The Nigger of the Narcissus

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Doubleday, 1914 - Psychological fiction - 190 pages
2 Reviews
This account of the voyage of a sailing ship from Bombay harbour to the Port of London explores the psychological pressures on a group of nineteenth century seamen as they face the extemes of nature and the secrets and evasions of two of their comrades.
 

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User Review  - MrsRK - LibraryThing

I read The Nigger of the Narcissus several years ago and thoroughly enjoyed it. In my humble opinion, this is the most accessible of Conrad's works. Teachers should add this title to their students' reading list instead of the trash they recommend nowadays. Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - jeffome - LibraryThing

St. Bart's 2015 #10 - the final book of this year's vacation.....one I felt I had to almost hide in the plane flight home as I finished it, due to its less than politically correct title. This is one ... Read full review

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Contents

I
11
II
17
III
43
IV
65
V
107
VI
155
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Page 12 - He speaks to our capacity for delight and wonder, to the sense of mystery surrounding our lives; to our sense of pity, and beauty, and pain; to the latent feeling of fellowship with all creation — and to the subtle but invincible conviction of solidarity that knits together the loneliness of innumerable hearts...
Page 11 - It is an attempt to find in its forms, in its colours, in its light, in its shadows, in the aspects of matter, and in the facts of life what of each is fundamental, what is enduring and essential— their one illuminating and convincing quality— the very truth of their existence. The artist, then, like the thinker or the scientist, seeks the truth and makes his appeal.
Page 12 - His appeal is made to our less obvious capacities: to that part of our nature which, because of the warlike conditions of existence, is necessarily kept out of sight within the more resisting and hard qualities — like the vulnerable body within a steel armour.
Page 25 - They all knew him ! He was the man that cannot steer, that cannot splice, that dodges the work on dark nights; that, aloft, holds on frantically with both arms and legs, and swears at the wind, the sleet, the darkness; the man who curses the sea while others work. The man who is the last out and the first in when all hands are called. The man who can't do most things and won't do the rest. The pet of philanthropists and selfseeking landlubbers. The sympathetic and deserving creature that knows all...
Page 13 - And it is only through complete, unswerving devotion to the perfect blending of form and substance; it is only through an unremitting never-discouraged care for the shape and ring of sentences that an approach can be made to plasticity, to colour, and...
Page 109 - ON men reprieved by its disdainful mercy, the immortal sea confers in its justice the full privilege of desired unrest. Through the perfect wisdom of its grace they are not permitted to meditate at ease upon the complicated and acrid savour of existence...
Page 45 - A multitude of stars coming out into the clear night peopled the emptiness of the sky. They glittered, as if alive above the sea; they surrounded the running ship on all sides; more intense than the eyes of a staring crowd, and as inscrutable as the souls of men. The passage had begun, and the ship, a fragment detached from the earth, went on lonely and swift like a small planet. Round her the abysses of sky and sea met in an unattainable frontier. A great circular solitude moved with her, ever changing...
Page 9 - It is the book by which; not as a novelist perhaps, but as an artist striving for the utmost sincerity of expression, I am willing to stand or fall.
Page 13 - For, if any part of truth dwells in the belief confessed above, it becomes evident that there is not a place of splendour or a dark corner of the earth that does not deserve, if only a passing glance of wonder and pity.
Page 182 - The dark land lay alone in the midst of waters, like a mighty ship bestarred with vigilant lights — a ship carrying the burden of millions of lives — a ship freighted with dross and with jewels, with gold and with steel. She towered up immense and strong, guarding priceless traditions and untold suffering, sheltering glorious memories and base forgetfulness, ignoble virtues and splendid transgressions. A great ship ! For ages had the ocean battered in vain her enduring sides ; she was there when...

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