Lord Jim

Lord Jim

by Joseph Conrad


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Escrita en 1900, Lord Jim es la gran novela sobre el tenue filo que separa las dos caras de una misma moneda: la cobardía y el valor. Jim es un joven idealista que descubre el mar a bordo del Patna, un viejo vapor que transporta a ochocientos peregrinos hacia La Meca. Una noche, el barco se hunde y la tripulación lo abandona sin auxiliar a los peregrinos. Jim asume la vergüenza de no haber nada por éstos e inicia una verdadera odisea en la selva malaya, donde se gana el afecto de los nativos. Convertido en caudillo y defensor de su nuevo pueblo, inicia una nueva vida dedicada al mar

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781618959027
Publisher: Bibliotech Press
Publication date: 10/03/2019
Pages: 274
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.75(d)

About the Author

Cedric Watts is a professor in the English Department at the University of Sussex, and the internationally-renowned author of numerous critical and scholarly books, including Joseph Conrad: A Literary Life and A Preface to Conrad. He has also edited Jude the Obscure for the Broadview Literary Texts series.

Date of Birth:

December 3, 1857

Date of Death:

August 3, 1924

Place of Birth:

Berdiczew, Podolia, Russia

Place of Death:

Bishopsbourne, Kent, England


Tutored in Switzerland. Self-taught in classical literature. Attended maritime school in Marseilles, France

Read an Excerpt

Lord Jim

By Joseph Conrad


Copyright © 2016 Open Road Integrated Media, Inc.
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-1-5040-4116-4


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.

A water-clerk need not pass an examination in anything under the sun, but he must have Ability in the abstract and demonstrate it practically. His work consists in racing under sail, steam, or oars against other water-clerks for any ship about to anchor, greeting her captain cheerily, forcing upon him a card — the business card of the ship-chandler — and on his first visit on shore piloting him firmly but without ostentation to a vast, cavern-like shop which is full of things that are eaten and drunk on board ship; where you can get everything to make her seaworthy and beautiful, from a set of chain-hooks for her cable to a book of gold-leaf for the carvings of her stern; and where her commander is received like a brother by a ship-chandler he has never seen before. There is a cool parlour, easy-chairs, bottles, cigars, writing implements, a copy of harbour regulations, and a warmth of welcome that melts the salt of a three months' passage out of a seaman's heart. The connection thus begun is kept up, as long as the ship remains in harbour, by the daily visits of the water-clerk. To the captain he is faithful like a friend and attentive like a son, with the patience of Job, the unselfish devotion of a woman, and the jollity of a boon companion. Later on the bill is sent in. It is a beautiful and humane occupation. Therefore good water-clerks are scarce. When a water-clerk who possesses Ability in the abstract has also the advantage of having been brought up to the sea, he is worth to his employer a lot of money and some humouring. Jim had always good wages and as much humouring as would have bought the fidelity of a fiend. Nevertheless, with black ingratitude he would throw up the job suddenly and depart. To his employers the reasons he gave were obviously inadequate. They said 'Confounded fool!' as soon as his back was turned. This was their criticism on his exquisite sensibility.

To the white men in the waterside business and to the captains of ships he was just Jim — nothing more. He had, of course, another name, but he was anxious that it should not be pronounced. His incognito, which had as many holes as a sieve, was not meant to hide a personality but a fact. When the fact broke through the incognito he would leave suddenly the seaport where he happened to be at the time and go to another — generally farther east. He kept to seaports because he was a seaman in exile from the sea, and had Ability in the abstract, which is good for no other work but that of a water-clerk. He retreated in good order towards the rising sun, and the fact followed him casually but inevitably. Thus in the course of years he was known successively in Bombay, in Calcutta, in Rangoon, in Penang, in Batavia — and in each of these halting-places was just Jim the water-clerk. Afterwards, when his keen perception of the Intolerable drove him away for good from seaports and white men, even into the virgin forest, the Malays of the jungle village, where he had elected to conceal his deplorable faculty, added a word to the monosyllable of his incognito. They called him Tuan Jim: as one might say — Lord Jim.

