Wayne's Reviews > Tales of Unrest

Tales of Unrest by Joseph Conrad
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M_50x66
's review
Mar 23, 09

bookshelves: english-classic-lit, short-stories
Recommended to Wayne by: Reading Conrad at school.
Recommended for: anyone, really.
Read in March, 2009, read count: a couple of stories - a few times; afew stories - once!!


Conrad, Polish born, is recorded as having written his first letter in English aged 28 in 1885. In 1896, aged almost 40, his first novel was published. Of this, his publisher's reader, Edward Garnett, wrote: "When he read aloud to me some new MS pages of 'An Outcast of the Islands' he mispronounced so many words that I followed him with difficulty. I found then that he had never once heard these English words spoken, but had learned them all from books."

This is only one of the fascinations that reading Joseph Conrad holds,
his 'secondhand' mastery of the English tongue.
The other great pleasure and fascination are the writings themselves.
Drawn from wide and varied experiences, distilled by a sharp and sensitive intelligence, here is a writer with something to say.

These 5 stories illustrate all of the above and probably much more.

Two are set in Europe.'The Idiots' tells of a hideous tragedy in a propertied Breton family; the other, a rather dry, sardonic retelling of the disintegration of an upper-class London marriage.

The other three settings draw on Conrad's experiences in the East and the Congo. 'An Outpost of Progress' illustrates the shallowness of civilised values amongst Europeans in supposedly savage primitive cultures. A story I reread with evergrowing pleasure and agitation.
The other two set in the East illustrate the mystery and respect that the values of unknown cultures should elicit from us, the foreigner and alien.

I look forward to MORE!!!



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