The Portable Conrad (Penguin Classics)
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A collection of Conrad's most enduring work, edited by Pulitzer Prize finalist Michael Gorra
A great novelist of the sea, a poet of the tropics, a critic of empire and analyst of globalization, a harbinger of the modern spy novel, an unparalleled observer of the moments in which people are stripped of their illusions-Joseph Conrad is one of the greatest writers of the twentieth century. This revised edition of The Portable Conrad features the best known and most enduring of Conrad's works, including The Secret Agent, Heart of Darkness, and The Nigger of the "Narcissus," as well as shorter tales like "Amy Forster" and "The Secret Sharer," a selection of letters, and his observations on the sinking of the Titanic.
For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,700 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.
liked to talk with all sorts of people, and he may have gathered those illuminating facts at second or third hand, from a crossing-sweeper, from a retired police officer, from some vague man in his club, or even perhaps from a Minister of State met at some public or private reception. Of the illuminating quality there could be no doubt whatever. One felt like walking out of a forest on to a plain—there was not much to see but one had plenty of light. No, there was not much to see and, frankly,
from the doorway and returned my stare in an extraordinary, equivocal manner for a time. Then his eyes wavered, all his expression changed, and in a voice unusually gentle, almost coaxingly: “May I come in to take the empty cup away, sir?” “Of course!” I turned my back on him while he popped in and out. Then I unhooked and closed the door and even pushed the bolt. This sort of thing could not go on very long. The cabin was as hot as an oven, too. I took a peep at my double, and discovered that
we could again smile without misgivings—but we reckoned without Donkin. Donkin “didn’t want to ’ave no truck with ’em dirty furriners.” When Neillssen came to him with the news: “Singleton says he will die,” he answered him by a spiteful “And so will you—you fat-headed Dutchman. Wish you Dutchmen were hall dead—’stead comin’ takin’ our money hinto your starvin’ country.” We were appalled. We perceived that after all Singleton’s answer meant nothing. We began to hate him for making fun of us. All
’ang out till the morning,” said Donkin, in a strangely trembling voice, as though restraining laughter or rage. Jimmy seemed satisfied.—“Give me a little water for the night in my mug—there,” he said. Donkin took a stride over the doorstep.—“Git it yerself,” he replied in a surly tone. “You can do it, hunless you hare sick.”—“Of course I can do it,” said Wait, “only . . . .”—“Well, then, do it,” said Donkin viciously, “if yer can look hafter yer clothes, yer can look hafter yerself.” He went on
an “unwillingness to let the story speak for itself.” Yet Conrad’s “originality, the news he is offering us, can go over our heads,” and Naipaul soon finds that his predecessor’s books have already defined the “mixed and secondhand” world into which he himself was born. He comes to realize that “Conrad . . . had been everywhere before me,” and not only on the map. Indeed, to my mind Almayer’s Borneo resembles the Trinidad of Naipaul’s own Mr. Biswas, pieces ripped from the same tectonic plate,