Originally he came from a parsonage. Many commanders of fine merchant-ships come from these abodes of piety and peace. Jim's father possessed such certain knowledge of the Unknowable as made for the righteousness of people in cottages without disturbing the ease of mind of those whom an unerring Providence enables to live in mansions. The little church on a hill had the mossy greyness of a rock seen through a ragged screen of leaves. It had stood there for centuries, but the trees around probably remembered the laying of the first stone. Below, the red front of the rectory gleamed with a warm tint in the midst of grass-plots, flower-beds, and fir-trees, with an orchard at the back, a paved stable-yard to the left, and the sloping glass of greenhouses tacked along a wall of bricks. The living had belonged to the family for generations; but Jim was one of five sons, and when after a course of light holiday literature his vocation for the sea had declared itself, he was sent at once to a 'training-ship for officers of the mercantile marine.'

He learned there a little trigonometry and how to cross top-gallant yards. He was generally liked. He had the third place in navigation and pulled stroke in the first cutter. Having a steady head with an excellent physique, he was very smart aloft. His station was in the fore-top, and often from there he looked down, with the contempt of a man destined to shine in the midst of dangers, at the peaceful multitude of roofs cut in two by the brown tide of the stream, while scattered on the outskirts of the surrounding plain the factory chimneys rose perpendicular against a grimy sky, each slender like a pencil, and belching out smoke like a volcano. He could see the big ships departing, the broad-beamed ferries constantly on the move, the little boats floating far below his feet, with the hazy splendour of the sea in the distance, and the hope of a stirring life in the world of adventure.

On the lower deck in the babel of two hundred voices he would forget himself, and beforehand live in his mind the sea-life of light literature. He saw himself saving people from sinking ships, cutting away masts in a hurricane, swimming through a surf with a line; or as a lonely castaway, barefooted and half naked, walking on uncovered reefs in search of shellfish to stave off starvation. He confronted savages on tropical shores, quelled mutinies on the high seas, and in a small boat upon the ocean kept up the hearts of despairing men — always an example of devotion to duty, and as unflinching as a hero in a book.

'Something's up. Come along.'

He leaped to his feet. The boys were streaming up the ladders. Above could be heard a great scurrying about and shouting, and when he got through the hatchway he stood still — as if confounded.

It was the dusk of a winter's day. The gale had freshened since noon, stopping the traffic on the river, and now blew with the strength of a hurricane in fitful bursts that boomed like salvoes of great guns firing over the ocean. The rain slanted in sheets that flicked and subsided, and between whiles Jim had threatening glimpses of the tumbling tide, the small craft jumbled and tossing along the shore, the motionless buildings in the driving mist, the broad ferry-boats pitching ponderously at anchor, the vast landing-stages heaving up and down and smothered in sprays. The next gust seemed to blow all this away. The air was full of flying water. There was a fierce purpose in the gale, a furious earnestness in the screech of the wind, in the brutal tumult of earth and sky, that seemed directed at him, and made him hold his breath in awe. He stood still. It seemed to him he was whirled around.

He was jostled. 'Man the cutter!' Boys rushed past him. A coaster running in for shelter had crashed through a schooner at anchor, and one of the ship's instructors had seen the accident. A mob of boys clambered on the rails, clustered round the davits. 'Collision. Just ahead of us. Mr. Symons saw it.' A push made him stagger against the mizzen-mast, and he caught hold of a rope. The old training-ship chained to her moorings quivered all over, bowing gently head to wind, and with her scanty rigging humming in a deep bass the breathless song of her youth at sea. 'Lower away!' He saw the boat, manned, drop swiftly below the rail, and rushed after her. He heard a splash. 'Let go; clear the falls!' He leaned over. The river alongside seethed in frothy streaks. The cutter could be seen in the falling darkness under the spell of tide and wind, that for a moment held her bound, and tossing abreast of the ship. A yelling voice in her reached him faintly:

'Keep stroke, you young whelps, if you want to save anybody! Keep stroke!' And suddenly she lifted high her bow, and, leaping with raised oars over a wave, broke the spell cast upon her by the wind and tide.

Jim felt his shoulder gripped firmly. 'Too late, youngster.' The captain of the ship laid a restraining hand on that boy, who seemed on the point of leaping overboard, and Jim looked up with the pain of conscious defeat in his eyes. The captain smiled sympathetically. 'Better luck next time. This will teach you to be smart.'

