemed. Lord Jim seems more focused on the individual guilt (rather than that of the Emire and the colonial world). I avoided talking about events in the novels, the plot and the characters because I didn't want to have any spoilers in this review. If you're looking for a summary of this book, you'll have no problem finding it online. What I tried is to give you an idea what the novel is like. I must, however, mentioned some other characters. First of all, the narrator of the story (Marlow the same narrator as the one in the heart of darkness). In this novel, he is not only a narrator but also an active participant in events and an important character in the novel. I think the way the writer uses him both as a narrator and as a character is simply brilliant. Secondly, I will mention Jim's love interest because I found her to be a very interesting character. Finally, that butterfly collector is such a well drawn character. He had some really interesting thoughts and it made the transition in the story (when Jim is sort of at crossroads) somehow more credible and at the same time more philosophical-like the character of Jim( and what happens to him) could be a metaphor for some deep questions in the human soul. In fact, some of those passages were hauntingly beautiful. They alone would make this novel worth reading. To conculde, this novel is poignant with meaning and filled with deep thoughts. It is complex, bit it is absolutely beautiful in its complexity.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Joshua Rigsby

    My problem with this book was one of misinformation and confused expectations. I've heard and read lots of references to Lord Jim as being primarily about the sinking of the Patna, a true story where a Western-owned and operated vessel full of Muslims on their way to the Haj in Mecca was believed to be sinking, and was abandoned by the crew. Turns out it didn't sink, and everyone on board was rescued by another vessel. This, as you'd imagine, was quite embarrassing for the crew. Conrad describes My problem with this book was one of misinformation and confused expectations. I've heard and read lots of references to Lord Jim as being primarily about the sinking of the Patna, a true story where a Western-owned and operated vessel full of Muslims on their way to the Haj in Mecca was believed to be sinking, and was abandoned by the crew. Turns out it didn't sink, and everyone on board was rescued by another vessel. This, as you'd imagine, was quite embarrassing for the crew. Conrad describes the Patna and its sinking gorgeously. I was enthralled and excited. This only takes up the first third of the book. The rest follows an unfortunate and tortured crewmember from that voyage as he tries to rebuild and reinterpret his life in light of this serious want of moral character during the sinking. And, from the crewmember's trial forward, I just got bored. Part of the problem also, was the layers of narration Conrad puts in place. At one point we have three levels of narration where the narrator tells the first person account of the protagonist telling him a first person account of a third character. This was confusing, and diffused the urgency and immediacy of the story itself. The events in the latter 2/3rds of the book are mildly interesting, but fail to really intersect with the first, which was extraordinarily good. They come off as a kind of faint echo of Heart of Darkness , which was a much better book, in my opinion. Conrad gets after British imperialism and racist attitudes, which is nice, but if you want a better written and more interesting treatment of these topics stick with Heart of Darkness. http://joshuarigsby.com

  21. 5 out of 5

    Andrea

    Jove! This book was ruined by being a story-within-a-story! Sometimes I had to search back and decode the quotation marks to discover whether the speaker was Marlow or Marlow relating something that Jim said. I don't know why Conrad decided to present Jim's story through Marlow, but it really distanced me emotionally from Jim's struggles. This is mostly (barring the end) told by Marlow to a small audience at a distance of some years and I found myself questioning whether he left things out or em Jove! This book was ruined by being a story-within-a-story! Sometimes I had to search back and decode the quotation marks to discover whether the speaker was Marlow or Marlow relating something that Jim said. I don't know why Conrad decided to present Jim's story through Marlow, but it really distanced me emotionally from Jim's struggles. This is mostly (barring the end) told by Marlow to a small audience at a distance of some years and I found myself questioning whether he left things out or embellished details or if he simply didn't have the story perfectly straight. I know this is pointless speculation on my part, but I think this is the reason I was unable to sympathize with Jim and that hindered my ability to become completely engrossed in this book. The Patusan chapters reminded me a lot of Fitzcarraldo, especially the bit where Marlow/Jim explained how the cannons were raised. Overall, this reading experience kind of reminded me of how I felt while reading "The Picture of Dorian Gray." In both cases, I knew I had in my hands a novel that had the ability to plumb the depths of the human soul and explore our ability to either search unendingly for redemption or to plunge wholly into depravity, but some part of the writing made it impossible for me to be very deeply affected by the story. As both these books are well-regarded classics, I can only assume the weakness is my own. Back to the New York Times Bestseller List for me...

