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Lord Jim (English Edition) [Format Kindle]

Joseph Conrad

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This book was converted from its physical edition to the digital format by a community of volunteers. You may find it for free on the web. Purchase of the Kindle edition includes wireless delivery.

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  • Format : Format Kindle
  • Taille du fichier : 553 KB
  • Nombre de pages de l'édition imprimée : 258 pages
  • Pagination - ISBN de l'édition imprimée de référence : 1450506755
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  • Langue : Anglais
  • ASIN: B0084753UI
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Commentaires client les plus utiles sur (beta) 4.2 étoiles sur 5  53 commentaires
14 internautes sur 14 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Psychologically Complex, Sounding the Deep 11 février 2012
Par Dr Tathata - Publié sur
From the vantage point of the 21st century, I often wonder about the life of a sailor in the 2nd half of the 19th century, when ports of call existed on every continent, and commercial trade conventions were long established, and far-off exotic locales were familiar places to the peripatetic seaman. How different is the local culture and life of the great seaports than those land locked communities in the heartlands, far from either river or railroad. How many wandering storytellers come to such communities with stories of extreme duress and moral complexity? What do such isolated communities know and understand of the complicated, difficult, and often imperfect ethical conundrums that confront the worldly wise and often, world weary in their wanderings across the seas.

Lord Jim is a fascinating, complex psychological character study of someone who bore on his back the burden of absolute, utter disgrace, yet who longed for an opportunity to demonstrate, at least to himself, if no one else, that his one great moral failure should not define the whole of his character. And thus he remained true to himself, to the bitter end. When all his colleagues ran off to avoid standing up and being held accountable, exposed to public scrutiny, public contempt, and public ridicule, Jim alone answered for his actions to the high maritime court. And when he had made that ill-fated bargain with a human devil incarnate, Gentleman Brown, that turned out SO badly, once again, he alone, stood up before the high judge and accepted his responsibility, and the final, inevitable decree. He could have fled, but instead, like Socrates, he saw nothing to flee to. He had acted thusly, he accepted his responsibility, and he held himself accountable to others whom had placed their faith and trust in him.

This is NOT a novel about cowardice! It is much more complex than that. Each of us, in the screenplay's of our own lives, tends to write ourselves as the heroic protagonist who always wears the white hat, and we always justify, in one way our another, the actions we take and the decisions we make. But how many of us are truly tested--in the crucible--where the urge and impulse must be weighed against the notion of obligation and duty, and the kind of decision that judges on a high court might make, after hearing all the evidence, after taking the time for proper deliberation--is demanded in the twinkling of an eye. Which of us could always make the right decision, every time, when confronted with such desperate situations--and examining our own characters honestly--where does that leave each one of us. Conrad argues that it should lead us like Marlowe, who has seen much of the world, and is willing to see the good in others who were tried in the balance and found wanting. Marlowe believes in the possibility of redemption, of growth and of hope, and it is his faith alone that finally persuades Jim that his life may yet have some meaning--that he may yet transform his one great failure into a kind of transcendent moral victory. And--alas, it is Jim's striving for moral perfection that, in the end, is his own undoing. For not every one of us is deserving of the kind of faith that Marlowe had in Jim. Faith and trust in a true psychpath like Gentleman Brown would be a bad bet every time. It's like the folklore of the frog and the scorpion--in the end, the scorpion will sting the frog, every time, because it is his nature. But Jim had known desperation, and he knew he had no right to claim any moral high ground, having failed once, himself, and so, he was willing to trust Brown, to take him at his word, as a gentleman. All his companions knew Brown for what he was--but Jim was blind to it--he saw himself in Brown, and was moved to mercy because he himself had been the object of Marlowe's mercy. This is complex stuff! And Conrad wants you to think hard, and seriously about it, for, as Immanuel Kant has written, the only absolute is the Moral Imperative. But the certainty of Moral absolutes is always fleeting--we are ALWAYS crucified on the poles of two competing perspectives-two equally valid and totally opposing propositions--and the real challenge to courage is to chose one, and let it be on YOUR head.

