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ishmael
02-16-2003, 09:51 PM
Heart of Darkness The opening verse.

The Nellie, a cruising yawl, swung to her anchor
without a flutter of the sails, and was at rest. The flood
had made, the wind was nearly calm, and being bound
down the river, the only thing for it was to come to
and wait for the turn of the tide.
The sea-reach of the Thames stretched before us
like the beginning of an interminable waterway. In
the offing the sea and the sky were welded together
without a joint, and in the luminous space the tanned
sails of the barges drifting up with the tide seemed to
stand still in red clusters of canvas sharply peaked,
with gleams of varnished spirits. A haze rested on the
low shores that ran out to sea in vanishing flatness.
The air was dark above Gravesend, and farther back
still seemed condensed into a mournful gloom, brood-
ing motionless over the biggest, and the greatest, town
on earth.

http://www.sas.upenn.edu/African_Studies/Books/Heart_Darkness.html

[ 02-16-2003, 11:56 PM: Message edited by: ishmael ]

Dutch Rub
02-16-2003, 10:48 PM
Yes very descriptive- helps to have a buzz too. :D

I do believe that style of writing has since gone by the wayside. Probably sadly. Any of the old novels that I read seem so ponderous and out of date. I am sure that 100 years from now, the best sellers of today will seem equally outdated.

[ 02-16-2003, 10:50 PM: Message edited by: Dutch Rub ]

Shang
02-16-2003, 11:39 PM
As a sometimes writers, ish, ...what wouldn't we give to have Conrad's command of language.
All the more amazing considering that English wasn't Conrad's first language, nor his second. Russian-Polish slavaish, then French, and finally, in his thirties, English.
...Kinda makes one appreciate how little one's accomplished...

ishmael
02-17-2003, 12:07 AM
"I need not tell you what it is to be knocking about in an open boat. I remember nights and days of calm when we pulled, we pulled, and the boat seemed to stand still, as if bewitched within the circle of the sea horizon. I remember the heat, the deluge of rain-squalls that kept us baling for dear life (but filled our water-cask), and I remember sixteen hours on end with a mouth dry as a cinder and a steering-oar over the stern to keep my first command head on to a breaking sea. I did not know how good a man I was till then. I remember the drawn faces, the dejected figures of my two men, and I remember my youth and the feeling that will never come back any more--the feeling that I could last for ever, outlast the sea, the earth, and all men; the deceitful feeling that lures us on to joys, to perils, to love, to vain effort--to death; the triumphant conviction of strength, the heat of life in the handful of dust, the glow in the heart that with every year grows dim, grows cold, grows small, and expires--and expires, too soon--before life itself.

From the short story Youth Joseph Conrad

Shang
02-17-2003, 12:14 AM
"...He was a seaman, but he was a wanderer, too, while most seamen lead, if one may so express it, a sedentary life. Their minds are of the stay-at-home order, and their home is always with them -- the ship; and so is their country -- the sea. One ship is very much like another, and the sea is always the same..."

In a conversation with a friend, a teacher of creative writing, I said, "I know how to teach them to draw; how on earth do you teach them to write!

[ 02-17-2003, 12:19 AM: Message edited by: Shang ]

ishmael
02-17-2003, 12:47 AM
If you can't think with discipline (and writing is the clearest, most vibrant, expression of thinking, though by no means the only one), then you can not be a genuine member of society.

Conrad is a literary hero of mine. I've yet to approach a mastery of my own language anywhere near his gift with English, his third.

Pause for thought.

[ 02-17-2003, 12:57 AM: Message edited by: ishmael ]