Lord Jim (Barnes & Noble Classics Series)

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Lord Jim, by Joseph Conrad, is part of the Barnes & Noble Classics series, which offers quality editions at affordable prices to the student and the general reader, including new scholarship, thoughtful design, and pages of carefully crafted extras. Here are some of the remarkable features of Barnes & Noble Classics:

All editions are beautifully designed and are printed to superior specifications; some include illustrations of historical interest. Barnes & Noble Classics pulls together a ...
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Lord Jim (Barnes & Noble Classics Series)

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Overview

Lord Jim, by Joseph Conrad, is part of the Barnes & Noble Classics series, which offers quality editions at affordable prices to the student and the general reader, including new scholarship, thoughtful design, and pages of carefully crafted extras. Here are some of the remarkable features of Barnes & Noble Classics:

All editions are beautifully designed and are printed to superior specifications; some include illustrations of historical interest. Barnes & Noble Classics pulls together a constellation of influences—biographical, historical, and literary—to enrich each reader's understanding of these enduring works.

 

With Lord Jim, first published in 1900, Joseph Conrad transformed a tale of seafaring adventure into a subtle study of the meaning of honor and courage, loyalty and betrayal. When Jim, an idealistic merchant seaman and ship’s officer, abandons the supposedly sinking Patna and its passengers, he dashes his youthful dreams of glory in a single stroke. Condemned in court for his impetuous act of cowardice, Jim relegates himself to a life roaming the Far East.

Unforgettably told by Marlow, who also narrates Conrad’s Heart of Darkness, the story of Lord Jim plumbs the mysteries of a man renounced by society but driven by a desire for redemption.

A. Michael Matin is a professor in the English Department of Warren Wilson College in Asheville, North Carolina. He has published articles on various twentieth-century British and postcolonial writers, and has written the introduction and notes for the Barnes & Noble Classics edition of Heart of Darkness and Selected Short Fiction by Joseph Conrad.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781593081454
  • Publisher: Barnes & Noble
  • Publication date: 6/1/2008
  • Series: Barnes & Noble Classics Series
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 400
  • Sales rank: 162,329
  • Product dimensions: 5.10 (w) x 7.90 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Meet the Author

A. Michael Matin is a professor in the English Department of Warren Wilson College in Asheville, North Carolina. He has published articles on various twentieth-century British and postcolonial writers, and has written the introduction and notes for the Barnes & Noble Classics edition of Heart of Darkness and Selected Short Fiction by Joseph Conrad.

Biography

Joseph Conrad (originally Józef Teodor Konrad Nalecz Korzeniowski) was born in the Ukraine in 1857 and grew up under Tsarist autocracy. His parents, ardent Polish patriots, died when he was a child, following their exile for anti-Russian activities, and he came under the protection of his tradition-conscious uncle, Thaddeus Bobrowski, who watched over him for the next twenty-five years. In 1874 Bobrowski conceded to his nephew's passionate desire to go to sea, and Conrad travelled to Marseilles, where he served in French merchant vessels before joining a British ship in 1878 as an apprentice.

In 1886 he obtained British nationality and his Master's certificate in the British Merchant Service. Eight years later he left the sea to devote himself to writing, publishing his first novel, Almayer's Folly, in 1895. The following year he married Jessie George and eventually settled in Kent, where he produced within fifteen years such modern classics as Youth, Heart of Darkness, Lord Jim, Typhoon, Nostromo, The Secret Agent and Under Western Eyes. He continued to write until his death in 1924. Today Conrad is generally regarded as one of the greatest writers of fiction in English -- his third language. He once described himself as being concerned "with the ideal value of things, events and people" in the Preface to The Nigger of the Narcissus he defined his task as "by the power of the written word ... before all, to make you see."

Author biography courtesy of Penguin Group (USA).

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    1. Also Known As:
      Jósef Teodor Konrad Walecz Korzeniowski (real name)
    1. Date of Birth:
      December 3, 1857
    2. Place of Birth:
      Berdiczew, Podolia, Russia
    1. Date of Death:
      August 3, 1924
    2. Place of Death:
      Bishopsbourne, Kent, England

Read an Excerpt

From A. Michael Matin’s Introduction to Lord Jim

Explaining why he routinely drew on historical events as germinal sources for his fiction, Conrad wrote in a preface to a reissue of his first short story collection, Tales of Unrest, that "[t]he sustained invention of a really telling lie demands a talent which I do not possess” (The Works of Joseph Conrad: Tales of Unrest, p. ix). Many of the plot elements of Lord Jim, accordingly, have their origins in facts. For the first half of the novel, the most significant of the several historical sources Conrad drew on was the voyage of a ship called the Jeddah, which, in August 1880, with more than nine hundred Muslim pilgrims en route from Singapore to Jeddah (the port city west of Mecca on the Red Sea), was abandoned by its white officers, who mistakenly believed it to be sinking. The protagonist of Conrad’s novel is the first mate of such a ship who, while dreaming of glory and triumph, ironically achieves only infamy and ruin. He is an English clergyman’s son named Jim who, having become enamored of adventure literature during childhood, pursues a career in the British merchant marine. At the age of twenty-three, he takes a position on a ship called the Patna, whose voyage largely parallels that of the historical Jeddah. One night, when Jim is indulging in fantasies of his own heroism, the vessel strikes an object in the water and appears to be on the verge of foundering. The officers, including Jim (who believes there is no time to save the passengers), escape in a lifeboat and then, assuming the ship to have sunk, report this as fact when they are rescued. Upon arriving on shore, however, they learn that it has remained afloat, and they are subsequently disgraced and expelled from the service.