A shrill cheer greeted the cutter. She came dancing back half full of water, and with two exhausted men washing about on her bottom boards. The tumult and the menace of wind and sea now appeared very contemptible to Jim, increasing the regret of his awe at their inefficient menace. Now he knew what to think of it. It seemed to him he cared nothing for the gale. He could affront greater perils. He would do so — better than anybody. Not a particle of fear was left. Nevertheless he brooded apart that evening while the bowman of the cutter — a boy with a face like a girl's and big grey eyes — was the hero of the lower deck. Eager questioners crowded round him. He narrated: 'I just saw his head bobbing, and I dashed my boat-hook in the water. It caught in his breeches and I nearly went overboard, as I thought I would, only old Symons let go the tiller and grabbed my legs — the boat nearly swamped. Old Symons is a fine old chap. I don't mind a bit him being grumpy with us. He swore at me all the time he held my leg, but that was only his way of telling me to stick to the boat-hook. Old Symons is awfully excitable — isn't he? No — not the little fair chap — the other, the big one with a beard. When we pulled him in he groaned, "Oh, my leg! oh, my leg!" and turned up his eyes. Fancy such a big chap fainting like a girl. Would any of you fellows faint for a jab with a boathook? — I wouldn't. It went into his leg so far.' He showed the boat-hook, which he had carried below for the purpose, and produced a sensation.

'No, silly! It was not his flesh that held him — his breeches did. Lots of blood, of course.'

Jim thought it a pitiful display of vanity. The gale had ministered to a heroism as spurious as its own pretence of terror. He felt angry with the brutal tumult of earth and sky for taking him unawares and checking unfairly a generous readiness for narrow escapes. Otherwise he was rather glad he had not gone into the cutter, since a lower achievement had served the turn. He had enlarged his knowledge more than those who had done the work. When all men flinched, then — he felt sure — he alone would know how to deal with the spurious menace of wind and seas. He knew what to think of it. Seen dispassionately, it seemed contemptible. He could detect no trace of emotion in himself, and the final effect of a staggering event was that, unnoticed and apart from the noisy crowd of boys, he exulted with fresh certitude in his avidity for adventure, and in a sense of many-sided courage.


After two years of training he went to sea, and entering the regions so well known to his imagination, found them strangely barren of adventure. He made many voyages. He knew the magic monotony of existence between sky and water: he had to bear the criticism of men, the exactions of the sea, and the prosaic severity of the daily task that gives bread — but whose only reward is in the perfect love of the work. This reward eluded him. Yet he could not go back, because there is nothing more enticing, disenchanting, and enslaving than the life at sea. Besides, his prospects were good. He was gentlemanly, steady, tractable, with a thorough knowledge of his duties; and in time, when yet very young, he became chief mate of a fine ship, without ever having been tested by those events of the sea that show in the light of day the inner worth of a man, the edge of his temper, and the fibre of his stuff; that reveal the quality of his resistance and the secret truth of his pretences, not only to others but also to himself.

Only once in all that time he had again a glimpse of the earnestness in the anger of the sea. That truth is not so often made apparent as people might think. There are many shades in the danger of adventures and gales, and it is only now and then that there appears on the face of facts a sinister violence of intention — that indefinable something which forces it upon the mind and the heart of a man, that this complication of accidents or these elemental furies are coming at him with a purpose of malice, with a strength beyond control, with an unbridled cruelty that means to tear out of him his hope and his fear, the pain of his fatigue and his longing for rest: which means to smash, to destroy, to annihilate all he has seen, known, loved, enjoyed, or hated; all that is priceless and necessary — the sunshine, the memories, the future; which means to sweep the whole precious world utterly away from his sight by the simple and appalling act of taking his life.

