Read Lord Jim by Joseph Conrad Online


Haunted by the memory of a moment of lost nerve during a disastrous voyage, Jim submits to condemnation by a Court of Inquiry. In the wake of his disgrace he travels to the exotic region of Patusan, and as the agent at this remote trading post comes to be revered as 'Tuan Jim.' Here he finds a measure of serenity and respect within himself. However, when a gang of thievesHaunted by the memory of a moment of lost nerve during a disastrous voyage, Jim submits to condemnation by a Court of Inquiry. In the wake of his disgrace he travels to the exotic region of Patusan, and as the agent at this remote trading post comes to be revered as 'Tuan Jim.' Here he finds a measure of serenity and respect within himself. However, when a gang of thieves arrives on the island, the memory of his earlier disgrace comes again to the fore, and his relationship with the people of the island is jeopardized....

Title : Lord Jim
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9781551111728
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 455 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Lord Jim Reviews

  • Lyn
    2019-04-21 14:41

    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.

  • Jan-Maat
    2019-03-24 19:27

    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 (p101)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.

  • Megan Baxter
    2019-04-15 13:25

    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

  • Jason Koivu
    2019-04-21 13:21

    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.

  • peiman-mir5 rezakhani
    2019-03-24 17:39

    ‎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--------------------------------------------‎عزیزانم، داستان از این قرار است که جوانی ماجراجو به نامِ <جیم>، به کارِ دریانوردی میپردازد... در یکی از سفرها، کشتی دچار طوفانِ دریا شده و جیم به همراهِ چندی دیگر از ملوانها، کشتی را ترک کرده و مسافران را تنها میگذرانند.. همان طوفان سبب میشود تا مسافرانِ کشتی، در دریا غرق شوند و جیم و دوستانش نیز نجات یابند.... پس از این رویدادِ تلخ و کارِ ناجوانمردانه و پستی که جیم انجام میدهد، عذاب وجدان او را رها نمیکند و همیشه کابوس میبیند و احساس میکند که آن موضوع سبب شده تا همیشه نفرینی بالایِ سرِ او و زندگی اش، باشد...... خلاصه، مدت ها میگذرد و سرانجام جیم دوباره به دریا باز میگردد و اینبار به عنوانِ منشیِ یک شرکتِ مسافرتی، به شهرهایِ گوناگون سفر میکند. ولی این ترس همیشه با اوست که مبادا کسی از آن حادثه زنده مانده باشد و پرده از آن جنایتِ ناجوانمردانه بردارد و آبرویِ او را بریزد....... جیم در یکی از سفرها، به جزیره ای در مجمع الجزایرِ "ماله" به نامِ "پاتوزان" میرسد ... جزیره دچارِ جنگ هایِ داخلی میباشد و جیم در آنجا با فرمانده ای از جنگجویان به نامِ <دورامین> آشنا میشود و در کنارِ دورامین با <علی> رهبرِ مخالفان در جزیره، میجنگد و علی را شکست میدهند و جیم در آن جنگ از خویش بی باکی و دلاوری های زیادی نشان میدهد و از آن پس مردم او را با نامِ <لرد جیم> صدا میزنند و زندگی جیم به یک آرامشِ نسبی میرسد و در همان جزیره نیز ماندگار میشود و با دختری به نامِ <جواهر> که از بومیانِ جزیره میباشد، ازدواج میکند‎همه چیز به خوبی پیش میرود تا آنکه مردی جنایتکار و جنگ طلب به نامِ <براون> وارد جزیره میشود و با فریب و جنگ طلبی هایِ خویش، سبب میشود تا بومیان و اهالی جزیره که به جیم وفادار هستند، شورش کنند و اینگونه بازهم در جزیره کشت و کشتار، آغاز میشود... در این شورش ها، پسرِ فرمانده دورامین، به دستِ شورشی ها، کشته میشود..... جیم زمانی که این رویدادهای تلخ و ناگوار را میبیند، به نوعی اسیرِ خرافات های مذهبی شده و تصور میکند این همان نفرینی است که سالهایِ سال، پس از انجامِ آن کارِ غیر انسانی با مسافران، همراه او بوده است و تصمیم میگیرد که.............................. عزیزانم، بهتر است خودتان این داستان را بخوانید و از سرانجامِ آن آگاه شوید-------------------------------------------‎امیدوارم این ریویو در جهتِ شناختِ این کتاب، مفید بوده باشه‎<پیروز باشید و ایرانی>

  • Jango
    2019-03-26 18:40

    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.

