Under Western Eyes
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Joseph Conrad (1857-1924) was born to a poor family in Poland. His father was a passionate playwright, and instilled in his son a fervent love of reading. Sadly, Conrad lost both parents by the age of eleven, and was sent to live with an uncle. Seeking a life of adventure, Conrad became a merchant seaman and traveled the world for many years. His experiences abroad, in foreign lands and among many cultures, would serve as inspiration for some of his most famous writings. After extensive service on British ships, Conrad was awarded English citizenship in 1886. He chose, however, to return to the sea, traveling to Africa to fulfill a childhood dream. In the 1890s, Conrad finally settled down in England and began to write, drawing on his many impressions of life and people around the world. He would publish several novels, among them Lord Jim, Nostromo, and Heart of Darkness. Conrad's writings are more than simple tales of adventure, often making use of extreme and unusual settings to explore the heights and depths of human nature. Controversial and provocative, Conrad is a must-read for anyone seeking to understand the modern novel.Back to top
Opening Lines (Experimental)
To begin with I wish to disclaim the possession of those high gifts of imagination and expression which would have enabled my pen to create for the reader the personality of the man who called himself, after the Russian custom, Cyril son of Isidor--Kirylo Sidorovitch--Razumov.
If I have ever had ...
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