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Typhoon and Other Stories [Amy Foster; Falk: a reminiscence; To-morrow]

de Joseph Conrad

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214498,929 (3.67)No n'hi ha cap
Conrad's tale of life at sea follows steamship captain Tom Macwhirr a man never afraid of the high seas' monstrous storms. But this time he meets a storm with which his ship may not be able to compete. Macwhirr's complex personality a combination of courage and foolishness is brought to bear on his battles with the ocean.… (més)
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Es mostren totes 4
Expectations. That is the key to understanding and enjoying Joseph Conrad, in general, and Typhoon and Other Stories, in particular. And, initially, Conrad was regarded as much as an adventure writer as a composer of "serious literature." His works would not only appear in more upscale serial magazines but also those publications, heaven forbid, we consider "pulps" or those in the gray areas, where Conrad's stories might rub shoulders with works by Haggard, Mundy, or even Achmed Abdullah. The fact that they did so gives evidence that much of the divide cultural enforcers have placed between "literature" and "fiction" is artificial. Because another fact is that Conrad for much of his literary life and into the years beyond it, extending to the mid half of the twentieth century was not only seen as an adventure writer but marketed as one.

So it is with these stories. They serve as great examples of "literature" and also "adventure fiction." This in particular applies to "Typhoon" and "Falk." But it might also apply to "Amy Foster" and "To-morrow," as soon as the reader can wrench his head around the fact that substituting the domestic English locales in the latter two for the exotic places of the first two does not alter what Conrad is doing in his writing.

And what he is doing is exploring the peculiarities and particularities of the human psyche. In confined spaces, a ship adrift at sea, a remote sea port in Southeast Asia, or in two English coastal villages, Conrad paints a picture of people often torn and mutilated by their emotional experiences and establishes a feel that is general in scope.

Of course, it's how he tells his tales that make all the difference. Not simply the exquisite prose, but his off centering of his protagonists. Readers come to know MacWhirr through the narration of the ship's first mate, Jukes. "Typhoon" shares the same features of exposition in it as with Marlow and Jim in Lord Jim. Coincidentally or not, Conrad was working on both stories at the same time. But, then, wait. Is it really about MacWhirr? Remember, we only find out about MacWhirr what Jukes thinks is important to tell us. Perhaps, it is Jukes through whom the story comes that we are really exploring.

The same can be said of "Falk." Half of the story informs us of the troubles afflicting a young captain awaiting clearance to sail. This unnamed narrator doesn't really get to the story of Falk himself until half way through the tale. Only then do we begin to see the obsessions at work among everyone. "Amy Foster," meanwhile, positions yet another outsider, Yanko, in an English coastal village. Yanko has more in common with someone like Jim or Almayer, adrift in alien civilizations, than he does with the Englishmen who surround him. Things come to a head in the last story, "To-morrow," where all seems insane, not just one old man, and where Conrad explores the outer facades people so desperately construct to hide their inner madness from each other.

Note: I first read this book some 36 years ago, when most of my life lay in front of me. I have now reread it after the passing of many decades. In place of the adventure and action of that first reading, where it seems people need break their bonds and take control of their lives lest misfortune take root, I now think that Conrad was telling us of the futility of choices, how fate reaches into our souls, our minds, and leads where it will, despite our protestations. ( )
  PaulCornelius | Apr 12, 2020 |
This was a re-read, tackled Typhoon and Nigger of the 'Narcissus' while on the submarine. Both of those stories were familiar, with 'Amy Foster' and 'Falk' welcome additions. One can almost imagine Conrad flexing and stretching while writing these, with the best yet to come. ( )
  kcshankd | Jul 24, 2015 |
I've read claims that Typhoon is Conrad's most comical story. It might even be true. At least there are several satirized characters and some farcical chaos, but the story is hardly a rip-roaring comedy. The story, as usual, leaves in its wake the uncanny feeling of Conradian depth, though in this case it comes with a sardonic edge that lessens the impact. Conrad's depiction of the typhoon itself is remarkably vivid. ( )
  vaellus | Jun 6, 2007 |
It is a classic sea yarn that describes how Captain Macwhirr sails the Siamese steamer Nan-Shan into a typhoon. Other characters include the young Jukes and Solomon, the head engineer. The novel classically evokes the sea-faring life at the turn of the century.
On the surface an adventure novel, the book contains many interwoven themes including:
* In a dangerous situation, people will follow someone showing certainty even if the source of the certainty is dubious.
* Lack of imagination can place one in as much danger as lack of experience.
  billyfantles | Sep 12, 2006 |
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This work contains:
Typhoon -- Amy Foster -- Falk: a reminiscence -- To-morrow

Published under/by: Penguin Classics, Bibliolife Reproduction, Swiat Ksiazki, Avatares, Modern Library Classics, Heinmann, Doubleday, Malay Edition, Kent Edition, Tauchnitz edition, Daily Express, Readers Library, Wildside Press

ISBNs: 1110076258, 014144195X, 8372272220, 8477022690, 0812967283

Please do not combine with editions with different contents.
This work contains editions that cannot be separated because they match on title and author. However, by publication info they would be distinct works. Alternate solutions welcomed.
Typhoon and other tales / Conrad, Joseph (3 copies) - 2 Folio copies, 1 Great Ill. Classics with a Signet member cover.
Typhoon and Other Stories / Conrad, Joseph (16 copies) - 4 Folio copies, 3 Doubleday copies, 2 Heinemann copies, 2 Copp Clark copies, 1 Tauchnitz copy, 1 Readers Library copy, 1Everyman's Library copy, 1 copy with no pub. info, 1 private library copy
Typhoon and Other Tales / Conrad, Joseph (27 copies) - 16 Signet Classic copies, 9 Folio Copies, 2 private library copies
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Wikipedia en anglès

No n'hi ha cap

Conrad's tale of life at sea follows steamship captain Tom Macwhirr a man never afraid of the high seas' monstrous storms. But this time he meets a storm with which his ship may not be able to compete. Macwhirr's complex personality a combination of courage and foolishness is brought to bear on his battles with the ocean.

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Melvil Decimal System (DDC)

823.912 — Literature English English fiction Modern Period 20th Century 1901-1945

LCC (Classificació de la Biblioteca del Congrés dels EUA)


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