Jim, disabled by a falling spar at the beginning of a week of which his Scottish captain used to say afterwards, 'Man! it's a pairfect meeracle to me how she lived through it!' spent many days stretched on his back, dazed, battered, hopeless, and tormented as if at the bottom of an abyss of unrest. He did not care what the end would be, and in his lucid moments overvalued his indifference. The danger, when not seen, has the imperfect vagueness of human thought. The fear grows shadowy; and Imagination, the enemy of men, the father of all terrors, unstimulated, sinks to rest in the dullness of exhausted emotion. Jim saw nothing but the disorder of his tossed cabin. He lay there battened down in the midst of a small devastation, and felt secretly glad he had not to go on deck. But now and again an uncontrollable rush of anguish would grip him bodily, make him gasp and writhe under the blankets, and then the unintelligent brutality of an existence liable to the agony of such sensations filled him with a despairing desire to escape at any cost. Then fine weather returned, and he thought no more about It.

His lameness, however, persisted, and when the ship arrived at an Eastern port he had to go to the hospital. His recovery was slow, and he was left behind.

There were only two other patients in the white men's ward: the purser of a gunboat, who had broken his leg falling down a hatchway; and a kind of railway contractor from a neighbouring province, afflicted by some mysterious tropical disease, who held the doctor for an ass, and indulged in secret debaucheries of patent medicine which his Tamil servant used to smuggle in with unwearied devotion. They told each other the story of their lives, played cards a little, or, yawning and in pyjamas, lounged through the day in easy-chairs without saying a word. The hospital stood on a hill, and a gentle breeze entering through the windows, always flung wide open, brought into the bare room the softness of the sky, the languor of the earth, the bewitching breath of the Eastern waters. There were perfumes in it, suggestions of infinite repose, the gift of endless dreams. Jim looked every day over the thickets of gardens, beyond the roofs of the town, over the fronds of palms growing on the shore, at that roadstead which is a thoroughfare to the East, — at the roadstead dotted by garlanded islets, lighted by festal sunshine, its ships like toys, its brilliant activity resembling a holiday pageant, with the eternal serenity of the Eastern sky overhead and the smiling peace of the Eastern seas possessing the space as far as the horizon.


Excerpted from Lord Jim by Joseph Conrad. Copyright © 2016 Open Road Integrated Media, Inc.. Excerpted by permission of OPEN ROAD INTEGRATED MEDIA.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Table of Contents

A Note on the Text and on Editorial Procedures
Joseph Conrad: A Brief Chronology
Chronology of Events in Lord Jim

Lord Jim

Appendix A: Conrad’s “Author’s Note” (1917)
Appendix B: Comments by Conrad
Appendix C: Contemporaneous Reviews
Appendix D: Sources and Contexts (1): James Brooke, the “White Rajah” of Sarawak
Appendix E: Sources and Contexts (2): The Jeddah Scandal
Appendix F: Sources and Contexts (3): McNair’s Perak and the Malays
Appendix G: Sources and Contexts (4): Wallace, Stein, and Doramin
Appendix H: Sources and Contexts (5): The Douro, the Cutty Sark, and the Rev. William Hazlitt
Appendix I: Comments on Imperialism and Colonialism

Select Bibliography

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"[Conrad has a] particular form of jolting the reader's attention."
-Ford Madox Ford