            Although Conrad based many of the circumstances of his tale on the scandalous Jeddah episode, which was widely reported in such newspapers as the London Times and even taken up by the British Parliament, he also made some substantial changes. For example, whereas the Jeddah was, at eight years old, relatively new and in good condition, Conrad’s Patna is "as old as the hills” and "eaten up with rust,” so Jim’s assumption that it is about to sink appears reasonable. And whereas Jim is induced by the other officers to abandon ship, his historical counterpart, Augustine Podmore Williams (who, like Jim, was an English parson’s son), was determined by a court of inquiry to have been largely responsible for the desertion. Although the captain was deemed to have "shown a painful want of nerve” for having "allowed his feelings to master the sense of duty it is the pride of every British seamaster to vaunt,” it was concluded that "but for Mr Williams’s officious behaviour and unseamanlike conduct, the master would . . . have probably done his duty by remaining on the ship” (Report of the Court of Inquiry; reprinted in Sherry, Conrad’s Eastern World, pp. 299–309). Further, unlike Jim, Williams was merely censured rather than prohibited from again being employed as an officer. In fact, he went on to serve two years later as first mate of a ship called the Vidar, on which Conrad himself subsequently served as first mate. It is possible, therefore, that Conrad’s sources about the Jeddah fiasco included more than public reports.

            As with the novel’s first half, the events of its second half—the exiled Jim’s glorious although ultimately tragic career in the Malay village of Patusan—are drawn from a variety of historical sources. During his years as a seaman, Conrad traveled to the Malay Archipelago a number of times, and before writing Lord Jim he had set much of his fiction there, including his first two novels, Almayer’s Folly and An Outcast of the Islands, as well as the short stories "Karain” and "The Lagoon.” Yet he also made clear that much of his information about that part of the world was not based on firsthand experience. As he wrote in 1898, responding to a published criticism of his fiction as unauthoritative on Malay customs, "I never did set up as an authority on Malaysia”; his sources, he maintained, consisted primarily of "dull, wise books” (Collected Letters, vol. 2, p. 130). Indeed, upon analyzing Conrad’s source materials, one discovers the literal accuracy of Jim’s pronouncement that the residents of Patusan "are like people in a book.” The most notable of such books was the English naturalist Alfred Russel Wallace’s The Malay Archipelago (1869), which was one of Conrad’s favorite works. Further, in depicting Jim’s transformed character in this new setting, Conrad departs from his original primary source, Augustine Podmore Williams, and turns to two other Britons, both of whom were adventurers in the Malay Archipelago who bore the name James: James Lingard, nephew of the renowned explorer and trader William Lingard (the model for Tom Lingard in the so-called Malay trilogy of Almayer’s Folly, An Outcast of the Islands, and The Rescue); and James Brooke, who in 1841 became rajah of Sarawak, on the island of Borneo, under circumstances evoked in those of Jim’s accession to power in Patusan. Regardless of how diligently we conduct detective work on the novel’s antecedents, however, we ought to bear in mind Conrad’s admonition, in a 1917 letter to an admirer who was an enthusiastic hunter of historical backgrounds for his texts, that "I am a writer of fiction; and it is not what actually happened, but the manner of presenting it that settles the literary and even the moral value of my work” (Collected Letters, vol. 6, p. 100).

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Customer Reviews

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 21 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 28, 2007

    A reviewer

    When I read Lord Jim for the first time as a teenager I found it boring. Many years later I now find it an amazing book. Conrad himself spent sixteen years at sea in the late 1800s, so this book is to some degree autobiographical. The version of this book that I have even quotes Conrad: 'Every novel contains an element of autobiography.' In this book, the protagonist, Jim, travels to a remote region of the world, far from Victorian England. In this sense, the plot is similar to that in one of Conrad's other famous works, Heart of Darkness. Other than that book, I'm not familiar with Conrad's other works, nor am I an expert in Victorian literature, so I can't place this in its proper historical context. However, it seems like an amazingly well written story in and of itself.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 20, 2014

    Alaha

    A blonde bombshell walks in in a bathing suit and a flat stoumuch. She had green eyes and she walked to kat. Hey.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 19, 2014

    Hello

    Hey

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 19, 2014

    Kat

    She warms up and stands on her tip toes and wraps one eg around his waist. She kisses him with more heat but still soft.

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  • Posted February 16, 2009

    Oh Ho Hum

    next to the most boring book I've ever read. Just putting words on the paper to use words is not my cup of tea.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 23, 2003

    Professional Readers Only

    In LORD JIM Joseph Conrad is telling of a story of a man how he has to deal with guilt and how he is going to try and find redemption. In the beginning of the book it goes pretty smooth then the dialect starts jumping from the present time to the past and back again. If the author would have just wrote the story line with out so much detail in trying to describe every little thing, it would go much faster and easier to keep up. I only recommend this book for a class project or expert readers.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 29, 2003

    not a Conrad fan

    I wish that Conrad did not have such a penchant for making almost his entire book one long quotation. Distinguishing the embedded quotes, as well as figuring out the antecedents of pronouns in text such as 'he exclaimed,' was frustrating. I thought, however, that the moral of the story in this book was more worth telling than the one in 'Heart of Darkness,' and it was a more satisfying 'atonement' than the recent novel of that name. Still, I found the writing difficult to wade through. It is easy to become mesmerized by the prose to the point of almost missing significant details of the story.

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    Posted November 16, 2008

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