The Nigger of the Narcissus: A Tale of the Sea MOBI ¾



10 thoughts on “The Nigger of the Narcissus: A Tale of the Sea

  1. Darwin8u Darwin8u says:

    The were the everlasting children of the mysterious sea Their successors are the grown up children of a discontented earth They are less naughty but less innocent; less profane but perhaps also less believing; and if they had learned how to speak they have also learned how to whine Joseph Conrad The Children of the Sea All work that aspires however humbly to the condition of art should carry its justification in every line Joseph Conrad Introduction to The Children of the Sea IN a book whose very title suggests it is rigged with the weight of race and racism bigotry and brutality it is strange to discover the book is really not especially about race While the main character in The N of Narcissus IS black the book's narrative after the beginning doesn't hardly deal with that Race is practically the least interesting least compelling THING about James Wait It is hard to figure out how to talk about the book I have no card Nobody who isn't black has a card so do I avoid the title Use the alternate title The Children of the Sea? Do I only use N? Do I bow to Kanye and use broke broke? The disastrously named book is however fundamentally about humanity Like most of Conrad's books the sea provides a rhythm and a boat provides the setting for exploring the way men interact Looking at the way men deal with life and death and the contradictions we feel towards those we love and those we hate is a taut canvas for Conrad to sew what was probably the beginning of his best period of writing This novella was followed immediately by such masterpieces as Heart of Darkness Lord Jim Typhoon etcThe other gem from this book is Conrad's bold introduction which is considered one of the best manifestos of literary impressionism If you don't like fiction the short introduction all by itself is almost worth the price of admission


  2. Bob Bob says:

    Obviously the title alone puts it somewhat beyond the pale for a high school curriculum even the reader with a broader experience of the evolution of racial attitudes is going to approach in hopes of a progressive stance than she's likely to getThe title character is a West Indian St Kitts I think with an aristocratic demeanor and a resonant voice one can imagine James Earl Jones in the part who can mete out twice the disdain he receives a sailor hired on in India for a trip back to England who immediately declares himself too ill to work Although suggestions that he's malingering arise and at one point he sneers that he is in fact defrauding the chiefs it turns out he is actually dying and ultimately deluding himself All the other hands revolve around him as a sort of all purpose other; the most iconic characters are the captain who embodies noblesse oblige a Cockney left wing agitator who we are persuaded to disdain even though he gives voice to the reform movement of the latter 19th c against the dreadful treatment of the merchant marine that Conrad himself belatedly came around to outgrowing the macho libertarian attitude to seagoing culture of his earlier days and the old salt the 60 ish lifetime sailor who is as unuestioning of the class hierarchy of the ship as the captainThe complex racial social and political uestions that Conrad raises despite the neutral authorial stance the trope of the ship as a microcosm of society with a purity of purpose that is contrasted to the unexamined lives on the shore and the sometimes breathtaking prose are all worth the work of reading itThe other accomplishment of the book is what we would now call the cinematic descriptions of storms at sea I found them dizzying and at times preferable to skim Conrad was apparently influenced by the battle scenes in The Red Badge of Courage which I immediately picked up for comparison


  3. J.M. Hushour J.M. Hushour says:

    He was at all extremityForget the title for a minute though I'll say something about that shortlyThis is one of Conrad's finest works and its tight succinct and scathing effectiveness as a morality tale might even set it higher than Heart of DarknessThe plot is simple a black English sailor is dying aboard the Narcissus during its journey home Initially he is seen as a shirker but as it becomes apparent that he actually is dying the swarm of roiling humanity among the morally uncouth crew asserts itself and they become his champion even threatening mutiny against the captainFor such a brief novel there are a lot of layers at work here One is the idea of a utopia the ship disturbed by the brute incursion of reality death The first third of the book during which the n word is peppered focuses on the sailors' horror at the specter of death among them He became the tormentor of our moments Invulnerable in his promise of speedy corruption he trampled on our self respect he demonstrated to us daily our want of moral courageThe dying sailor reminds them of their own mortality His companion death strikes fear into the hearts of the sailors at first Then curiously the tone shifts and the crew reminded constantly that no matter what they do they are doomed and that the dying sailor is nothing than a reminder of their own futility begin to care for him go out of their way to protect him even risking their own lives to do soThis is a very strange book with so stark a bifurcation in its approach to the subject of death At first the sailor is referred to disparagingly using the titular slur But once the sailors rally to him compassionately surrounding him in his dying days the word vanishes I'm not sure if Conrad intended that but the effect is very dramatic What is at first the usual disparaging prejudice soon becomes a battle against death in the name of the dying sailor


