By Joseph Conrad
Written in 1915, The Shadow-Line is predicated upon occasions and reports from twenty-seven years prior to which Conrad again obsessively in his fiction. a tender sea captain's first command brings with it a succession of crises: his sea is becalmed, the group laid low via fever, and his deranged first mate is confident that the send is haunted by way of the malignant spirit of a prior captain.
this can be certainly a piece filled with "sudden passions," during which Conrad is ready to express how the complete depth of life will be skilled by means of the guy who, within the phrases of the older Captain Giles, is ready to "stand as much as his undesirable good fortune, to his error, to his conscience." A refined and penetrating research of the character of manhood, The Shadow-Line investigates sorts of masculinity and hope in a subtext that counters the tale's doubtless traditional floor.
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And his love of the new, this thirst for fresh experience and changing scenes persists in Kim's young life: on the Grand Trunk Road, "there were people and new sights at every stride-castes he knew and castes that were altogether out of his experience"; and with the important Sahiba's entourage (the Wife of Bath's world) "this was the life as he would have it-bustling and shouting, the beating of bullocks and the creaking of wheels, lighting of fires and cooking of food, and new sights at every turn of the approving eye ....
It is a note of delight in life, of openness to people and things that is maintained throughout the novel and is the essence of its magic. Kipling's passionate interest in people and their vocabularies and their crafts is, of course, the essence of the magic of all his work. But in all the other books it tends to be marred by aspects of his social ethic-by caution, reserve, distrust, mastered emotion, stiff upper lips, direct puritanism or the occasional puritan's leer, retributive consequences, cruelty masquerading as justifiable restraint or bullying as the assertion of superiority.
However, before we set this change of heart entirely to Eliot's credit, we need to take note of certain difficulties whicK arise rn our reading of the poet for whom he is soliciting our admiration. There is for instance what is probably the most justly famous of all Kipling's poems, his "Recessional" of 1897, quoted in part here: God of our fathers, known of old, Lord of our far-flung battle-line, Beneath whose awful Hand we hold Dominion over palm and pineLord God of Hosts, be with us yet, Lest we forget-lest we forget!