  • Nandakishore Varma
    2019-03-26 14:34

    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.

  • Matt
    2019-03-29 13:34

    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.

  • Capsguy
    2019-04-17 17:43

    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!

  • Jennifer
    2019-04-05 12:14

    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.

  • Steve
    2019-04-03 13:22

    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.

  • Henry Avila
    2019-04-20 12:25

    Jim,no other name is given except Lord, which he acquires later on.A son of an English clergyman,who seeks adventure, 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 Ocean area.But everything changes, when taking 800 pilgrims to Mecca.Something hits the ship underneath.Springing a major leak.Opening a hatch,Jim see's water flooding the Patna. And any moment, she will sink to the bottom of the sea.Reporting to the obese,German captain,what he found.The officers of the steamer agree with Jim, and decide, that there is little time left,before the vessel goes under.What about all the passengers?A shortage of lifeboats, will doom them.No warning is given .... Beside's, its every man for himself.The captain and his officers take a lifeboat,(after a vigorous struggle) and go overboard. Leaving one man dead who collapsed of a heart attack.The wavering Jim,finally jumps in the sea,to save himself.But 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,when they are picked up too,by a different vessel.Who would hire such cowards!The first mate even testifies at the inquiry,the only one of the officers .All lose their papers.Afterwards,Jim travels from Asian port city to city.He gets supplies, for ships in need but always sneaking off when his true identity ,is discovered. People by then, do not care,only Jim.Fortune improves, after meeting Captain Marlow. A friend of his,Mr.Stein, a rich old European trader,with a fabulous butterfly collection, gives him a job.In an Indonesian,island jungle.He soon helps to defeat a local warlord and receives the name Lord Jim.The Englishman has all the power, he can do anything he wants.Falling in love with a mixed race girl too.But will the moody man,every cleanse his soul, of his demons?Enemies are around, who will try to bring down Lord Jim's jungle kingdom....

  • Davide
    2019-04-18 17:18

    «perché è mio convincimento che nessuno comprenda appieno gli abili stratagemmi cui ricorre per sfuggire all’ombra sinistra della conoscenza di s黫Sicuramente, in nessun altro mestiere come in quello del mare i cuori di coloro già varati per affogare o per nuotare si protendono così tanto verso il giovane ancora sulla sponda, che guarda con occhi scintillanti il luccichio della vasta superficie, che è soltanto un riflesso dei suoi stessi sguardi pieni di fuoco.»

  • Amy
    2019-04-03 12:14

    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")

  • Lobstergirl
    2019-04-14 18:33

    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.

  • Pavle
    2019-04-01 15:31

    Lord Džim je sukobljeni iz naslova romana koji je možda i najautentičniji, najljudskiji, najpromišljeniji i definitivno najcelovitiji portret fiktivnog lika koji sam ikada pročitao. Konrad je ovo pisao u isto vreme kao i Srce Tame i to se oseća (iako je po mom mišljenju ovo daleko, daleko uspelije delo; ipak, na neki način nisu toliko u konkurenciji, koliko su kompanjoni, dva lica istog novčića). Strani svet, mračan, ali i lep (kao što je i Konradov stil - neke rečenice su me ostavljale u šoku). Tu je i pripovedač Marlou koji ima ovde kambek ali sa daleko važnijom ulogom od proste narativne smicalice. Tu je i fascinantan glavni lik oko kojeg se sve upliće i zapliće, samo gde je Kurz bio definicija mraka i više u pozadini, Džim je... Džim. Lik koji se nalazi izmedju romantike i stvarnosti, izmedju morala i realnosti, lik kojeg je svet zaboravio. I umesto daljeg preseravanja (pošto stvarno ne znam šta da kažem), citiraću deo jedne stranice romana koja meni puno znači, rečenicu koju kao da sam čekao da mi neko kaže, jer to je ono što dobri romani rade: ’She knew him to be strong, true, wise, brave. He was all that. Certainly. He was more. He was great – invincible – and the world did not want him, it had forgotten him, it would not even know him. (...) "Why?" she murmured. (...) „Because he is not good enough.“ I said. (...) „Nobody, nobody is good enough.“‘Ali ovaj roman jeste. p.s. wordsworth-ovo izdanje za sirotinju (kada sam video u knjižari za trista dinara samo što nisam u nesvest pao) je knjigu od 450 stranica uspelo da prešalta na 250, sadističkim pakovanjem teksta do granice čitljivosti. Ja mislim da to zaslužuje neku nagradu.5+