  22. 4 out of 5

    Zulu

    Okay, so I'm not the world's biggest Conrad fan. Chinua Achebe's essay on Heart of Darkness pretty much explains why. But Conrad's on the list, so Conrad I read! I'm wishing now I'd stuck with The Secret Agent, which I read for a 20th Century British Literature course a few years ago--but no, I had to be adventurous and pick one I hadn't read before. First off, Lord Jim is confusing. The first seventy pages, it's made very clear that something terrible has happened, that Jim was involved in an aw Okay, so I'm not the world's biggest Conrad fan. Chinua Achebe's essay on Heart of Darkness pretty much explains why. But Conrad's on the list, so Conrad I read! I'm wishing now I'd stuck with The Secret Agent, which I read for a 20th Century British Literature course a few years ago--but no, I had to be adventurous and pick one I hadn't read before. First off, Lord Jim is confusing. The first seventy pages, it's made very clear that something terrible has happened, that Jim was involved in an awful moral failing, but we don't know what it is. It's described in fitful bursts that talk around the bad event but never describe it. (Little did I know at this point that was because Conrad would be spending the next hundred or more pages describing this one event that happened in about an hour. Really dwelling on it. Sigh.) Second, the structure of storytelling didn't work for me at all. After a meagre attempt at third person, the rest of the novel is told by Captain Marlow. That means every paragraph for two hundred odd pages starts with quotation marks. Marlow rambles. Like an awful jokester, he goes back in time to explain things that he forgot to explain earlier. He veers off on tangents to describe what he and another person thought of all these events years later (STILL BEFORE TELLING US WHAT THE ACTUAL EVENT WAS.) For instance, there's a whole diversion about how this one captain committed suicide three days after sentencing Jim, because this captain just couldn't live with it. What is "it"? I still don't know. Live with sentencing Jim? Live with the idea that some sailors are moral sinkholes? Live with the knowledge that such an event--STILL NOT DESCRIBED--could even happen? I don't know. Anyway, finally we get to the event. Jim was the first mate on a passenger steamer. The steamer was packed to the gills with pilgrims to Mecca. Halfway there they hit a submerged wreck that bangs a great big hole in their outer hull and a dangerous bulge on their inner hull. The ship starts taking on water. Only Jim and the other officers know about it. There's nothing they can do to fix it (they think). There aren't enough lifeboats for everyone. The other officers rush to abandon ship on one of the very few boats before the passengers riot in terror at the idea of sinking. Jim wants to stay and help and be a hero, but he's terrified of the possibility of a riot and of drowning. So he abandons ship with the rest of them. They concoct a story to say they tried to save the ship valiantly, but it sank despite themselves. Except it doesn't--the ship is rescued by a French navy ship. So all the officers are stripped of their navigation certificates for dereliction of duty, but mostly for cowardice. Jim is a romantic young guy who believes that he is or ought to be a hero. He always thought he'd have amazing adventures as a sailor that would prove his resiliency and bravery and just general HEROICness. So the fact that he did this reprehensible thing, leaving eight hundred people to drown without a backwards glance, really gives him manpain. POOR JIM, seems to be largely the message. Captain Marlow feels bad for Jim because Jim looks like--that is, has the physical appearance of--a steady, reliable person. The inference is, because Jim's white and British, he is "one of us"--a sailor--and while Marlow doesn't want to agree that there's nothing else Jim could have done, because he's completely repulsed by Jim's actions, he still decides to give him a second chance in the form of letters of introduction to other employers now that he's been drummed out of the sailoring trade. So basically, Jim is saved by his privilege. But he can't accept it. Or himself--not until he does something truly Heroic (TM) to redeem himself in his own eyes. (No one else really cares.) So Jim moves to an island where he's the only white man in residence, and he helps one village in a war against a neighbouring, oppressive village. When they win, Jim becomes the de facto lord over all these native people, because they just can't solve their own problems the way a white interloper can. And Jim's all like, I can never leave, because then who would take care of these poor native villagers? They certainly can't take care of themselves! And I'm like, barf. Well, long story short, European pirates come by for rape and pillage, and they're stopped by the villagers and under siege when Jim gets there. Jim decides to offer them safe passage back to the sea. But of course they decide to kill people on their way out instead. So Jim offers himself as a sacrifice to the king of the village, because the king's son was killed by pirates after Jim gave his word that they'd leave peacefully. And presumably this shows that Jim had honour and bravery all along, and wasn't some trumped up idiot living high on his own romantic notion of himself all along. I'm having a really tough time with whether this book can be said to reinforce or critique the British empire and the relationships of whites with indigenous people. Because on the one hand, Jim's pretensions of heroism are constantly undermined. But on the other hand, it seems right to everyone around him that he should be helped out and that he got kind of a raw deal, just because he made this one bad decision once. And on the one hand, Conrad sort of mocks the men who rely on their whiteness as their only necessary route to power. But on the other hand, all the indigenous characters are childish, cowardly, irrational. The best of them is the prince of Jim's village, who could "fight like a white man", that is, using tactics and strategy. I don't know, I felt like we were supposed to feel sorry for Jim in the first half, and agree that he'd achieved his redemption in the second half, and throughout I was just like, ugh I hate Jim. So I mean there's that. It was a weird read, both really fast and really superficial. Because of the storytelling structure, and all the tangential rambling of Marlow, I was constantly tempted to skim, but I suppose I was meant to read slowly and thoughtfully and really think about all the nuances of the situations. Instead I was like, "this is a stupid situation and I don't care what five different people thought about the nuances at five different times and places." Like, Jim's moral quandary was put forth as this incredibly complex and difficult situation, which I suppose in a way it was--can any of us say we'd stay on a sinking ship in a probably hopeless situation when we might otherwise escape?--but on the other hand, it's a stark choice, a very simple choice in the end, not one that requires chapters and chapters of dissection. So I kept rolling my eyes and trying to read faster and faster, which meant I probably lost some of the nuance. Also I was sometimes confused about who was speaking and who was being described, so there's that. Bottom line, don't think I'd like to read this one again, but I'd certainly use it if I had to in any sort of essay on post-colonialism.

