Lord Jim

Joseph Conrad

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Lord Jim is a novel by Joseph Conrad originally published as a serial in Blackwood's Magazine from October 1899 to November 1900.

An early and primary event is the abandonment of a ship in distress by its crew including the young British seaman Jim. He is publicly censured for this action and the novel follows his later attempts at coming to terms with his past.

In 1998, the Modern Library ranked Lord Jim 85th on its list of the 100 best English-language novels of the 20th century.

im (his surname is never disclosed), a young British seaman, becomes first mate on the Patna, a ship full of pilgrims travelling to Mecca for the hajj. When the ship starts rapidly taking on water and disaster seems imminent, Jim joins his captain and other crew members in abandoning the ship and its passengers. A few days later, they are picked up by a French ship. However, the Patna and its passengers are later also saved, and the reprehensible actions of the crew are exposed. The other participants evade the judicial court of inquiry, leaving Jim to face the court alone. The court strips him of his navigation command certificate for his dereliction of duty. Jim is angry with himself, both for his moment of weakness, and for missing an opportunity to be a 'hero'.

At the trial, he meets Charles Marlow, a sea captain, who in spite of his initial misgivings over what he sees as Jim's moral unsoundness, comes to befriend him, for he is "one of us". Marlow later finds Jim work as a ship chandler's clerk. Jim tries to remain incognito, but whenever the opprobrium of the Patna incident catches up with him, he abandons his place and moves further east...

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