  • Marco Tamborrino
    2019-03-28 16:16

    Le parole di Stein: "Romantico - Romantico!", sembrano risuonare da quei lidi remoti, che non lo restituiranno mai più a un mondo indifferente alle sue debolezze e alle sue virtù, né a quell'affetto ardente e tenace che rifiuta facili lacrime nello smarrimento di un dolore immane e di una separazione eterna. Da quando la purezza assoluta degli ultimi tre anni della sua vita ha sopraffatto l'ignoranza, la paura e la rabbia degli uomini, egli non mi appare più come l'ho visto l'ultima volta - un puntolino bianco che attirava tutta la debole luce rimasta nella crescente oscurità del mare e della costa - ma più grande e più miserando nella solitudine della sua anima, che rimane anche per colei che più l'ha amato un mistero crudele e insolubile.Ancora adesso credo di non averlo capito del tutto. Dev'essermi sfuggito qualcosa. Jim, Lord Jim, è tante cose, è un romantico, un codardo, un valoroso; ma prima di tutto è un uomo, uno di noi. Uno come noi. Un uomo che commette un errore, un grave errore (le cui analogie con Francesco Schettino sono agghiaccianti). Un uomo che tenta in svariati modi di rimediare a questo errore, cercando allo stesso tempo di reinserirsi nella società. Ma niente da fare. L'unica è allontanarsi dal mondo civilizzato, mettere una barriera tra sé e tutti gli altri uomini tra i quali è cresciuto. Per quasi tutto il libro, attraverso gli occhi di Marlow, abbiamo la possibilità di farci un'idea di chi sia veramente Jim."A dirle la verità, Stein", dissi facendo uno sforzo che mi sorprese, "sono venuto per descriverle io un esemplare...""Farfalla?", chiese prontamente con un tono di ironica incredulità."Niente di così perfetto", risposi, sentendomi di colpo riassalire da ogni sorta di dubbi. "Un uomo!"."Ach so!" mormorò, e l'espressione sorridente che vedevo rivolta verso di me si fece seria. Quindi, dopo avermi guardato per un po', disse lentamente: "Bene - sono un uomo anch'io".[...]"Capisco benissimo. Un romantico".[...]"C'è qualche rimedio?".Alzò il suo lungo indice."Ce n'è uno solo" C'è un'unica cosa che può guarirci dalla malattia di essere ciò che siamo". Il dito scese sulla scrivania con un colpo rapido. Il caso che prima aveva fatto apparire così semplice divenne ancor più semplice - e assolutamente disperato. Ci fu una pausa. "Sì", dissi, "più precisamente, la questione non è come guarire, ma come vivere".Il signor Joseph Conrad sta alla prosa come le stelle stanno al cielo. La scrittura è meravigliosa, profonda, intima e non annoia mai. Siamo noi che rimaniamo a bocca aperta nello scoprire che l'errore di Jim è un errore anche nostro, sebbene non l'abbiamo commesso."Lei mi considera un animale per essere rimasto lì fermo, ma che cosa avrebbe fatto lei? Che cosa? Non può dirlo - non può dirlo nessuno."Jim si allontana quindi dal mondo come lo intendiamo noi e approda a Patusan grazie all'appoggio di Marlow e Stein. Qui si costruisce la fama di un semidio, riuscirà a riscattarsi e anche a trovare l'amore, una ragazza di nome Gemma. Le promette che non se ne andrà mai. Ma lei continuerà a dubitare di lui fino alla fine, perché è uno di loro, uno dei bianchi, e loro se ne vanno sempre."Ah! ma io ti terrò così", gridò... "Tu sei mio!".Gli singhiozzava sulla spalla. Su Patusan il cielo era rosso sangue, immenso, come fluisse da una vena aperta. Un sole smisurato si annidava, color creimisi, tra le cime degli alberi, mentre la foresta sottostante appariva nera e ostile.Un uomo non potrà mai dimenticare il proprio passato, l'errore fatale che l'ha reso tale da non meritarsi di vivere nel mondo civilizzato. Jim si porterà dietro questo peso oscuro a tutti tranne che a Marlow e a Gemma, e questo peso si scontrerà con le parole di Brown alla fine del libro. È un animo tormentato quello del protagonista, un animo infelice e incapace di mettersi in pace. Anche dopo il successo, anche dopo che tutti si fidano di lui, Jim fatica a fidarsi di se stesso. Già una volta se n'è andato abbandonando tutti."Qualche volte gli uomini agiscono in modo malvagio anche se non sono molto peggiori degli altri".Questo libro è meraviglioso. Un capolavoro. E anche se capolavoro è una parola abusata, qui non possiamo usarne altre. Onore a Conrad e alla sua prosa. E onore a Jim, un uomo come tutti noi.