  4. Feliks Feliks says:

    First let's get the book 'title issue' out of the way Don't come to me with your cowardly censuring sueamishness If you can't handle classic novels as their authors originally wrote them then go get yourself a job in a government ministry in a totalitarian state somewhere get yourself a job in a small town library where you can have Czarist powers go get yourself a little rubber stamp and a little pot of whitewash and maybe an armband I am reviewing this book under its original title and there's nothing you can do about itNow then What do I think of the uality of the writing found in this Joe Conrad book? What do I think of the theme characters setting structure?Well I think pretty highly of all of it The book as a whole receives only 35 stars from me but this is simply due to the overall impression the work left me with; not because I can cite a great many things wrong with it There aren't a great many things wrong with it While 'Narcissus' is not among my very favorite Joe novels it lies somewhere in the upper middle range of my tastes Nevertheless I can recommend plenty that lies between its covers Basically this is a manly novel full of manly men and manly drama The book has little to do with today's world The ship in the story is a sailing vessel and I mean a very old timey sailing vessel which only has sailors on it No women in the entire yarn as I recall Great One less thing for readers to complain aboutAs a sea tale all the usual sea tale 'tropes' which one expects to see are present and they are all handled very well by Uncle Joe He could hardly fail in this considering his adventurous early life spent at sea himself He paid his duesThe characters aboard the ship and the odd predicament they find themselves in are handled just fine Conrad follows them about their routines and tasks with keen eye for detail; which he delivers up with the necessary 'grit' and sweat and grime and cursing to make you feel immersed in the world of the ship It's capably done; although many other authors can probably do it just as wellThe negro character at the center of the story is vivid for his bombast and his colorful flair in everything he says or does; but it's all uite exaggerated and theatrical I would not affirm that this figure is one of Conrad's best creations; nor would I agree that its a very fulfilling psychological portrait The man is a 'plot device' only; and written with remoteness; at third hand Although I love Conrad I don't give a 'free pass' to everything he attempted in his career In this case it's just not a very rewarding character The 'outsider' doesn't evoke sympathy; in fact he is rather a pain in the ass to read about An annoying and abrasive figure to say the least Is this a good idea to base a novella on? Maybe notHe is at the center of the story though because what Conrad really wants to write about in this tale is the attitudes and feelings of a group of blue collar sea dogs That is to say all of the other sailors aboard the Narcissus They're a motif here for 'everyman' regular guys throughout the whole of the working world the white man's world the western world That's what Conrad knew intimately after all so why not write about it? He's writing what he knowsAnd Conrad does a helluva good job in this department; the psychological side of things; the psychology of men like himself; this is something he knows very well and knows very well how to describeThis is the meat of the story how these men's attitudes transform from one side of the compass utter scorn hatred towards the unappealing black man in their midst and then how their mood swings all the way over to the other side of the dial to love friendship loyalty compassion and identification towards himThis is NOT something 'just any writer' can do And it than justifies itself and justifies the title of the bookThere's something else to talk about I've told you above how this is a novel of men; but it's also a novel of the sea and a fabulous one A milestone really In Conrad's oeuvre just this and one other book 'Typhoon' contain his very best 'sea' writing And this makes it some of the best 'sea writing' in the English language It is the backdrop to the tale but it is stupendous If nothing else you read 'Narcissus' for these eye popping stormy passages and you're grateful Because almost no one else has ever done descriptions of wind and waves; better than this one guy Joseph Conrad He soars in this skill area I know only two authors same timeperiod who compare Tomlinson and Traven These men are the Melvilles and Vernes of the 20th centuryWhere does the book go wrong if anywhere? I won't gloss over it Where it falters and becomes awkward and even tedious is when Conrad goes spiraling off into lengthy painful poetic musings about the idyllic nature of man There is utterly ponderous and sententious rhapsodizing about the twin poles sublime and monstrous of good and evil in men's naturesthe same sort of thing you encounter in 'Heart of Darkness' Come on Joe Man EnoughIt is these and only these passages which make the book 'higher literature' high minded anyway but to me it only suggests that a aggressive editor was needed Uncle Joe goes on for pages at a time with these cerebral musings and it is all very wince worthy It's the only obstacle one ever stumbles over in the writing of this great author Too preachy Too many monologues No don't hand me any BS about his 'racism' He's not a racist you're a neophyteAnyway When held in check his philosophizing makes some superb novels 'Lord Jim' for instance; 'Nostromo'in 'Secret Sharer' it excels; but it almost ruins 'Heart of Darkness' and definitely does ruin 'Almayer's Folly' and other tripe like 'The Arrow of Gold'So what's the final tally here? The book has 5 or so strengths 35 of these aspects are great while 25; not so great Hence my 35 book rating and my overall lukewarm ish feeling towards the experience It was indeed a wonderful read while it lasted; but I've never sought it out for a re read; however it does make me search for other works of the same ilk What can one ask really? Enjoyed it benefited from it and want Nuf said


