The Rescue

The Rescue➹ The Rescue Free ➯ Author Joseph Conrad – This is a pre 1923 historical reproduction that was curated for uality uality assurance was conducted on each of these books in an attempt to remove books with imperfections introduced by the digitiza This is a pre historical reproduction that was curated for uality uality assurance was conducted on each of these books in an attempt to remove books with imperfections introduced by the digitization process Though we have made best efforts the books may have occasional errors that do not impede the reading experience We believe this work is culturally important and have elected to bring the book back into print as part of our continuing commitment to the preservation of printed works worldwide. Review coming tomorrow I have to think about this oneJan 21 The Rescue is unusual because it is technically an early effort by Conrad but he stopped working on it in 1898 and never went back to complete it until 1918 finally publishing in 1920 In his introduction he explains that he had put this novel aside to finish another project that had captured his imagination and it simply became easier to then finish the next project and the next until 20 years had passed and he began to feel guilty for leaving this book dangling He never says how much he edited the original text or at what point in the story he had stopped writing all those years ago I am not enough of a Conrad scholar to be able to say 'this part is the younger man and this is the mature one' But like all of his books The Rescue is darkly intense with much going on beneath the surface than even the characters seem to understand It not an easy book to spend a concentrated amount of time on The tension the uncertainty of what will happen next the gloomy atmosphere are all vivid and overwhelming I could read in only short doses before needing to come up for clear airIn the first section of the book we meet adventurer Tom Lingard aboard his brig Lightning They are stuck with no wind on their way tosomewhere The destination is not revealed just yet We just know that the ship is not moving the night is dark and there may be pirates in the waters around them But it is not a pirate who arrives beside them in a small boat A yacht has grounded on a sandbank and the men in the boat have been sent out with urgent messages for help But Lingard is dismayed to learn the exact location of the stranded yacht for it turns out to be the very spot he is heading for himself and he knows the unexpected presence of the yacht will complicatehis plans The rest of the book deals with those plans and the way the people of the yacht especially Mrs Travers the owner's wife affect the destinies of Lingard his crew the friends he is on the way to meet and the plans they had made The events in the story take place over one week's time A week of lurking intensity The night effaced even words and its mystery had captured everything and every sound—had left nothing free but the unexpected that seemed to hover about one ready to stretch out its stealthy hand in a touch sudden familiar and appalling There is a great deal of confusion on all sides; no one not even Lingard is uite sure what what will happen by the end of the week and the ending surprises everyone I will want to read this again someday; I can never completely 'get' Conrad on a first reading I was confused by some of the conversations between Lingard and Mrs Travers And I was annoyed at other times by Conrad's way here of stopping the action at a dramatic point at the end of one section then beginning the next section with Lingard remembering what had happened Conrad does this a few times and I always had a 'hey wait what about' moment before I realized I would then be told about the conclusion of the scene That broke up the flow of the story for me but at least the next time I read the book I will be prepared This novel was a revelation for me; who am well familiar with most of Conrad's other titles I'm just knocking off the last few I have left 'The Rover' 'An Outcast of the Islands' and discovering in Conrad a writing style I didn't believe he had any inclination or facility for 'Rescue' is a slow dense read; but its immediately noticeable that Conrad here has not skimped or made things convenient for himself as he can often be fairly accused of doing by writing only the content which he is master of and comfortable with But he didn't take the easy route in this effort Its not lightly told or one dimensional; its got all the myriad facets we expect from a novel You can't say that he 'always' dodged challenges after this read 'Rescue' is not just muscular descriptions of the churning sea or some kind of intrigue or action In a head on manner Conrad resolutely takes on things like lengthynuanced conversations; character development; thoughts inside characters heads; etc After putting it down you may still feel that it's not that appealing a yarn but you can't fault him for skimping For me although right from the start I doubted that the 'predicament' of the characters in the tale was uite coherent I thoroughly enjoyed the way Conrad brought about the emotional pitch I was seeking The book has all the great elements of Nostromo but where that title is often criticized for 'shirking' female characters Conrad than makes up for it here Not only does 'The Rescue' prominently feature a memorable female character she is uite vividly drawn and we are made fully privy to her inner thoughts and psychology Conrad writing about women AmazingThe book has some of the themes and some of the atmosphere of 'Heart of Darkness' as well similarly exotic natives and brooding jungle and while its not as powerful 'Rescue' doesn't suffer from the same flaws as that book does either 'Heart' left me unsatisfied for it is so short and the climax so swift Conrad's prose in HoD is so transcendent soaring and otherworldly that he neglects clear straightforward storytelling You're not uite sure what's actually going on in those last few pages You can see this same fault hobbling The Nigger of the Narcissus where Conrad departs from the matter of fact struggle of men vs sea; to ruminate pointlessly about catharsis Uncle Joe show us Don't tell usOne example the awful Almayer's