  23. 5 out of 5

    David

    I picked up a used book last week called 'In Search of Conrad' and found it fascinating. It got me wanting to read Conrad, an author I only dipped into a bit. His books are set in Malaysia, Borneo, Singapore... so I got an atlas out when I was reading this travel book and became fascinated with the area. I’ve almost finished it so I'm starting reading this, based on a true incident mentioned in the book. The original Jim was second mate on a steamer taking 1000 pilgrims from Malaysia to Mecca I I picked up a used book last week called 'In Search of Conrad' and found it fascinating. It got me wanting to read Conrad, an author I only dipped into a bit. His books are set in Malaysia, Borneo, Singapore... so I got an atlas out when I was reading this travel book and became fascinated with the area. I’ve almost finished it so I'm starting reading this, based on a true incident mentioned in the book. The original Jim was second mate on a steamer taking 1000 pilgrims from Malaysia to Mecca I think in about 1888 when it ran into bad weather, and Jim, the captain and some crew abandoned ship and left the passengers to sink, and told the authorities in Aden that the ship had sunk and they'd had to abandon when the passengers attacked them, which wasn't true. Anyway, a couple of days later the ship and passengers docked in Aden too, the passengers having saved the ship themselves by baling out the water. So Jim and his mates were publicly disgraced. For some reason I found the whole thing hilarious. But anyway Jim returned to Singapore, married and had 16 kids and resumed his old life, which was an act of courage because for the rest of his life everyone pointed him out in connection with his cowardly action. So he's a sort of tragic anti-hero, and that's what Conrad's novel is about. This book In Search of Conrad by Gavin Young is great, I feel like I've been all over Malaysia and the South China Sea with it, following the maps. The writing is superbly delicious too. A colourful passage: At night the Chinese warehouses, higher up, blazed with lanterns that reflected red, orange and yellow light on the water like dollops of liquid fire. At night, too, a loom of light arced like a halo over the Town Hall; and lights from the rows of cast-iron lamps with globes of white porcelain like ostrich eggs flickered through the rain trees on the Esplanade. On the other side of the Esplanade the long facade of the Hotel de l'Europe was a mass of lights like the flank of a great ocean liner. From the dining room well-groomed globe-trotters brayed at each other over their iced pudding, while on the terrace matches flared at the tips of cheroots, revealing white shirt-fronts, and a dead cigar butt arced like a shooting star from where Captain Marlowe sat utterly engrossed, while Jim in matter-of-fact tones gave him the terrible details of the Jeddah affair. Once, when Jim gave way, bursting out under the pressure of his guilt, 'It is - hell,' a couple of tourists looked up, startled, from their pudding.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Ralph

    It took me a long time to complete Lord Jim, over a year grabbing chances here and there on the bus stop reading a Google Play Books version. When I found a Penguin Classics paperback in a charity shop the reading went quicker but still long. The way the novel is told, related by Marlowe made he think of a Tarrantino film. The narrative reaches back or out of the flow often. Marlowe often quote someone who is quoting another. This makes the nested quotation marks an interesting sea to navigate.

  25. 5 out of 5

    david

    A very different sort of read. There are no time constraints here, the author can skip forward and backward and sideways. It is 'in the will' of the reader to decide whether to follow or fold. The reader may close the last page brimming with irresolution. This is not a composition that attempts to facilitate or ease the reader with Conrad's rendition. He, Conrad, has no obligation to the reader other than to demonstrate to himself, the futility of life. The ignobility of truth, romance, or ideal A very different sort of read. There are no time constraints here, the author can skip forward and backward and sideways. It is 'in the will' of the reader to decide whether to follow or fold. The reader may close the last page brimming with irresolution. This is not a composition that attempts to facilitate or ease the reader with Conrad's rendition. He, Conrad, has no obligation to the reader other than to demonstrate to himself, the futility of life. The ignobility of truth, romance, or ideals. The utter abnegation to ally himself with his audience, for it would unsettle the writer to be untruthful to himself. It is up to the reader to utter a 'nay' or 'yay' to this trying tome. Conrad's prose has a poetical flavor throughout that offers the confused reader the ultimate conundrum to an already vexing tale.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Bettie

    http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/5658 Opening: He was an inch, perhaps two, under six feet, powerfully built, and he advanced straight at you with a slight stoop of the shoulders, head forward, and a fixed from-under stare which made you think of a charging bull. His voice was deep, loud, and his manner displayed a kind of dogged self-assertion which had nothing aggressive in it. It seemed a necessity, and it was directed apparently as much at himself as at anybody else. He was spotlessly neat, ap http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/5658 Opening: He was an inch, perhaps two, under six feet, powerfully built, and he advanced straight at you with a slight stoop of the shoulders, head forward, and a fixed from-under stare which made you think of a charging bull. His voice was deep, loud, and his manner displayed a kind of dogged self-assertion which had nothing aggressive in it. It seemed a necessity, and it was directed apparently as much at himself as at anybody else. He was spotlessly neat, apparelled in immaculate white from shoes to hat, and in the various Eastern ports where he got his living as ship-chandler's water-clerk he was very popular.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Nancy