  5. Ivana Books Are Magic Ivana Books Are Magic says:

    I did like this novella but in comparison to his other works I must admit that I'm not entirely sure how I feel about this one and I don't mean just the unfortunate title In many ways it is similar to other mariner stories of his that I have read for example The Typhoon and yet there is something different about it The writing is brilliant as always Conrad creates an interesting cast of characters the narrative kept my interest but for some reason my heart wasn't completely in it I felt like there was something I was missing Maybe I was just tired I went to sleep late and woke up at uarter to seven this morning figured I might as well finish this book and read it in one sitting I felt immersed in the story the whole time Still it seems to me that it is not one of Conrad's bests I can see why this novella for many marks the beginning of Conrad's 'uality writing' This novella is not without its literary ualities It is easy to see its appeal as it keeps the readers attention in many ways For one it's adventurous and keeps up the suspense by than just serious of events Secondly the cast of characters is uite impressive Conrad is always a master when it comes to psychological characterization of his characters Moreover the theme of isolation and the constant feeling of uncertainly is brilliantly handled The story of a black man suffering from an incurable illness tuberculosis I think? is interconnected with the stories of all other man on board In a way we are all isolated within our skinsThe first couple of times I started this novel I got lost in the author's Preface which is a brilliant essay on nature of art and writing The only Preface I enjoyed as much is Oscar Wilde's Preface to The Picture of Dorian Gray One can't simply pick a passage from it because it feels it would be a crime to cut into such a beautiful text I'm tempted to copy the entire text here as I find it hard to selected just one passage for it In comparison with the above mentioned Preface the book itself initially seemed a bit bleak The opening felt a bit cold However once I really got into this novella this morning that is I had no problem finishing it I did enjoy this novella but perhaps not as much as other Conrad's stories There was something uneasy about this a bit too much uncertainty To a modern reader some parts of it might seem racist although I don't think that was Conrad's intention at all it still might make it a bit harder to read to some I don't think it is fair to drag things out of the context the principal character is portrayed no less as a human being than any other character I can understand why some might be put off by the title as well Paradoxically this novella was first published under the title Children of Sea in USA not because they deemed the word offensive but because the publishers believed that nobody would read a book about a black man That's even sad the reason for the change In reality Jimmy is not isolated because of his race or because of his illness but because he is human and all humans are born and die alone The racial difference perhaps just highlights the human isolation It is a bit of a depressive story in the sense that one gets the feeling that human altruism is essentially self suffocating that we only tend to help others when there is something in it for us At the same it shows that a group of people in this case a crew of a ship perhaps a metaphor for human society are interconnected in ways than we would have guessed It is a sad paradox of the human condition isn't it? We are interconnected but at the same time we are also desperately alone If this novella is truly as some say a metaphor for human isolation then it is a very fitting and well written metaphor A brilliantly written novella but compared with some of Conrad's mature works I felt like it lacks a bit of finesse I can definitely recommend it to fans of Conrad but for those wanting to read him for the first time maybe it is not the best book to start with


