The Shadow-Line by Joseph Conrad

By Joseph Conrad

Written in 1915, The Shadow-Line is predicated upon occasions and studies from twenty-seven years prior to which Conrad back obsessively in his fiction. a tender sea captain's first command brings with it a succession of crises: his sea is becalmed, the team laid low via fever, and his deranged first mate is confident that the send is haunted through the malignant spirit of a prior captain.

this is often certainly a piece packed with "sudden passions," within which Conrad is ready to convey how the complete depth of lifestyles might be skilled by way of the fellow who, within the phrases of the older Captain Giles, is ready to "stand as much as his undesirable success, to his blunders, to his conscience." A sophisticated and penetrating research of the character of manhood, The Shadow-Line investigates different types of masculinity and hope in a subtext that counters the tale's probably traditional floor.

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With apparent disdain for romanticism, in ‘Hamlet and His Problems’ Eliot conceives of a technique that serves as the foundation for his poetics of impersonality – the objective correlative. As he explains, ‘the only way of expressing emotion in the form of art is by finding an objective correlative; in other words, a set of objects, a situation, a chain of events which shall be the formula of that particular emotion; such that when the external facts, which must terminate in sensory experience, are given, the emotion is immediately evoked’ (789).

When studying the poem or fiction, the archetypal critic, like the formalist, assumes that the art object represents a special space, one that is more or less selfcontained, and in some fashion outside the strictures of history or personage. But Frye differs from some formalists in his understanding of literature as permanent and universal, applicable to and connected with human life throughout time. ‘The true father or shaping spirit of the poem is the form of the poem itself,’ Frye explains in Anatomy of Criticism (1957), ‘and this form is a manifestation of the universal spirit of poetry, the “onlie begetter” of Shakespeare’s sonnets who was not Shakespeare himself’ (98).

Eliot’s tradition is exclusive and hierarchical and does not account for the many other cultural forces that might make a popular novel or rock lyric or situation comedy as important in the creation of a given text as Dante’s Inferno. Aren’t all of the forces the artist experiences important in the culminating art object? Eliot responds with a resounding ‘no’ and asserts that if we approach a poet with his idea of tradition in mind, ‘we shall often find that not only the best, but the most individual parts of his work may be those in which the dead poets, his ancestors, assert their immortality most vigorously’ (784).

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