Lord Jim or the shame of living 1
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Lord Jim or the shame of living 1 book
Lord Jim (1900) is first and foremost a tale of misfortune at sea and of lost honour. The second part of the novel evokes the hero’s glorious redemption, but his tragic end confirms the self-destructive dimension of his Ideal. “Lord Jim’s” destiny thus assumes the demonic character that is linked to the compulsion to repeat. I will only concern myself here with the true/false shipwreck of the Patna, which is at the origin of Jim’s narcissistic shipwreck. The real event derives its significance from an effect of the operation of après-coup (Nachträglichkeit), in the authentically Freudian sense of the term. To render this effect of après-coup in such a way that it is operative in the narrative of the action, Conrad resorts to a very oblique and complicated construction whose function goes well beyond the “suspense” that it maintains: it turns out, in fact, that it underlies the very consistency of the narrative action and the issues which motivate it subjectively in its protagonists. I will show this through the introduction into the story of the narrator-actor Marlow. First, though, I must summarize for the reader the episode of the Patna.