  6. Pige Pige says:

    I confess that I read this as part of a Typhoon and other Tales but is was so awesome that I felt it deserved a rating all of it's own It was so twisted and true how Conrad played out and expressed the actions self interests unspoken trusts mistrusts deceptions and weaknesses of this crew of a sailing ship Granted I wasn't initially interested in all the British Sailor talk and trying to figure out what they were saying with their thick accents and sea faring lingo but ultimately that only added to the intensity of the misunderstandings inflated egos and confusion aboard the ship Yet another of Conrad's amazing dissections of the the beauty and blackness of our fallen hearts


  7. Daren Daren says:

    Wow i really struggled with this I found it really challenging to read with its oppressive format For me it is pain to endure a book with paragraphs over a page long The last time I tried it was that awful book The Flanders Road which was absolutely unreadableThis book was a little better but not enough for me to read it fully I don't mind admitting that I had already given up by the midpoint and I skimmed after thatI didn't enjoy it enough to persist Strange as I enjoyed most of the other Conrad that I have read just not for me at this time I guess2 stars


  8. Richard Thompson Richard Thompson says:

    Although Conrad is famous for his seafaring tales I have generally preferred his books that are set mostly or wholly on land This is my favorite of all of his seafaring tales that I have read so far; it is better for example in my opinion than Typhoon or The Shadow Line which are both good stories but not up to Conrad's best This is one of the best stories told from the perspective of the crew of a sailing ship that I have ever read by any author The only one I can think of that I enjoyed as much is Two Years Before The Mast All of the characters in this story are distinctive and interesting Their interactions with each other and with their ship their officers and the sea all ring true They are clearly rough men hardened by years in a rough profession but the sickness of the title character brings out an unexpected tenderness and solicitude in them even though he is black man in an era when prejudice was far worse than it is today even though they suspect him of being a malingerer and despite his apparent lack of appreciation for their ministrations They hate him for all of these reasons and yet they still care for himThe narration is first person but we know almost nothing about the narrator so that it almost becomes third person It is an interesting techniue that Conrad would later perfect with Marlowe in Heart of Darkness