  • Francisco H. González
    2019-04-20 17:33

    Decía Rafael Sánchez-Ferlosio respecto de Crimen y castigo que a pesar de los estupendos diálogos con el juez no pasaba de ser un mediocre folletón, no como Lord Jim, que según él era una obra maestra, porque en esta última funcionaba exclusivamente la moral de Lord Jim y sólo él era responsable y agente de su propia redención, mientras que en Crimen y castigo, la redención de Raskólnikov, es algo a todas luces querido y dirigido por Dostoievski. El final de Crimen y castigo no me convenció, no me resultó coherente con lo anterior. Llevaba años queriendo leer Lord Jim. Finalmente hoy lo he concluido.Dijo Bioy Casares que por las digresiones penetra la vida y Lord Jim es una digresión continua, con una historia central y otras muchas orbitando a su alrededor. Hablar de Lord Jim es hablar de su final, así que quien lea esto sería conveniente que lo haga después de haber leído la novela.Jim, Lord Jim, muere y su final es consecuente dado que parece que no hay redención posible, o no una redención total, a pesar de que Jim, logra por unos años, rehabilitarse, reinsertarse, recuperar la confianza en sí mismo, erigirse como un líder, alguien a quien seguir, alguien confiable, morando en un lugar recóndito, apartado, rodeado de gentes sencillas, donde su único afán será conseguir el bien común, evitar los derramamientos de sangre inútiles; mejorar en definitiva la vida de cuantos los rodean.La vida de Jim nos llega velada, a través de fragmentos que son jirones de la existencia que Marlowe -que oficia de cronista- nos irá refiriendo. Jim, capitán de barco, haciendo una Schettinada en toda regla se da el piro ante el inminente hundimiento de la nave. Jim es juzgado, absuelto, sobrevive, y luego es un alma en pena, preso de los remordimientos, siempre cuestionando lo que hizo, y por qué lo hizo. Un acto que luego trata de purgar, como se refiere arriba. Un acto vil que Jim necesita redimir, al margen de la humanidad, la misma que puede salvarle, y librarlo de sus cadenas. Poderosa y muy entretenida es la narración de Conrad en la descripción de los paisajes (tras esa muralla de bosques bordeada por una cenefa de espuma blanca, tras esa costa, que bajo el sol poniente, parece la misma fortaleza de la noche), sean marinos o de interior. Pero más allá de tantas aventuras y desventuras, de tantos afanes, lo que está en juego es Jim y su conducta, su moral, el enjuiciamiento de sus actos, de ahí que quizás donde la novela se engrandezca es en ese tratar de desentrañar un alma donde anidan sentimientos encontrados (los de un ser trágico, dueño de su destino), lo que impide las etiquetas, las clasificaciones, porque un acto de cobardía no está reñido con un acto de grandeza, la exposición pública con el retraimiento social, y sobre eso es sobre lo que Conrad crea su discurso, en ese terreno ceniciento, lejos del blanco y del negro, en el que alma humana lucha, se debate y a veces naufraga. Como dice uno de los personajes femeninos de Los monederos falsos de Gide, la cual sufre un naufragio "comprendí que había dejado hundirse una parte de mí con el Borgoña, que en adelante cortaría los dedos y las muñecas a un montón de sentimientos delicados para impedirles meterse y hacer que zozobre mi corazón".El hundimiento de Jim no es solo físico, es espiritual.

  • Anascape Taylor
    2019-04-01 19:19

    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.

