The Secret Sharer

The Secret SharerJoseph Conrad Born J Zef Teodor Konrad Korzeniowski 3 December 1857 3 August 1924 Was A Polish British Writer Regarded As One Of The Greatest Novelists To Write In The English Language He Was Granted British Nationality In 1886 But Always Considered Himself A Pole Though He Did Not Speak English Fluently Until He Was In His Twenties And Always With A Marked Accent , He Was A Master Prose Stylist Who Brought A Distinctly Non English Sensibility Into English Literature He Wrote Stories And Novels, Many With A Nautical Setting, That Depict Trials Of The Human Spirit In The Midst Of An Impassive, Inscrutable Universe Joseph Conrad Is Considered An Early Modernist, Though His Works Still Contain Elements Of Nineteenth Century Realism His Narrative Style And Anti Heroic Characters Have Influenced Many Authors, Including T S Eliot, William Faulkner, Graham Greene, And Recently Salman Rushdie Many Films Have Been Adapted From, Or Inspired By, Conrad S Works Writing In The Heyday Of The British Empire, Conrad Drew On His Native Poland S National Experiences And On His Personal Experiences In The French And British Merchant Navies To Create Short Stories And Novels That Reflect Aspects Of A European Dominated World, While Profoundly Exploring Human Psychology Appreciated Early On By Literary Critics, His Fiction And Nonfiction Have Since Been Seen As Almost Prophetic, In The Light Of Subsequent National And International Disasters Of The 20th And 21st Centuries.

Joseph Conrad born J zef Teodor Konrad Korzeniowski was a Polish born English novelist who today is most famous for Heart of Darkness, his fictionalized account of Colonial Africa.Conrad left his native Poland in his middle teens to avoid conscription into the Russian Army He joined the French Merchant Marine and briefly employed himself as a wartime gunrunner He then began to work aboard Br

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10 thoughts on “The Secret Sharer

  1. says:

    The Secret Sharer by Joseph Conrad is a short story novella of less than 100 pages, yet in it Conrad demonstrates as many great writers do, the simple, elegant power of the short work Here the writer can succinctly deliver a forceful message in economic fashion The Secret Sharer is like many of his works most about the seas and a man s command of a vessel Also like many of his works, the setting is in the South Seas and we find our narrator taking his first command near the Gulf of Siam The strange young captain finds a stowaway and shelters the other man and the two strike an odd friendship.This story evokes many psychological reactions from the reader, and coming from the author of the Heart of Darkness, the effect is no doubt intensely deliberate First of all, the title has a double meaning It could mean a sharer of something who is kept secret and it also means a sharer of a secret The young captain risks great loss by aiding the wayward seaman and Conrad, in...

  2. says:

    Bless my soul, sir You don t say so XIX Secolo, Golfo del Siam Il sole al tramonto, assenza di vento, il mare appare come una lastra blu solida e stabile Una nave britannica, in attesa di fare ritorno in patria, alla fonda appena fuori le bocche del fiume Menam, a poche miglia dal porto di Bangkok Il giovane Capitano, al suo primo comando, manda tutti a dormire e rimane da solo di guardia sul ponte Presto, un ospite inatteso far la sua sconcertante apparizione Il testo inglese a fronte, mi concede nella mia assoluta ignoranza della lingua della pallida Albione alcuni momenti di puro piacere He was hanging on to my bunk, staring into my face out of his sou westerQuando Conrad scrive questo racconto, ha gi stretto amicizia con Henry James, Kipling, Wells, Crane s , proprio lui, l autore di The Red Badge of Courage E tutt a un tratto, gioii della grande sicurezza del mare paragonata al travaglio della terraferma, della mia scelta di quella vita priva di tentazioni che non presentava inquietanti problemi, pervasa da un elementare bellezza morale per l assoluta franchezza del suo richiamo ...

  3. says:

    Il mio racconto di Natale Se questo dovesse l ultimo libro dell anno potrei dire di avere concluso in bellezza, sia nel senso letterale che di amara ironia come lettura natalizia non che ti riscaldi l anima Il titolo aveva ingrossato via via i suoi caratteri dal momento in cui avevo rispolverato il Sosia dostoevskijano qualche tempo fa Un cartellone pubblicitario che non smette di tormentarti fino a quando qualcuno non lo imbratta o tu stesso ti arrendi per sfinimento e ne compri il prodotto.Mai come in questo racconto Conrad mette in scena un viaggio nell inconscio dove l io segreto, l alter ego, quello che sarei potuto essere e non sono nel bene e nel male, esce allo scoperto e si fa carne fino a rendere impossibile discernere l allucinato dall allucinazione La storia potrebbe essere una di quelle che Conrad ha sentito raccontare nei porti un delitto d impeto o una disgrazia durante una tempesta in mare il colpevole, un giovane ufficiale, che sceglie la fuga in mare piuttosto che il giudizio di una societ corrotta la nascita di una leggenda il ragazzo non muo...