  9. Yigal Zur Yigal Zur says:

    great story great writing


  10. Zoeb Zoeb says:

    She was born in the thunderous peal of hammers beating upon iron in black eddies of smoke under a grey sky on the banks of the Clyde The clamorous and sombre steam gives birth to things of beauty that float away into the sunshine of the world to be loved by men'The Nigger Of The Narcissus' is considered as one of the early definitive works in the oeuvre of Joseph Conrad and with good reason It seems in many places very much the sophomoric work of a brilliant writer blessed with a natural gift for language and characterisation There is not much of a compelling narrative to be discerned or found out from the middling bones of the plot of a ship bound home from Bombay to London and about Jim Waits its only African English seaman the titular 'nigger' of the story who is suffering from tuberculosis and is near death And there is preciously little that Conrad does to flesh out those bare bones; for a reader looking for an eventful and romantically charming adventure across seas and lands there is little romanticism or adventure to be found in between the covers; a lot does happen indeed from storm at sea to the stirrings of open mutiny but not much of it has any bearing on the denouement or even at what Conrad is aiming at throughout the novel But butthat language That gift of prose and characterisation Those words those rolling majestic sentences those helpless desperate believable and thoughtful souls that populate the vivid incredible yet all too real world that Conrad crafts and conjures up so beautifully with such heartfelt passion If for nothing else one could read the whole of 'The Nigger Of Narcissus' in a single relentless session of a few hours into a sleepless night just for the sheer breathtaking beauty with which he portrayed the rather mundane and unspectacular odyssey at the crux of it all But the words the turns of phrase the bejewelled metaphors and the aching utterly poignant honesty and despair of the unforgettable characters they will make you pause reflect brood bask in the glow of their transcendence That also explains why I took my time over this book as I nearly did with 'Heart Of Darkness' too Of course the former has hardly any of the latter's groundbreaking nightmarishly prescient vision but it does share a hypnotic intensity a compulsive readability and a poetic weight that is to be found in almost all the writer's great works Conrad clearly belonged to the league of greats because like others he could tug us in by the hand into a time and a place that might be the past or pure fantasy dreamed up by a storyteller but portrayed in an epic scale and with such tender intimacy that we freuently sigh in wonder as we marvel at it Just as the gritty grimy disgruntled desperate garrulous and even distinguished souls aboard 'The Narcissus' sigh with romantic fascination at how their ship their beautiful brave noble ship and abode holds her own against the fury of Mother Nature And these men are also bound together in an unlikely and unexpectedly altruistic mission to help poor Jim Waits already on the throes of impending death through all his tantrums whims and fancies All that talk about Conrad harbouring racist or homophobic tendencies can be deemed as gobbledygook the truth is that like Dickens' empathy and not merely pity or compensatory sympathy for Fagin Conrad's voice for Jim Waits is real unadorned and honest in its bipolar expression of pretended strength and devastating fear of cocksure smug confidence and utterly heartbreaking vulnerability Let the hard nosed critics make what they can out of this Eually unforgettable are the other characters in the fray the impassioned and flustered Belfast who takes upon himself the noble but earnest duty of attending to Jim; Donkin the good for nothing stowaway who is full of unreasoning grievance; Singleton the uiet laconic elderly seaman who also serves as the ship's de facto philosopher and also one of the sturdiest and most strong willed hands The beautifully calculated and believably organic grace in which Conrad lets these characters interplay with each other and Jim itself makes for a stirring human drama unfolding in the narrative so much that we forget our expectations of romance entertainment and high drama in the seas And then there is the ship itself 'The Narcissus' is as much a beautifully elaborately sculpted character as much as these creations of flesh and blood and witnessing her in all her glory gallantry and mesmeric movement is a literary experience that needs to be savoured on its own to be believed An unforgettable utterly beautiful read that can transport you in an odyssey to a whole new world


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The Nigger of the Narcissus: A Tale of the Sea ❰BOOKS❯ ⚦ The Nigger of the Narcissus: A Tale of the Sea Author Joseph Conrad – Thomashillier.co.uk The Nigger of the Narcissus 1897 is widely regarded as the greatest novel of the sea in EnglishJoseph Conrad's account of the voyage of a sailing ship from Bombay harbour to the Port of London combine of the Kindle Ó The Nigger of the Narcissus is widely regarded as the greatest novel of the sea in EnglishJoseph Conrad's account of the voyage of a sailing ship from Bombay harbour to the Port of London combines uniuely the skills of the master mariner with the power of the master novelist Nigger of the Narcissus: A Kindle - It evokes in intense and exact detail what it felt like to negotiate the The Nigger PDF/EPUB or great wind belts of two oceans But it is also Conrad's first major exploration of the psychology of service of the pressure on a group of seamen brought to the testof the moral problems of conduct by their encounter with elemental nature and with the secret terror and evasions of two of their comradesThis edition includes an introduction on Conrad's conception of the sea in Nigger of the PDF ↠ the context of the late nineteenth century and a fresh interpretation of the famous Preface defining his artistic aims It also contains a specially compiled glossary of nautical termsCover Illustration Birkdale Barue on Waist Looking Forward by John Everett.