  • Chiara Pagliochini
    2019-04-24 19:32

    “Se n’era andato. La notte lo aveva inghiottito. Mi rimase negli occhi l’immagine di lui, di un uomo impacciato, sconfitto, finito. Era terribile. Udii il sordo cricchiare della ghiaia sotto le sue scarpe. Stava correndo. Stava correndo, vi dico, e non sapeva nemmeno lui dove era diretto. E non aveva ancora compiuto ventiquattro anni.”Ho iniziato a leggere Lord Jim il giorno stesso in cui ho terminato Moby Dick e debbo dire che la linea di continuità tra i due romanzi continua ad apparirmi sorprendente. Entrambi romanzi di mare, entrambi universi maschili il cui valore fondante è la solidarietà tra uomini che esercitano la stessa professione, entrambi grandiose tragedie umane mascherate da libri d’avventura. Il signor Joseph Conrad scrisse questo romanzo tra il settembre del 1899 e il luglio del 1900. Sulla stessa scrivania, sotto il cerchio opaco dalla lampada, giaceva un altro suo libretto, forse il più famoso, forse uno tra i più grandi della modernità. Lord Jim e Cuore di tenebra sono fratelli di sangue, nati sulla stessa scrivania e nelle stesse ore dalla mente di quello strano uomo approdato alla scrittura dopo una lunga vita piena d’avventure. Il mare, le lussureggianti foreste vergini, i corpi seminudi degli indigeni sono una parte così originale della sua produzione che quasi quasi viene l’istinto di accostarlo ai romanzieri americani, piuttosto che alla pacata narrativa europea. Ma Conrad americano non era e non era neanche inglese, sebbene sia l’inglese la lingua in cui scrive. Conrad era polacco e l’inglese era la sua terza lingua dopo polacco e francese. Il che è esattamente la stessa cosa che pretendere che io scriva un libro in russo. Il nodo centrale di Lord Jim è molto semplice e sintetizzabile in 3 domande:- Chi è Jim?- Perché si comporta così?- È possibile capire chi Jim sia e perché si comporti così?Chi è Jim?- Come si chiama? Jim! Jim! È un nome che, così da solo, non significa proprio nulla. - Qui lo chiamano Tuan Jim, - disse Cornelius con disprezzo. – Sarebbe come a dire: Lord Jim. Jim è un ragazzo che non ha ancora compiuto ventiquattro anni. Figlio di un rispettabile pastore inglese, ha scelto di condurre una vita di mare, per inseguire i propri sogni di grandezza. Il suo animo è intriso di ogni valore positivo che voi vogliate concedergli: è coraggioso, è generoso, vorrebbe diventare capitano e guidare la propria nave in oneste imprese, essere un modello, essere rispettato e amato dal proprio equipaggio. Disprezza ogni individuo ignobile che il Fato mette sul suo cammino, ama con altrettanto fervore le anime grandi. È ingenuo, è avventato, di facili innamoramenti e facili timori, ma cerca di mantenersi saldo, perché sa che solo con l’esercizio della costanza e del dovere potrà raggiungere i propri obiettivi. È gentile d’aspetto, è vigoroso, è intelligente. È la persona migliore cui possiate pensare e, contrariamente alle nostre aspettative di lettore, la sua perfezione non lo rende antipatico neanche un po’. Jim è semplicemente la cosa migliore che si possa essere alla sua età, gode del rispetto e dell’ammirazione di ogni persona che venga a contatto con lui, è la giovinezza alla massima potenza. Ma poi Jim cade. Nella sua corazza di invulnerabilità si apre una piccola crepa, e Jim commette qualcosa che non riuscirà mai a perdonarsi. Nel momento del pericolo, sopraffatto dalla forza della propria immaginazione, che lo spinge a concepire indicibili orrori, Jim abbandona al loro destino la propria nave e gli uomini posti sotto la sua protezione. Jim salta dalla nave. È perduto per sempre. Perché Jim si comporta così?“C’era della solennità, nelle sue parole, ma anche una sfumatura di ridicolo; poiché sempre appaiono solenni e ad un tempo ridicole le lotte intime di un individuo che cerchi di salvare dal fuoco l’idea che egli si è fatto della propria identità morale.”È proprio a questo punto della vicenda che noi incrociamo gli occhi di Jim per la prima volta, quegli occhi blu di una profondità insondabile. Jim è posto sotto processo per l’atto di aver abbandonato la nave alla deriva. I suoi compagni di fuga si sono dileguati. La nave, che sembrava sul punto di affondare, è rimasta miracolosamente a galla ed è stata rimorchiata incolume dopo qualche giorno. Ora tutte le Indie Orientali sanno dell’atto ignobile compiuto dal nostro così caro ragazzo. Lo sa anche Marlow, solido e navigato capitano, ed è attraverso gli occhi di Marlow che noi guardiamo Jim. Marlow, per chi non lo sapesse, è lo stesso simpatico narratore di Cuore di tenebra, che giaceva sulla stessa scrivania giusto un po’ più a destra. Al nostro Marlow non manca una certa dose di auto-ironia, tanto