Sunday, December 24, 2006

Lunchtime read: The Shadow-Line post V

this short but odd tale of the sea ends and leaves you wondering if everything that Conrad writes has this edge of the supernatural to it. It also reminds you a liuttle bit of the Rhyme of the Ancient mariner and Moby Dick in terms of the battle a sailor has not only with the elements but with their own mind

Highlights from chapters five and six

* The boat still sits in the ocean without a breeze and with the medicine gone the men resign themselves to illness and the captain is moved by their dedication and attitude - the only tangible moment when you think of the troops in the trenches

* Burn's is still convinced that the fate of the ship is being determined by the old caprain and black clouds surround the ship with the lifeless men doing what they can to prepare the sails and deck for a storm

* As the darkness descends Burns comes up on deck and laughs at the curse and tells the captain it has to be dealt with head-on and it seems to do the trick and thre winds pick up and they manage to get into Singapore

* The whole crew except for the captain, Burns and Ransome, who has been the only other member of crew not to fall prey to the sickness, are taken off the ship into hospitals and then the captain gets ready with a shipwrecked crew to carry on

it does make you think of the First World War not just because of the bravery the men show against almost impossible odds but also as Giles says to the captain in port there is never any rest they just have to keep going (fighting) on.

Review will probably come shortly after Christmas Day...

1 comment:

Scott Hughes said...

Very interesting... I'll wait for the full review.

Scott Hughes
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