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Joseph Conrad and His Stories: Some reasons to like Conrad's writing.
Posted by Mr. Raven, Jul 12, 2009. 1001 views. ID = 2760

Joseph Conrad and His Stories

Posted by Mr. Raven, Jul 12, 2009. 1001 views. ID = 2760
This post was written in 22 minutes.
Reading can be fun when you know what you like and where to find it.
This post has been awarded 6 stars by 2 readers.

You know... I like Joseph Conrad. Recently I've read "Tales of Unres", "Almayer's Folly", "Amy Foster" and now I'm reading "The Arrow of Gold".

At school we were made to read "Lord Jim". I didn't like it too much - it was far too 'intensive' - the book is packed with descriptions that were hard to understand for me back then.

Later I came across "The Heart of Darkness" I believe. What can attract in this sort of books? Not an easy question. Two things that just come to my mind are: the atmosphere and the detail.

By "atmosphere" I mean the whole setting: the story is placed in a distant place, far away from civilization and from ordered life. It's often hot. It's related to the sea. It's about some poor guy that should show some strength but then he often fails pathetically.

By "the detail" I mean places where Mr Conrad creates very nice scenes using very precise choice of words. Let me quote one example from "Tales of Unrest":

"The contact with pure unmitigated savagery, with primitive nature and primitive man, brings sudden and profound trouble into the heart. To the sentiment of being alone of one's kind, to the clear perception of the loneliness of one's thoughts, of one's sensations;to the negation of the habitual, which is safe, there is added the affirmation of the unusual, which is dangerous; a suggestion of things vague, uncontrollable, and repulsive, whose discomposing intrusion excites the imagination and tries the civilized nerves of the foolish and the wise alike."

It wonderfully describes some of the fears that we face when we come across something new, something alien, when we are placed in new surroundings in new situation...

It might be considered hard in reception by some. For me it's music. I mean this guy was very sensitive and he knew how to express details... He somehow knows how to feel, what to feel and how to express it. As "The Arrow of Gold" puts it: "It seems that he had not only a memory but that he also knew how to remember."

It would be nice to know what else can attract to this writer. What is the secret of this magic... But maybe this is exactly why it is so magical - that it's hard to discover the real reasons of the texts' attraction.

Copyright 2009 Mr. Raven. All rights reserved. has been granted non-exclusive rights to display this work. For permission to reprint this item, please contact the author.

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This post has been awarded 6 stars by 2 readers.


Jul 12, 2009
Nice. I also like Conrad. There's another short story of his that I don't think you mentioned, that I really like; it's called "Youth", and it also has Marlow as its narrator.

You might be interested to read this: Heart of Darkness
   ~Posted by Douglas, Jul 12, 2009

Aug 20, 2009
My my my, I am so glad that another person here enjoys the otherworldly precise power of Conrad's prose. He's my favourite author by far, and with good reason too -- his excitingly and enticingly exotic style, his profound themes about society, corruption, hypocrisy and evil, along with the **experience** of actually reading his prose has an almost physically tantalizing quality about it.

Might I also suggest you read:

-Nostromo, a book about how money and greed destroys a hero, and

-Victory, an Island Tale, a book about a disillusioned man who lives in solitude being forced back to society as a result of falling in love with a young girl.

Conrad, in my opinion, should be required reading for all the world!
   ~Posted by Eric, Aug 20, 2009

Mr. Raven
Aug 20, 2009
Thanks for comments. I'm reading "The End of the Tether" right now. Real nice. Conrad has his moments - I mean you just have this regular narration and then suddenly you bump into something quite insightful... To quote:

"Men were not evil, after all. He did not like his sleek hair, his queer way of standing at right angles, with his nose in the air, and glancing along his shoulder at you. No. On the whole, men were not bad - they were only silly or unhappy."
   ~Posted by Mr. Raven, Aug 20, 2009

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