Folly which is nearly non stop psychological rumination with but a few scraps of dialog and gesture thrown in the climax of that tale is Almayer simply walking down the steps of his verandah briefly taking a look around and then pacing back inside GroanHere in 'Rescue' you don't have to fear any of that Its nearly the same exciting set up as 'HoD' but instead of going off into speculative inuiries on mankind's fate; Conrad's 'Rescue' has all its characters confronting each other directly Face to face conversations Something one craves desperately in 'Heart of Darkness' but which one does not receive there Conrad delivers this time When the rescue arrives he diligently draws the outlines of everyone present; you see the tense postures of the natives and the nervous movements of the captives; you follow 'what they are gazing at' and you can see 'who steps towards whom' and 'what they are holding in their hands' In other words proper 'staging' is not left out Its edge of the seat stuffSuspense replete on every page Every part of the narrative is soaked and saturated with it And then when the climax is finally reached you just have to take your hat off to the Joe Man Ka BOOM You can never go wrong with a few barrels of gunpowder and a time delay fuse; as he does here Its glorious Faint but much needed touch of Alistair MaClean; reminiscent too of 'Kwai' 'The Rescue' Difficult to get through along most of the way I admit itbut the thematic and structural overtones of a really fine novel emerge in the last few chapters Toothsome delicious and savory Conrad at his best An unexpected triumph Hurrah Joseph Conrad is one of my favourite authors so I was delighted to find a second hand copy of this in the Penguin Classics paperback edition I’ve read pretty much everything else he wrote but for some reason I had overlooked this one While it isn’t especially rare it is one of the neglected novels in the author’s later works; it also has the interesting position of being a book that was originally started at the very beginning of his career then set aside and only finished near the end of his life You could even call it the last really big book he ever completed — though I do think that ‘The Rover’ which came later was all the finer for its relative brevity I don’t think it’s amongst his best work or even his second best so I couldn't recommend it to new readers; but there’s a great deal here that will be of interest to those who are fans of this writer’s work The plot is one of those things that is simple to summarise but which is rendered complex by its execution It follows the exploits of one Tom Lingard a sort of roving sailor and 'adventurer' in what would now be called the Malay archipelago Lingard comes upon a yacht which has run aground on a sandbank; the residents of the yacht are Mr and Mrs Travers a sort of parody of a late Edwardian gentleman with his intelligent and fiercely independent wife; D’Alcacer a cool and observant diplomat; and Carter who does all the actual sailing for the Travers couple What these people don’t realise is that their arrival has come directly between Lingard’s work in restoring the kingdom of Hassim and Immada the prince and princess of a tiny Malaysian kingdom who Lingard previously rescued from exile What follows is a kind of delicate juggling operation between the immediate needs of the rescued white Europeans at sea with Lingard’s responsibilities to a tangled and ever changing political situation on land What complicates things further is a situation rare in Conrad’s work the presence of a love affair It’s not that this is exactly done poorly but it seems to me that the model here is Henry James above all else to the extent that the author has all but abandoned his own style in pursuit of the grand Jamesian manner And so there is rather a lot of stylised dialogue which is somehow mannered and teasing and tedious all at once; lots of talk and very little action The whole form will probably seem unrecognisable to those readers who have only previously enjoyed ‘Heart of Darkness’ or ‘Lord Jim’ but I suspect this is best considered as an evolution of an authorial method which was already emerging in books like ‘Chance’ and the highly underrated ‘Victory’ What this also has in common with those novels is Conrad’s interest in strong female figures Mrs Travers is a great example of this and feels very much to me like an attempt to invoke a heroine in the vein of James smart and passionate while also being tightly constrained by propriety but also her own idealism The key relationship is between her and Lingard but there’s also D’Alcacer who is supposedly also in love with her; if this were really a Henry James novel D’Alcacer would probably be one of those cold blooded protagonist narrators but by separating him from the actual narrative in ‘The Rescue’ Conrad is able to set up this Jamesian perspective as a slightly different thing to the structure of his novel as a wholeThe book also notable for its depiction of a foreign civilisation; unlikes those aforementioned early novels there’s little sense here of the Malaysians as an ‘other’ who only serve to respect the unknowable aspects of their white masters Instead they are presented as developed and admirable characters in their own right being active players in a well developed political society — and the privileged whites who look down on them are also the most ridiculous figures in the bookSo far I’ve summarised this book as if it were a kind of love story but there’s a great deal of darkness here too The mysterious white suited figure of Jorgenson looms about the margins of this story; an old white sailor with a somewhat mysterious past he harbours a kind of hollowness reminiscent of all those men Marlow encountered in the deep colonial outposts of the Congo Like the Professor in ‘The Secret Agent’ he is a nihilist with a casual contempt for the everyday value of human life Jorgenson is a puzzle On one hand I wonder if he was included simply to add shades of gloom to the corners as if that was what his readers were expecting; but on the other his appearances are so scene stealing that I can’t help but feel that he might contain some secret inner desire of the author to be done with the world a desire so