    I was looking over my old books when I came across this paperback version of Lord Jim, which I purchased in 1966 while a freshman in high school. Why in the world did a 14 year-old-girl purchase, as one of her first book buys ever, Lord Jim by Joseph Conrad? Because as a girl she had loved the Classics Illustrated Comic book story of Lord Jim. The old paperback's red cover reflects the high emotion of the scene depicted in the illustration: the lone light of the ship before the crew loses sight of I was looking over my old books when I came across this paperback version of Lord Jim, which I purchased in 1966 while a freshman in high school. Why in the world did a 14 year-old-girl purchase, as one of her first book buys ever, Lord Jim by Joseph Conrad? Because as a girl she had loved the Classics Illustrated Comic book story of Lord Jim. The old paperback's red cover reflects the high emotion of the scene depicted in the illustration: the lone light of the ship before the crew loses sight of it, the single life boat fleeing from the Patna with the cowardly crew, and Jim glowering and defensive about the shame of having jumped ship. The comic shows the youthful Jim, always in clean white apparel, his blond hair nearly white against his tanned face. The paperback cover illustrates Jim's moment of shame; the comic his moment of honor and expiation, leaving his beloved Jewel to face the consequences of his actions. The girl me found Jim heroic and tragic. As children we imagine wondrous achievements of glory and righteousness. Catching the flag before it dips to the ground, settling the murderous intruder with music that calms the wild beasts. Jim has kept that childlike dream of heroism and high ideals into his twenties. "He saw himself saving people from sinking ships, cutting away masts in a hurricane, swimming through a surf...When all men flinched, then--he felt sure--he alone would know how to deal with the spurious menace of wind and seas." Then at age 23 Jim's opportunity comes, and he fails to live up to his own high self-image. The plot line goes like this: Jim ships aboard the Patna, whose jaded crew he finds far beneath his parsonage-rooted high values. "I loathed them. I hated them," Jim tells Marlowe, the narrator of the story. The Patna strikes something while in the ocean, likely a floating hulk. Water is filling the holds. The crew in a panic abandons ship, without thinking of the lives of the 800 Muslim pilgrims on board, for there are not enough life boats. Jim will have nothing to do with this, until at the last moment. The captain and crew are shouting "jump, jump" and Jim's primal brain opts for survival--- and Jim jumps. He hates himself from that moment. "Äh! What a chance missed! My God! What a chance missed!" The ship does not sink. Jim alone faces trial while the others run away. The entire crew loses their credentials. "I may have jumped, but I don't run away." Marlowe was in the courtroom. Afterwards, a man in the street comments on 'that yellow cur', a dog, but Jim assumes the comment was for his benefit and he turn on Marlowe who he believes uttered the words. Marlowe ends up listening to Jim's story, and finds him employment with Stein,. Stein understands at once: "He is romantic." "There were his fine sensibilities, his fine feelings, his fine longings--a sort of sublimated, idealized selfishness. He was--if you allow me to say so--very fine; very fine--and very unfortunate.A little coarser nature would not have borne the strain; it would have had to come to terms with itself...a still coarser one would have remained invulnerably ignorant and completely uninteresting." Jim rejoices in being given a clean slate, and performs his job remarkably well, becoming Stein's protege and surrogate son. But the moment someone recognizes him, Jim in shame runs away deeper into the Malaysian islands. Marlowe finds Jim employment where he will never be recognized, on Patusan, an