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Lord Jim 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 40 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
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.
Guest More than 1 year ago
In HEART OF DARKNESS, one of three Conradian works featuring the narrator Marlowe, the main character is Kurtz, a European completely corrupted by imperialism. In LORD JIM, Marlowe tells of his friend Jim, another European who seeks the jungle. Jim does everything he can to help the tribesmen he encounters. Although LORD JIM is an anti-imperialist book, it is a warning from a civilized author to a civilized readership to expect to be demoralized in any encounter with primitive peoples. Kurtz is a bad man and Jim is a good man, but the two have much in common. Marlowe (Conrad's mouthpiece) pities them both.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Lord Jim is an adventure story, but it also involves the psychological side. There were several chapters that I had to reread several times to get a true grasp of the story that was being told. And that's alright. Jim is a young man who pictures himself as one who is destined to be a hero and a great adventurer. Unfortunately reality does not match his vision and Jim must deal with his own act of cowardice. Wherever Jim goes and as much as he tries to hide form his past, he soon learns it catches up with him and since he does not know that if he can be forgiven he runs further and further. His lack of knowing that he can have redemptions leads to a very sad ending. While this is not as easy reading as most adventures, and at times made me want to pull my hair out, I still recommend it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Who here is Z at green.
TheAmpersand on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Reading Joseph Conrad sometimes feels downright intimidating. Every one of his stentences is so erudite, so perfectly formed, and so detailed that it's hard to even imagine how he -- or anyone else -- might improve on it. Conrad just might be the platonic ideal of an English-language prose stylist, and he's so good that he can be scary. At the same time, I'm glad that there are plenty of authors who don't write like him. His stuff can be dense and slow; I suspect that some authors could reel off three novels and two short stories in the space it takes Conrad to get things exactly right in one. "Lord Jim," then, is vintage Conrad. It's dense and weighty and immaculately written -- each one of its chapters seems so perfectly self-contained might as well be a short story in itself. It covers much of the same ground, in a sort of roundabout way, that he would revisit in his more widely read "Heart of Darkness." At the center is Jim himself, a curiously hollow character whose likable exterior conceals an eerie emptiness and makes him particularly unsuited for life in the East. It's often been said that it's this concern with interiority that marks Conrad as a modernist writer, and I'd agree. In a sense, though, the novel's most original and intriguing modernist figure is Stien, an organized, perceptive mentor to the book's narrator who, in my eyes, bears a striking resemblence to Sigmund Freud. This is all the more astonishing when one considers that "Lord Jim" was written at about the time that "The Interpretation of Dreams" was published. "Lord Jim" has many of the pleasures that you find in other Conrad novels -- the author's familiarity with the exclusive fraternity of experienced seamen makes one the reader feel part of a privileged circle, and there are some lovely period details for readers who find the age of sail, or the age of empires, romantic and exciting."Lord Jim," like many of Conrad's books, is told through a complex and effective narrative frame and it's an undeniable pleasure to spend some time with Marlowe, his favorite narrator, who is at once one of the most charming and the most throughtful men who ever sailed the fictional seas. There are, I admit, some equally familiar Conrad problems in "Lord Jim," too. Women and non-Europeans are portrayed mostly passive or pitiful and, as sordid as Jim's tale is, I'm not sure that the project of empire as a whole is really ever put up for debate. Still, it'd be difficult to argue that "Lord Jim" isn't a prose masterpiece and a good -- perhaps even great -- novel. It is recommended to patient readers in search of a book that is both challening and curiously engrossing.
pickwick817 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
In a similar way to "Nostromo" which I recently read, I struggled through the first half of the book. Things seemed to move very slowly as Conrad introduced his characters. Several chapters would pass in one conversation, and I would stop reading for a day or two, then pick it up again and assume one character was a part of the conversation, only to find out at the end of the chapter that it was another character. A little frustrating, but worth it because I really enjoyed the last half of the book, (again like Nostromo). What I like most about this book is the depth to which Conrad thinks through each characters personality and individual motivation in the plot. Its really a lesson in human pschychology, and group dynamics.
Niecierpek on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A retro read. It was one of the most thought provoking and influential books of my youth. On human nature, nature of honour, romantic dreams, and how we don¿t know what fabric we are made of until we are tried. Still very good, even though some episodes could have been shorter.
carterchristian1 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
If you love a sea story you can't resist this. Has it all, handsome white,young sailor, British empire, starcrossed lovers, swashbuckling, wonderful descriptions. Loved it, old as the tale is.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
My I join this RP?
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A silvery-grey wolf paces the scent markers curiously.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The tall male walked in, cold gaze sweeping around.
ben_a on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I have been slowly re-reading this book through the month of November. Lord Jim has always been a touchstone novel for me. The first time I read it, I was chilled right through. This seemed to me the way my life was likely to go wrong: indulging my imagination with haze of possible heroism while funking, decisively, the one time I was truly tested. Coming back, years later, none of that power is lost. And I am more conscious of jsut how impossibly fine a writer Conrad is. I suspect one reason it has been slow going for me is that I have in my professional life become adept at the semi-skim mode of reading. Fast, quick, and 95%. You can't read Conrad that way. 12.03.06, and follwing. Recommended more than almsot anything.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Name: Amethyst <br> Description: pale purple, huge, ancient, purple eyes <p> Likes: eating rocks, swimming, watching people <br> Personality: generous, selfless, unflirty, strong <p> Rider-crush: pony-shrug
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GConradDietz More than 1 year ago
In my opinion the story became bogged done with too much psychological analysing of the characters to keep my interest.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago