I’m Starting Lord Jim

Despite all indications to the contrary, I haven’t given up on blogging. The problem is that I’ve temporarily turned to novels again, and I don’t feel comfortable blogging about a novel until I’ve finished it. Old habits die young, I guess, and I would never have started talking about a novel in class until I’d read it once or twice. At this stage of my life, I’m probably never going to read a novel twice, but I still feel more comfortable discussing the ideas after I’ve seen how the novel ends.

Reading The Heart of Darkness inspired me to read another of Conrad’s works, and it just seemed right to read Lord Jim, probably his most famous work. I’m almost half way through it, and I’m finding it nearly as fascinating as Heart of Darkness. Like it or not, I still find it difficult to read more than a couple hours a day, so it will take me nearly a week to finish it — hopefully by the end of the weekend.

I was amazed how close of Conrad’s themes are to Crane’s themes in The Red Badge of Courage, a work that appeared a few years before. Interestingly, the Wikipedia article notes that “his circle of friends included talented authors such as Stephen Crane and Henry James.” I read The Red Badge of Courage after my Vietnam experience and found much that I agreed with. I was quite surprised to learn that Crane had never experienced combat, that he was too young to serve in the Civil War.

Of course, if the weather had been better I would have gotten out to take pictures, but it’s been miserable so far this week, despite predictions it would improve by the end of the week. We actually had snow showers in the middle of today’s rain storm. I’m not even going to try to get bird photos in this kind of weather, much less take pictures of flowers.