island in the remote district of a native-ruled state. There are three factions warring over trade, and only one other white man on the entire island, Cornelius, who Jim is sent to replace. Cornelius is not fine, and he despises Jim. Jim has been given the opportunity to blossom into the kind of man he always knew he was, and wanted to be. He helps the native ruler Doramin fend off the Rajah and becomes a local hero. The natives respect him, telling tales of his magical powers, and call him Tuan Jim, or Lord Jim. Jim assumes responsibility for their well being and considers them his people. It is a microcosm of Colonialism in its most idealized form. Jim realizes that this adulation is false, that there is another truth, the real truth, of his fallen nature and cowardice. "He was like a figure set up on a pedestal." Several years later, Marlowe visits Jim. He tries to convince Jim not to hide from the world, exclaiming, "that it is not I or the world who remember...It is you---you, who remember". Jim no longer deems himself worthy of life within the white world. He believes he has found his calling and place. A Buccaneer named Brown comes to the island seeking food. The natives capture Brown and want to kill them. Jim understands that good men can do bad deeds and who is he to condemn anyone? He tells Doramin that the pirates were evil-dowers, but their destiny had been evil, too. He convinces the natives to let the white men return to their ship with food. "He was ready to answer with his life for any harm that should come to them." Cornelius convinces the pirates plan to take over the trade themselves. On their way to their ship, the pirates attack and kill Doramin's son. Jim realizes that he has brought about his own ruin. I Jim presents himself to Doramin who shoots Jim through the chest. Marlowe calls Jim's act exalted egoism, tearing himself from the arms of the women who loves him to "celebrate his pitiless wedding with a shadowy ideal of conduct." I have read the novel a number of times. I no longer feel kindred to Jim's high romantic idealism. I enjoy the novel on other levels: Conrad's gorgeous writing, the psychological study of human nature. We know today bout how the human brain works on two levels: the primal brain that judges flight or fight, and the higher brain that logically looks at the consequences of our actions. Jim's jump was primal. His presentation to Doramin was a conscious act of accepting justice---A rare virtue in any time. We are labeled the "me generation." We are a society in which we get all we can get, and where shirking responsibility is considered savvy. We have dropped the prayer of confession from church services because we want religion to be personally uplifting and the idea of all being sinners is a downer. Personal responsibility has become passe'. I expect Romanticism is completely dead. As perhaps it was even when Conrad wrote this novel. Marlowe and Stein both see Jim as possessed with a great egoism. No one understands what drives Jim into hiding, why he cannot forgive himself, and why he does not realize that his jump means little to others. We can think about celebrities and politicians who committed grave personal errors, which were soon forgot or forgiven by the public, and whose careers went on. I recall hearing that when we are young we think everyone is watching us; when we are middle aged we no longer care that people are watching us; and when we are old we understand that no one was watching us in the first place. Jim represents youth with all its anxiety, its quest for identify, and need for approval. As a child I loved the tragedy. As a girl the high ideals. And as old age advances, I realize that Conrad has caught the high idealism of self-conscious youth in the character of Jim. And that expiation is a personal matter that no one else will ever understand.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Bryan "goes on a bit too long"

