Joined: Oct 2007 Posts: 3258 Location: Cheshire, England
Thanks: 329 Thanked: 678 times in 522 posts
This is the telling of a Nightmare - and I think could only be effective told in the first person.
I found an intimacy in the use of language....short phrases as though the narrator is uttering his train of thought, rather than telling a story, and whispering in your ear:-
e.g. ....but there....there you could look at a thing monstrous and free. It was unearthly and the men were....No, they were not inhuman. Well, you know that was the worst of it - this suspicion of their not being inhuman. It would come slowly to one. They howled and leaped and spun and made horrid faces; but what thrilled you was just the though of their humanity - like yours - the thought of your remote kinship with this wild and passionate uproar. Ugly. Yes it was ugly enough:
I find this style of writing so intimate - I don't think I have ever read a book before with such an intense feeling of the author whispering it to you directly.
Joined: Jan 2008 Posts: 6624 Location: Luray, Virginia
Thanks: 1999 Thanked: 2224 times in 1684 posts
An added dimension
I like the way Conrad's narrative adds depth to the story. The unnamed narrator strarts things off with a marvelous evocation of the Thames as night comes on. Perhaps this is even meant to contrast with the typical way Marlowe interprets scenery. But the first narrator also gives us little views of Marlowe himself from an objective point of view. He sits like an idol, he holds his hands outstretched like a buddha. This adds something to the great deal that Marlowe reveals to us about himself in his own story.
I also wonder if to Conrad, it was important to separate Marlowe from the "writing" of the story. That is left to the unnamed narrator, so that Marlowe can be only the sailor-raconteur.
Joined: Jan 2008 Posts: 759
Thanks: 3 Thanked: 13 times in 12 posts
It was somethiing that had to be told in narrative - it could have been done omnisciently, I suppose, but that would have given the writer the responsibility of figuring out what each character was thinking.
Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest
You cannot post new topics in this forum You cannot reply to topics in this forum You cannot edit your posts in this forum You cannot delete your posts in this forum You cannot post attachments in this forum
BookTalk.org is a thriving book discussion forum, online reading group or book club. We read and talk about both fiction and non-fiction books as a community. Our forums are open to anyone in the world. While discussing books is our passion we also have active forums for talking about poetry, short stories, writing and authors. Our general discussion forum section includes forums for discussing science, religion, philosophy, politics, history, current events, arts, entertainment and more. We hope you join us!