Joseph Conrad: The Nigger of the 'Narcissus'

(2036 words)

The Nigger of the “Narcissus”: a Tale of the Forecastle, subsequently subtitled “a Tale of the Sea”, was Conrad's third novel. It was published in late 1897, in serial form in The New Review in London, and in book form in Britain and in the US. The New York edition carried the title “The Children of the Sea”. Conrad had himself served on a boat called the Narcissus in 1884 and he conceived of the book as a tribute to may of the seamen he had worked with on sailing ships now that the world had converted to steamers. The origin of the ship's name is the youth Narcissus who, as a punishment by the Greek gods, fell in love with his own reflection.

For Conrad, the novel concerned a group of men held …

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