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Youth by Joseph Conrad

England, end of the 19th Century. A group of men, all belonging to the merchant navy, are having some drinks, while talking about their first adventure across the sea.

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England, end of  the 19th Century. A group of men, all belonging to the merchant navy, are having some drinks, while talking about their first adventure across the sea.
One of them, Marlow, gets control of the conversation and begins to tell about his own first experience as a second mate on a ship called Judea.

It happened twenty-two years earlier, when he was only twenty: a very young man, full of passion, strength and illusions. He and his crew were on a trip to Thailand, the East, when confronted with violent natural events. Will they be able to overcome them?

Joseph Conrad, a Polish writer, published Youth, a narrative in 1899.
It is a kind of 
travel literature where the main character is the sea. Actually, Conrad was a sailor and for this reason he was familiar with the things he used to write about. Youth is also an autobiographical short novel and this is the first time we meet Marlow, who will be the protagonist of Heart of Darkness too.

The main theme is youth, as the title suggests: “strength, genius, thoughts, achievement, simple hearts.” These are the words used by Marlow himself to describe it.
A story about the passage of time, about how you lose your 
greatest values when you grow old, Youth also underlines the importance of experience, that shapes the individual and has a great impact when you are young.

While talking to his audience, Marlow usually says “Pass the bottle”. This reminds the reader that those young times have passed, and maybe there is a little bit of nostalgia in Marlow’s speech.

Anyway, life goes on, youth does not last forever, but it leaves beautiful memories, ready to be told in front of good listeners and a bottle of wine.

 


Conrad Youth book cover - UberAuraWriter: Joseph Conrad

ISBN: 978-0141195919

Pages: 64

Publishing House: Penguin Mini Modern Classics

Year: 2011 (1899)

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