By Joseph Conrad
The masterpiece of Joseph Conrad's later years, the autobiographical brief novel The Shadow-Line depicts a tender guy at a crossroads in his existence, dealing with a determined situation that marks the "shadow-line" among early life and maturity.
This short yet severe tale is a dramatically fictionalized account of Conrad's first command as a tender sea captain trapped aboard a becalmed, fever-wracked, and probably haunted send. without wind in sight and his staff disabled by means of malaria, the narrator discovers that the drugs essential to keep the ailing males is lacking and its absence has been intentionally hid. in the meantime, his more and more nervous first mate is confident that the malignant ghost of the former captain has cursed them. Suspenseful, atmospheric, and deceptively basic, Conrad's story of the ocean displays the complicated issues of his most famed novels, Lord Jim and center of Darkness.
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Extra info for The Shadow-Line: A Confession
Whilst he seemed on deck he wouldn't communicate and never regularly solution whilst spoken to. It was once seen that he used to be in poor health in a few mysterious demeanour, and starting to get a divorce. because the days glided by the sounds of the violin grew to become much less and not more loud, until finally just a feeble scratching could meet Mr. Burns’ ear as he stood within the saloon listening outdoors the door of the captain’s state-room. One afternoon in ideal desperation he burst into that room and made this kind of scene, tearing his hair and shouting such horrid imprecations that he cowed the contemptuous spirit of the ill guy. The water-tanks have been low, that they had no longer received 50 miles in a fortnight. She could by no means succeed in Hong-Kong. It was once like battling desperately in the direction of destruction for the send and the boys. This was once glaring with no argument. Mr. Burns, wasting all restraint, placed his face with regards to his Captain’s and reasonably yelled: “You, sir, are going out of the realm. yet I can’t wait until eventually you're useless prior to I placed the helm up. you need to do it your self. you want to do it now! ” the fellow at the sofa tangled up in contempt: “So i'm going out of the world—am I? ” “Yes, sir—you haven’t many days left in it,” acknowledged Mr. Burns calming down. “One can see it via your face. ” “My face, eh? … good, positioned the helm up and be damned to you. ” Burns flew on deck, acquired the send earlier than the wind, then got here down back, composed yet resolute. “I’ve formed a direction for Pulo Condor, sir,” he acknowledged. “When we make it, while you're nonetheless with us, you’ll inform me into what port you would like me to take the send and I’ll do it. ” The previous guy gave him a glance of savage spite, and acknowledged these atrocious phrases in lethal, gradual tones: “If I had my want, neither the send nor any of you are going to ever succeed in a port. and that i desire you won’t. ” Mr. Burns used to be profoundly surprised. i feel he used to be certainly worried on the time. it sort of feels, besides the fact that, that he controlled to provide such an efficient chuckle that it was once the outdated man’s flip to be fearful. He shrank inside himself and became his again on him. “And his head was once now not long gone then,” Mr. Burns guaranteed me excitedly. “He intended each be aware of it. ” Such was once essentially the overdue captain’s final speech. No hooked up sentence handed his lips afterwards. That evening he used the final of his power to throw his mess around over the facet. not anyone had truly noticeable him within the act, yet after his loss of life Mr. Burns couldn’t locate the object anyplace. The empty case was once greatly in facts, however the mess around was once sincerely now not within the send. And the place else may well it have long gone to yet overboard? “Threw his violin overboard! ” I exclaimed. “He did,” cried Mr. Burns excitedly. “And it’s my trust he could have attempted to take the send down with him if it have been in human strength. He by no means intended her to determine domestic back. He wouldn’t write to his vendors, he by no means wrote to his previous spouse either—he wasn’t going to. He had made up his brain to chop adrift from every little thing. That’s what it was once. He didn’t deal with company, or freights, or for creating a passage—or something. He intended to have long past wandering concerning the global until eventually he misplaced her with all palms.