So, Jim's failure as a crew member of the ill fated Patna was NOT cowardice--it was simply going along with the others. It was herd behavior. We find this principle expressed in the New Testament in the form of: "I have not come to bring peace but a sword! For I have come to set a man against his father... And one's foes will be members of one's own household." It was Jim's going along with the rest of the crew in their abdication of their obligations that was his failure--the crew knew that he did not feel as they--they talked openly of throwing him out of the lifeboat--he stayed awake all night gripping the tiller as a club lest they try it. No, Jim's failure on the Patna was in not saying NO! to the rest of the crew, and staying behind, living up to the duties, and the responsibilities he had agreed to undertake when he signed on. By blindly following the leadership of the herd, he betrayed himself, the Pilgrims, the Ship owners, indeed, all of the civilized world.

This book is easily misunderstood if you do not take the time to consider what Conrad is saying, carefully. Any of us is capable of moral failure or corruption, given the right circumstances. And he shows us how even the motivation to never make another mistake of that sort can itself lead to a fatal weakness. In this, he has identified the original Catch-22 long before Joseph Heller. Conrad is one of the deepest, and most profound writers in western literature, and he requires his reader to work a little; but the investment is worth it. The candle is worth the game.
4 internautes sur 5 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Conrad's masterpiece 24 août 2012
Par reader 451 - Publié sur
Honour, like virtue, or like reputation, is more easily lost than regained. Such is the premise of Lord Jim. Conrad himself half-admits in his cover note that this is probably his best novel. For more than an absorbing tale of guilt, love, and adventure, it is also a book that asks big and incisive questions. What is honour? Is there such a thing in life as principle? Or rather can one live without principles and, if not, then what if one has to die for them?

Jim is young and idealistic, a talented and unafraid sailor, but he has made an early mistake, a lapse that caused him to abandon ship at the wrong time. Relegated to the fringe of the mariners' community, he drifts into in a lost corner of the Indonesian islands. It is there that he becomes Lord Jim, a pacifier, an arbiter among the local folk, a living legend. The lost province of Patusan, besides, is where he finds romance in the person of the smart, attractive, and spirited half-caste Jewel. Yet as strife re-emerges in the shape of a pirate raid on the town, Jim is soon torn between the defence of his patiently rebuilt self-regard and his love and life's salvation.

Lord Jim is told in two parts, both drawing minutely and to striking effect from Conrad's personal experience of the sea and the tropics. First comes the strange and paradoxical shipwreck of the Patna, a transport for Meccan pilgrims on which Jim acts as skipper. Then the book follows Jim in his subsequent drift and his reinvention in Patusan. The story is told by sea captain Charles Marlow, the same narrator Conrad has in Heart of Darkness, here however developed as a character at greater length and to greater effect. Finally, for those worried about political correctness, this is no tale of the white man come to rule over the brown, and Conrad's humanistic credentials only come out reinforced. Lord Jim is required reading for fans of Conrad and, capturing the values of a disappearing world like no other, one of the great novels of the turn of the twentieth century.
4 internautes sur 5 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Not for High School Students 7 septembre 2012
Par Togar - Publié sur
Format:Format Kindle
Conrad, unlike most novelist, emphasizes the shortcomings of his heros. Lord Jim, a character of immense ability, comes to be defined by his failures. This is a monumental work of weakness, redemption, and ultimately, tragedy.

This is not a book for high school students. Teachers and administrators who assign it do their students a disservice. Stick to Heart of Darkness, which contains many of the same themes and literary merit, without what to high school students is over the top "wordiness." Lord Jim should be enjoyed at the individual's chosen time and pace.
1 internautes sur 1 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 The exact description of the form of a cloud 11 juillet 2014
Par Dan Harlow - Publié sur
" ...there are as many shipwrecks as there are men ..."