    Lord Jim: Five stars--The novel by Conrad to which I've responded the most. This Norton Critical Edition (First Edition): Four stars. There was a time when I looked to the Nortons for an explanation of the text, especially for works I found to be difficult. Eventually I realized that really wasn't their purpose, though there might be something in the extended matter that raised my awareness, or elicited some kind of insight. What they do instead is present some background information on the text, Lord Jim: Five stars--The novel by Conrad to which I've responded the most. This Norton Critical Edition (First Edition): Four stars. There was a time when I looked to the Nortons for an explanation of the text, especially for works I found to be difficult. Eventually I realized that really wasn't their purpose, though there might be something in the extended matter that raised my awareness, or elicited some kind of insight. What they do instead is present some background information on the text, the author, and some critical opinions. The more of them that I've read, the less necessary I feel them to be. For this edition, the first hundred pages after the conclusion of the novel were of little interest to me. First was a section delineating the many textual differences between the serialized version of Lord Jim, the first English publication, the first American publication, plus five more later publications. Next was a glossary of terms used in the book, and then a reprint (with notes) of a short sketch Conrad wrote called Tuan Jim, his first treatment of the character. This is followed by a selection of correspondence between Conrad and others over Lord Jim; and then the final fifty pages, which detail the real life events which inspired some of the elements in the novel. For my purposes, these hundred pages could have been summed up anecdotally in a few paragraphs. The last section reprinted critical essays concerning the novel--I was much more interested in these, but it's probably worth mentioning that this criticism was published in the middle of the last century, and does not address critical concerns that seem to dominate contemporary outlooks. (I see there is a second edition, published in 1996, that may offer more up-to-date views, I don't know.) One of the things I like about these Norton collections of criticism is that they often include a kind of essay chain--subsequent essays often refer back to (and often disagree with) those that came before. These that are included here I thought were informative and insightful, and I especially enjoyed the one by Albert J. Guerard. In Other Nortons I've read (Moby Dick, Turn of the Screw), the essay section did not engage me as much as this one, and so I rest my four-star rating of the edition on that.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Athens