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  5. says:

    One of my all time favorite authors is Joseph Conrad His exploration of the human condition as reflected by the men who toil at sea is as profound as any philosophical dissertation by any name philosopher His theme is man against nature or man against men, His yarns are full of events both in the inner and outer worlds of journeyers at sea or water The Heart of Darkness of course is essential to his success and esteem as an author adventurer But he has many other tales that I ve read and appreciated Foremost among them is The Secret Sharer This is a tale about a newbie captain who is piloting a ship somewhere in the Far East He is not very popular with his men To complicate matters, he willingly shelters a stowaway, a chief mate of another ship, the Sephora the man is accused of killing an insolent crew member The captain develops an affinity to him, hides him from search parties, and eventually maneuvers the ship close to an island so that the secret sharer could escape Conrad s language is dense and somewhat wordy, but if you ve paid close attention, by the time you ve finished reading the tale, you felt like you ve been in that ship with the captain and the escapee What really made this story resonate with me is that the setting, the Gulf of Siam, is a place that I have been to, and t...

  6. says:

    Late update appended. I actually read this novelette in a combined edition with Conrad s Heart of Darkness, but thought I d switch to this edition for a full review The Secret Sharer is a peculiar story It is quick the whole thing is only a few dozen pages long, and can be read in something like an hour And it is certainly not complex the plot is very basic.Conrad s prose is a pleasure to read, as always Despite the fact that it was written towards the end of the Edwardian period, an odd Victorian vibe drives this story, which is both its strength and major flaw Conrad explores a kind mystical conception of the human spirit, heightening the effect that extreme emotions or experiences can have on the psyche Heart of Darkness deals with the impact on the soul, while Secret Sharer is a story dealing with psychological tension It is worth noting that Freud s first major contributions were made between the publications of Heart of Darkness 1899 and Secret Sharer 1910 .The impact these experiences have on the major figures within these two stories is vastly exaggerated when compared to modern expectations This still continues to work well in Heart of Darkness, since a man s spirit and soul are still objects of mystery But the captain in Secret Sharer has a psychological reaction that, while hauntingly portrayed, seems quaint and naive, and distinctly...

  7. says:

    How do British and American writers avoid being overwhelmed with feelings of envy and shame when reading Joseph Conrad He was, after all, one of the English language s greatest prose stylists, and it wasn t his first or even second language Polish came first and French second for the novelist born J zef Teodor Konrad Korzeniow...

  8. says:

    Dark psychological sailing storyA classic tale of a new captain, unfamiliar and unpopular with his crew, and the naked murderer, Leggatt, found overboard, a doppelganger for the unnamed captain in mind and appearance The book opens with long descriptive sentences, a overflow of words to set the scene Leggatt comes aboard in the middle of the night, unseen for the entire short story by any but the captain The psychological drama of the interaction betwe...

  9. says:

    The Secret Sharer by Joseph Conrad is often a companion piece to other Conrad tales, usually Heart of Darkness, and so the years have passed and I never read this story until tonight because the headline story always caught my attention.The Secret Sharer is a story, not a novella, though it s a long one, and it s a perfect example of Conrad using the setting of the southeast Asian seas as a kind of metaphysical symbol for the totality of existence He depicts beauty, tranquility, boredom, discipline, contentiousness and the travails of the human psyche out there, all in beautifully cadenced sentences that capture the rhythms of life aboard ship under hot suns and fickle winds.In this case, Conrad adds piquancy A young captain finds himself harboring a man who has fled another ship because he had murdered a shipmate during a storm He keeps this man, who swims to him, hidden in his compartment, and the man becomes something like a double he s often referred to as such but even better something like the Cain in everyone, the dark side of the captain, his doubts about his worthiness to command a vessel, his questions about his judgments and authority, the pressures placed on anyone, really, who is wallowing about the seas and has too much time to think and too little to think with or ab...

  10. says:

    Conrad s unusual style very much lends itself to this sort of mysterious tale where we aren t sure if we inhabit a world of ghosts or our own At times I kept thinking to myself Poe would have recognized this story since so much of the tension is happening in the captain s mind.Unlike a lot of Conrad, however, The Secret Sharer is not trying to be obtuse in how it handles its theme identity in this case though that s always Conrad s theme Nostromo, Heart of Darkness, and especially Lord Jim are dense, almost opaque works that behave like a fitted sheet too small for the bed you can get three corners figured out, but never a fourth and around and around you go And while Conrad never lets slip if Leggatt is physical or phantom, that concern is not front and center to the plot because he is interested in how our unnamed captain deals with this mystery man.In a way it s sort of a clunky plot device, but Conrad handles it well enough and makes Leggatt illusive enough so that he doesn t need to try and explain him too much He is, for the most part, exactly like our narrator even in appearance , but represents an alter personality Where Leggatt would easily kill a m...

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