che si sente portato ad esclamare:“Credo proprio, cari amici, che ognuno abbia il suo angelo custode, se mi concedete che ognuno ha pure il suo demone familiare. […] È proprio qui, vicino a me, e, poiché è maligno, non si lascia sfuggire occasione per mettermi in mezzo a quel genere di cose. Quali cose? chiederete voi. Quel genere di cose, quel cumulo di circostanze che per vie traverse, inattese, veramente diaboliche, mi fa sempre imbattere in uomini affranti, sfiniti, vinti, per Giove!, che subito, non appena mi vedono, si credono in dovere di sciogliere la lingua e farmi le loro infernali confidenze.”Come si può non comprendere il povero Marlow, anima semplice e generosa, cui nel giro di pochi anni sono capitati a portata d’orecchio due tipetti destabilizzanti come Kurtz e Jim? A me fa tutto sommato tenerezza. Ma c’è anche da dire che Marlow in un certo senso se le cerca, un po’ per curiosità morbosa di quel “cuore di tenebra” che muove le azioni umane, un po’ perché pensa che indagare quel cuore di tenebra sia come tenere in mano le chiavi di un forziere e che dentro quel forziere sia contenuta una preziosa verità. Marlow non guarda a Kurtz e a Jim soltanto come individui, ma soprattutto come simboli, e sta qui il suo demone personale. Marlow vuole rispondere a una domanda, la stessa che l’uomo si pone dai tempi di Sofocle, dai tempi di Shakespeare. Esiste un ordine precostituito delle cose? L’uomo organizza la sua esistenza entro una serie di regole e di istituzioni. C’è il re, c’è il codice della marina. Questi ordini sono solidi ed immutabili. Ma cosa succede quando un uomo, un singolo, li mette in crisi? Quando un uomo come Macbeth uccide il re, quando un uomo come Jim salta dalla nave? Vuole forse dire che questi sistemi non sono poi così sacri? Vuol dire che non esiste un codice morale? Vuol dire che non si deve rispondere ad altro che alle leggi della propria anima e del proprio cuore? E dove la legge morale imposta coincide con la legge morale dell’individuo?Marlow rimane molto colpito dalla giovinezza e dalla grandezza d’animo di Jim. Ne rimane colpito al punto di volerlo studiare. Ne rimane colpito al punto di volerlo aiutare. “Io ero il solo diaframma fra lui e il cupo oceano”, ci dice. Marlow aiuterà Jim materialmente, ma soprattutto gli offrirà infinite occasioni di riscatto, perché Jim necessita di infinite occasioni in cui esercitare la sua grandezza morale, infinite occasioni onorevoli che cancellino dalla sua coscienza quell’unica azione disonorevole. Jim non riesce a perdonarsi, non riesce ad accettare di aver rinnegato con una sola azione il sogno di una vita, non riesce a guardare negli occhi le persone sapendo che essi sanno quale è stato il suo peccato. Ogni sguardo lo intende come uno sguardo di rimprovero. Ogni parola lasciata cadere come una sferzata per la sua viltà. Ogni mano che si tende per stringere la sua la sente tentennare come se fosse disgustata. Jim è come uno che abbia un cartellino appeso in fronte, un cartellino che assomiglia alla A scarlatta del romanzo omonimo, ma non la A ricamata di Hester, bensì quella marchiata a viva carne su Arthur Dimmesdale. Marlow intuisce che c’è un solo modo per aiutarlo. Mandarlo lontano, lontano, mandare Jim lontano dove nessuno lo conosca, dove nessuno sappia che cos’è essere uomini d’onore e cosa sia la moralità per gli uomini bianchi. Ed è così che Jim finisce a Patusan, un’isoletta della Malesia, tra i selvaggi (vi ricorda qualcosa?). Jim finisce in un luogo che più in basso di così non si può cadere. Si può soltanto risalire. E tornare a brillare di quella giovinezza rapinosa che è la sua forza. È possibile capire chi Jim sia e perché si comporti così?Per aiutare Jim, Marlow si fa a sua volta aiutare da un amico di vecchia data, Stein, commerciante tedesco e collezionista di farfalle. Marlow si reca da Stein per avere consiglio riguardo al caso di Jim e la loro conversazione esordisce così:- Ho appena finito di descrivere questo rarissimo esemplare… Bah! E lei, che novità mi racconta?- A dire il vero, Stein, sono qui proprio per descriverle un esemplare almeno altrettanto raro…- Una farfalla? - Oh! Nulla di altrettanto perfetto. Si tratta di un uomo!- Ach, so! – mormorò Stein, mentre il sorriso gli si spegneva lentamente sulle labbra. Poi, dopo avermi fissato in silenzio per qualche istante, disse con lentezza: - Ebbene, sono un uomo anch’io, dopotutto. Credo che Stein sia la vera voce filosofica del romanzo, e credo anche che sia un po’ Shakespeare, un piccolo Shakespeare delle Indie Orientali che colleziona farfalle. È Stein a diagnosticare con precisione la malattia di Jim: “Comprendo perfettamente. – disse. – è un romantico.” Ma come si cura un romantico? Sappiamo curare la febbre, sappiamo curare il morbillo. Ma chi è malato dei propri sogni, come si cura? Stein accosta Jim ad Amleto (e noi scopriremo più tardi che tra gli oggetti di Jim c’è una collezione delle opere complete di Shakespeare). Ma se il problema di Amleto era “essere o non essere?”, il problema di Jim è invece “come essere?”