Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Modern Library Read June 2012

Lord Jim (Everyman's Library (Cloth))Lord Jim (Everyman's Library by Joseph Conrad

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

LORD JIM is a novel focused on the imperial zeitgeist of the age. The age is the years between 1876 to the beginning of world war one. Europe was beaming in its nationalism, imperialism, and as well as aliances between nation states.   Europe could be seen as a cage where the main event in the WWE would be held, in this corner Germany and the Hapsburgs vs. London and France.  We see explorers controlling new lands and new people.  We find adventures awaiting. 
So what if you don't care about the imperial age?  Are you a Star Trek or Battle Star Galactica fan? One then can imagine the ocean as deep space, and the natives as aliens.  I found it easier to concentrate on the plot when I imagined Jim as captain Kirk.  I could understand the imperialistic superiority over native cultures, if I thought of the natives as aliens or droids.  The great Robert A. Heinline wrote Citizen of the Galaxy, a book based on KIM, another book written in the Victorian Imperialistic Age.  
Conrad poses profound questions: Can a man run away from his past ruins? Or do they hunt him down till the present moment catches up with him? Is the earth big enough to hold the caper?"
I loved the narration by Stewart Lewis on Libri Vox. He does a great job with a tricky book. I could understand Conrad's humor by Stewart Lewis's reading of the novel. 
The book overall was imperially commanding. 

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