Imagine, for a moment, that it was Brown's sunken schooner which makes its way back to the beginning of the novel and becomes the wreckage that caves in the Patna's bulkhead ("as though the ship had steamed across a narrow belt of vibrating water and of humming air"), thus setting the events in motion all over again. This novel would then be a wholly contained circle of doomed fate and circumstance destined to play out the same way over and over, time after time. Perhaps this is why Conrad chose to not only describe Jim as "inscrutable" but also to tell the story through Marlow - a story within a story so that Jim, in essence, more easily becomes us ("one of us" and, truly, "any of us") and Marlow becomes a sort of God who dispassionately watches us folly.

The nested storytelling, the subtle wordplay, the idea that "three hundred miles beyond the end of telegraph cables and mail-boat lines, the haggard utilitarian lies of our civilization wither and die, to be replaced by pure exercises of imagination" creates an unreality that speaks to a truth of our own being better than if we were given an exact replica of Jim. Conrad gives us something infinitely better than an anatomically perfect recreation of a man who, for all the reasons and complexities that make a person a person, fails in his honor and shipwrecks his future - we get "the exact description of the form of a cloud" - a cloud in which we each see something different but is just simply a cloud - just simply us.

Ultimately, for me, the novel was about chances, specifically the chances that are missed in life; the missed chances we always remember and can never let go of and forgive ourselves for. And Jim could have easily asked for forgiveness, too - his father, a parson, seemed a very thin analogy with God himself, a God who will forgive if only you truly believe in him, but Jim couldn't even forgive himself for the missed chance and for how he ruined his life.

And I kept wondering about his father. Jim kept that letter all those years so you knew it pained him to turn his back on his family and even though he 'knew' he could never go back, he also knew that he didn't actually know that - he still held onto a sliver of hope, even if it was only a hopelessly romantic and boyishly nostalgic one.

I wonder if what Conrad was also trying to say is that man is always doomed? There really are no heroes in the novel, in fact the best man we come across, the most successful man, Captain Brierly, just up and decides one day to jump off his ship and drown himself. Did Brierly see his fate clearly to know that he too was doomed, like Jim? Or did he know that if push came to shove he would be just as cowardly as Jim and he couldn't face it, not like Jim could? And how come the biggest bastard in the novel, Captain Brown, is most able to act 'heroically'? Is Conrad trying to say that heroism is born only from selfishness? From wanting to fill one's belly?

While I don't know what Conrad actually thought, it seems clear to me that he felt it important to write an entire novel that makes you question the definition of morality, of honor, and of character. That's why Conrad created the 'character' of Jim because he could be any of us, he could be all of us, he represents every one of our individual failures and missed chances and misunderstandings. Jim is like the inner doll of a Russian nesting doll and each character in the novel is one doll larger until we get to the outer doll, us.

However, I'm still unsure of what I think the novel was all about. Conrad plays such a literary master game with us that by the end I feel like my head is spinning. The language is beautiful but nonspecific (as Conrad always writes), and the "point" is unclear and open to really any interpretation - I have more questions than answers, but I love that he got me thinking about so many ideas.

And this has been the most difficult review of a novel I've ever had to write because it would be like trying to recreate one of Steins perfect butterflies from far away based off of just the verbal description given to us through multiple sources handed out from the jungle 300 miles in and pieced together over a life time. I could spend my life getting caught up in this beautiful novel, constantly going around and around, like Jim, or like fate, or like all of mankind.
1 internautes sur 1 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 Difficult book to review 13 mai 2014
Par Amazon Customer - Publié sur
Format:Format Kindle|Achat vérifié
I found this book frustrating to read and now difficult to review. First, the story is somewhat interesting, but not terribly engaging. The first half was slow and the second half contained the bulk of the story. The prose was also times the language was beautiful and poetic, while at other times I was looking forward to the end of a paragraph that sometimes extended for several pages. Conrad had an incredible grasp of English (I used kindle's built in dictionary on several occasions). In summary, I'm glad I finally read this classic.
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