. Non c’è niente da fare, sostiene Stein. Non ci si cura dai propri sogni, tutto ciò che si può fare è cedere all’elemento distruggitore. “Un uomo che si lascia afferrare dai vortici di un sogno è come un uomo che cada in mare. Se cerca di risalire alla superficie lottando contro l’elemento che lo tiene prigioniero, come fa la gente inesperta, affoga, nicht wahr! No, no! Non così si deve fare! Ci si può salvare soltanto sottomettendoci all’elemento stesso, accettandone la legge…” “Bisogna affidarsi all’elemento distruggitore. Questa è l’unica via… Seguire il sogno… abbandonarsi al sogno… e ancora seguirlo… ewig… usque ad finem”. Insieme Marlow e Stein converranno di spedire Jim a Patusan, il più lontano avamposto della civiltà, in qualità di agente commerciale. E qui comincia la seconda parte della sua storia. A Patusan Jim riesce finalmente a mettere in atto tutto ciò che la sua anima era in potenza. Jim viene accolto come una sorta di divinità e di capo tra i selvaggi, salvandoli dallo strapotere del rajah e dei predoni, tanto da guadagnarsi l’appellativo di Lord. A Patusan nessuno lo conosce, nessuno può rimproverargli nulla. Là la sua parola è legge, ma sempre egli agisce per il bene di quella gente, che da subito diventa la sua gente. Jim non è Kurtz, non ha l’animo del colonialista, non accetterebbe mai sacrifici umani. Jim è proprio un bravo ragazzo. “Egli è uno di noi”, non si stanca di ripetere Marlow.A Patusan Jim troverà anche l’amore di Gioia, giovane e fragile donna di sangue misto, che egli considera come il suo gioiello, tanto che nelle terre lontane si parla di lui come di un uomo che abbia trovato un grande tesoro, forse una grossa pietra verde, che porta sempre sepolta nel petto. La vita di gloria, di avventura, di coraggio, la vita di romanzo che Jim da sempre sognava è finalmente la sua vita. Ma non per molto. Tre anni dura il Paradiso per Jim, tre anni durante i quali nessun uomo bianco viene a turbare la sua pace e a riportargli davanti agli occhi fantasmi che egli crede di essersi lasciato alle spalle. Ma poi l’uomo bianco torna a disturbarlo, a rinfacciargli di nuovo quel crimine di gioventù che Jim ancora non si perdona. Arriva sotto le spoglie di Brown il Gentiluomo, un pirata, un assassino, il peggiore della sua specie. I due avversari si confrontano sulle due sponde di un fiume , “separati soltanto da uno stretto rio fangoso ma ognuno al polo opposto di quella concezione della vita che abbraccia tutto il genere umano”. Brown è approdato a Patusan per caso con la sua masnada di disperati, per depredare l’isola e mettere qualcosa sotto i denti, ma gli indigeni, ormai forti del coraggio infuso loro da Jim, hanno respinto il suo attacco, costringendolo a riparare su un’improvvisata collinetta fortificata. Brown guarda negli occhi quell’uomo bianco, quell’anima bianca che è Jim, e lo disprezza, perché non lo capisce. Non capisce cosa l’abbia spinto ad arrivare fin laggiù, ma intuisce che dentro di lui deve pur esserci una zona buia. E fa leva sulla sua percezione per avere la meglio. Di fronte alle insinuazioni di Brown tutte le certezze conquistate da Jim capitolano. Di fronte a una frase come questa, e per giunta pronunciata da un pirata e un assassino, è facile capire come Jim si senta morire: “Non sono di quelli che si sottraggono alle proprie responsabilità, io. Io e i miei uomini siamo tutti nella stessa barca e se devo affondare… ebbene! Voglio affondare con loro! Non sono tipo io da lasciarli così nei pasticci”. Tutto sembrava finito, e invece niente è finito. E Jim ha di fronte un’altra occasione di tentennamento. Cosa farà, stavolta? Salterà ancora? O rimarrà saldo sulla tolda della nave, fedele alla propria natura e ai propri sogni?Lord Jim è un grande romanzo perché è un romanzo che non offre risposte. Né Marlow né Gioia né Stein né Brown sanno capire Jim, non fino in fondo, perché nessuno capisce nessuno, e “nessun uomo è un’isola” è una favoletta per balordi. Jim è un’isola in un arcipelago di isole tutte con le proprie complessità, i propri sogni, i propri rimorsi. Capirsi è impossibile. Si può solo raccontare la verità parziale che si è intuita, e Marlow,Gioia, Stein, Brown, mille altri personaggi fanno questo. Chi è Jim? Un pazzo! Un romantico! Un vile! Un egoista! Un traditore!Jim è un uomo, è un ragazzo, è “uno di noi”.

