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Lord Jim

Joseph Conrad

Book Overview: 

A classic of early literary modernism, Lord Jim tells the story of a young “simple and sensitive character” who loses his honor in a display of cowardice at sea — and of his expiation of that sin against his own “shadowy ideal of conduct” on the remote island of Patusan. The novel, has, in the words of Thomas C. Moser, “the rare distinction of being a masterpiece in two separate genres. It is at once an exotic adventure story of the Eastern seas in the popular tradition of Kipling and Stevenson and a complexly wrought ‘art novel’ in the tradition of Flaubert and James.

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .You! Why not you?"

'It was solemn, and a little ridiculous too, as they always are, those struggles of an individual trying to save from the fire his idea of what his moral identity should be, this precious notion of a convention, only one of the rules of the game, nothing more, but all the same so terribly effective by its assumption of unlimited power over natural instincts, by the awful penalties of its failure. He began his story quietly enough. On board that Dale Line steamer that had picked up these four floating in a boat upon the discreet sunset glow of the sea, they had been after the first day looked askance upon. The fat skipper told some story, the others had been silent, and at first it had been accepted. You don't cross-examine poor castaways you had the good luck to save, if not from cruel death, then at least from cruel suffering. Afterwards, with time to think it over, it might have struck the officers of the Avondale that there was "something . . . Read More

Community Reviews

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 na...more

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...more

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 te...more

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...more

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...more

Για όσους δεν έχουν έρθει σε επαφή με το έργο του, να ξεκαθαρίσω πως ο Κόνραντ δεν γράφει θαλασσινές περιπέτειες μήτε περιπετειώδη μυθιστορήματα που θα συνοδεύσουν τον αναγνώστη στην παραλία. Ο Κόνραντ περιβάλλει εντέχνως το έργο του με ένα πρώτο επίπεδο δράσης, προκειμένου να συγγράψει αμιγώς υπ...more

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.

دوستانِ گرانقدر، پیش از همه چیز باید بگویم، بنظرم این داستان یک نکتهٔ خسته کننده دارد و آن این است که نویسنده، <جوزف کنراد> در جای جایِ داستان، به احساساتِ درونی و سخن گفتنِ شخصیتِ اصلی داستان با وجدانِ خویش پرداخته است که این موضوع داستان را به درازا کشانده است

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, eve...more

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 finish...more

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