    Joseph Conrad is a favorite author. His way with shaping English (a second language to him, being Polish), is remarkable to this day. Nobody seems to be entirely clear on the difference between fiction and literature, if any, but this book would seem to be both. There seem to be two schools of thought regarding stars on goodreads. One is simply "did I personally ~like~ the book". The other is "regardless of my liking, is this a good book". Most voting seems to follow the first line, with which is Joseph Conrad is a favorite author. His way with shaping English (a second language to him, being Polish), is remarkable to this day. Nobody seems to be entirely clear on the difference between fiction and literature, if any, but this book would seem to be both. There seem to be two schools of thought regarding stars on goodreads. One is simply "did I personally ~like~ the book". The other is "regardless of my liking, is this a good book". Most voting seems to follow the first line, with which is understandable, but not really complete. The point being that a reader may not "like" a calculus book, but a personal opinion of calculus has no bearing on the value of the book in a more objective sense. It could be a great calculus book, the reader is poor at math, so they one-star it. Nobody can take the first vein out of the picture, but please, for the love of pete, consider the second vein too. OK, this is 5-star in both veins. Paul

  30. 4 out of 5

    John

    Since graduating college, my reading comprehension has swirled reticently down the drain only to be filtered at some refinement center and turned into slightly fluoridated water. This has caused me to only read the words in books and sometimes forget what has happened, also to question whether or not I used "reticently" in an acceptable manner. Considering my lagging comprehension skills, I turned to Sparknotes to see how lost I was. On occasion, I had no idea what was going on. I was aided great Since graduating college, my reading comprehension has swirled reticently down the drain only to be filtered at some refinement center and turned into slightly fluoridated water. This has caused me to only read the words in books and sometimes forget what has happened, also to question whether or not I used "reticently" in an acceptable manner. Considering my lagging comprehension skills, I turned to Sparknotes to see how lost I was. On occasion, I had no idea what was going on. I was aided greatly when I realized that Marlow was the narrator for most of the story. For the most part though, I wasn't too far off with the happenings of the chapters. I missed a lot of details, but usually got the big picture. I struggled mostly with Conrad's timeline. He seems to not bother with things like allowing the narrator to say, "Oh by the way, I am now reflecting on the time that I met so and so and he told me this story about Jim. Forget that this happened about two years before the stuff that I just told you. I'm going to jump around a lot and not warn you at all. Also, I'm a big fan of pronouns and not so much in regard to proper names. If you don't pay attention, you will wonder who the hell he, she, and they are quite often." Conrad is one hell of a writer, but I can't understand him. His writing is like a pretty French girl. I enjoy looking at her and even listening to her speak, but I only understand every fifth word. Zut! Quelle heure y'til. Bete comme chou. Je m'appelle John. J'ai fin.

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