  • Tony
    2019-04-12 12:34

    LORD JIM. (1900). Joseph Conrad. ****.I first read this novel back in the 1960s in a Signet Classic Edition. I can still see the cover art in my mind. This edition was one of the Folio Society’s uniform series of Conrad’s works issued serially in the 1990s. “Lord Jim” has been generally acknowledged as Conrad’s best book – certainly his most popular. It is not a breezy read, primarily because of its style and subject matter. Jim’s story is told, mostly, by the character Marlow, who apparently represents Conrad as the narrator. Jim is a young man who sails off on a merchant ship as a lower level crewman. He is employed on a ship, “Patna,” that is transporting pilgrims to a port near Mecca. During the trip, their ship apparently passes over a submerged wreck and damages its hull. It’s night time and the pilgrims are all sleeping, but most of the crew are awake. Jim goes down to check out the damage and feels a portion of the hull buckling under the pressure of the sea. When he goes back up on deck, he finds the rest of the crew readying a lifeboat to abandon ship. He realizes that their leaving puts all of the pilgrims at risk: there aren’t enough lifeboats anyway. While he is standing at the rail watching the crew begin to sail off, he suddenly jumps in the water and joins them on the lifeboat. He doesn’t know why he did that, when his mind was telling him to help alert the pilgrims. This action on his part becomes a question that he can’t seem to begin to account for. The crew later is rescued by another ship, and tell a story of their ship sinking fast after the collision. When their mother ship is found floundering, though safe, a court action takes place and all the crew members are punished by having their licenses taken from them. Jim takes all this badly. He carries the shame of his action much like Hester carries here “A.” He then moves from low-level job to another, hoping to end up somewhere where the people around him haven’t heard of his shame. It doesn’t work. We now move to part two of the novel. Jim is given a chance to work on a backward island that is part of the Indonesian chain, “Patusan.” There he has a chance to redeem himself since nobody there knows of his history. Things work out for a while, and he is ultimately called “Tuan,” (Lord), and is successful with the natives. Things end up badly for Jim, however, since he cannot escape his own nature. The novel explores several basic themes, both through Marlow’s narration and through stories told by other members of the seafaring world. Marlow is a recurring character for Conrad, and we meet him in “Heart of Darkness,” “Youth,” and “Chance.” This is an essential must-read of Conrad’s works. Recommended.

  • Andrea
    2019-03-28 16:41

    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...

  • Ralph
    2019-04-06 11:24

    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.

  • Zulu
    2019-04-15 12:32

    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.

  • Ivana Books Are Magic
    2019-04-08 19:14

    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.

  • David
    2019-03-24 11:36

    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.

  • Joshua Rigsby
    2019-03-30 15:34

    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.

  • david
    2019-04-10 18:24

    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.

  • Athens
    2019-04-13 19:44

    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

  • Bettie☯
    2019-04-24 18:22 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.