dangerous it must be personified in the character of a madman Indeed there is a reoccurring sense throughout this book — manifest from various perspectives — of someone who is not only alienated by their society but who is actively repelled by it who even wants to destroy it Of course you couldn’t write that directly in a novel in 1920 I suppose But It’s most haunting regardless Look at the ridicule inherent in the masterful flashes of bitter irony in this little passage for example in which the author inhabits D'Alcacer as he considers the possibility of his imminent execution 'He wondered also how far he had been sincere and how far affected by a very natural aversion from being murdered obscurely by ferocious Moors with all the circumstances of barbarity It was a very naked death to come upon one suddenly It was robbed of all helpful illusions such as the free will of a suicide the heroism of a warrior or the exaltation of a martyr Hadn't I better make some sort of fight of it he debated with himself He saw himself rushing at the naked spears without any enthusiasm Or wouldn't it be better to go forth to meet his doom somewhere outside the stockade on that horrible beach with calm dignity Pah I shall be probably speared through the back in the beastliest possible fashion he thought with an inward shudder It was certainly not a shudder of fear for Mr d'Alcacer attached no high value to life It was a shudder of disgust because Mr d'Alcacer was a civilized man and though he had no illusions about civilization he could not but admit the superiority of its methods It offered to one a certain refinement of form a comeliness of proceedings and definite safeguards against deadly surprises' ' Am I a fat white man snapped the serang I was a man of the sea before you were born O Sali The order is to keep silence and mind the rudder lest evil befall the ship 'Enjoyed this read Conrad knows how to describe a sea calm better than anyone else Simply put Conrad fails with this novel It's not that it doesn't have its moments And the cumulative impact of events on the ending brings off a tremendous effect a blow that leaves an image of its protagonist Lingard forever changed and damaged As with many of Conrad's novels and stories it illustrates the failure of people to connect In this case it is with the once heroic and respected Captain Lingard with a married woman Mrs Travers Alas Lingard actually has few truly heroic dimensions making the possibility of a full tragedy almost impossible And there is one other thing at work if the reader has completed the other books in this series that deal with Lingard Almayer's Folly and An Outcast of the Islands he realizes just what is so infuriating about Lingard over the entire range of experiences It's this he is a horrible judge of human character Such it seems it is with Mrs Travers and virtually ever other figure in The Rescue except perhaps for Mr Carter Although even with Carter it seems that time will eventually tell This flaw of course was really given vent in An Outcast of the Islands where Almayer lets loose a salvo of insults against Lingard for his trust in Willems and his loss of everything they've built together because of Willems conspiracy with a rival Arab traderBut I guess Rescue lets us see how that flaw will dominate and consume Lingard later on Here it is made manifest in Lingard's all but adolescent mooning over Mrs Travers And the dialogue reflects that In those passages where we explore the feelings thoughts and temptations of Mrs Travers and Lingard the prose plays out in a manner so slowly repetitiously and tediously that it seems as if you are listening to someone giving a lengthy dissertation on how to unwind a ball of yarn You can admire Conrad's shifts in perspective and time And you can appreciate his attempt to delve into the minutiae of Travers' and Lingard's psyche But with regards to the latter I simply think Conrad fails here Rather than a flawed giant which seems the intent of the novel Lingard comes off as too much of a sniveling self absorbed teenager in love with his first girlfriend and ready to sacrifice everyone around him in order to get a date Except for Heart of Darkness which any instructor in Intro to Lit gets to know a lot better than one ever wanted to I'd not read any Conrad in decades Lucienne in Nicholas Freeling's Gun before Butter drew me to this under appreciated novel Conrad's hero Captain Lingard was her masculine ideal I wanted to find out if he was worthy indeed he is Tho' the sleaze the homme moyen sensual represent most of the male species one can aspire to being a decent man or even better a real man A real man is who you need to come to your aid should you be kidnapped by pirates The victims are the odious snob Mr Travers his friend Mr D'Alcacer Their rescuer is Captain Lingard master of the brig Lightning a merchantman turned arms smuggler who's sworn to help his friend Hassim an exiled rajah regain his realm on the Malay coast But Lingard is distracted by his fascination for Travers' beautiful wife Edith The Rescue is a wonderful study of masculine strength weakness But the character who really haunts me is not Lingard but old Captain Jorgenson late master of the barue Wild Rose which like Jorgenson himself is a burnt out wreck Jorgenson has gone totally Malasiatic and serves as both a model warning for what can happen to a real man Lingard has recruited him for one last adventure with fateful resultsIf you know the difference between a brig a barue can tell a topsail from a royal stay you should enjoy this book very much I liked it than the better known Lord Jim which I'd read as a schoolboy For good and often for bad Joseph Conrad’s late novels saw a resurgence in his romanticism Conrad’s novels were always romantic but the nature of that romanticism changed over time In his early novels the romance lay in the description and the plotting than in the often sordid and seedy characters who dominated the storiesBy Conrad’s middle period the romanticism was submerged as he examined political systems with a cynical and pessimistic eye Pessimism is of course itself a strain of negative romanticism and occasionally Conrad used characters and storylines that could easily have been found in a romantic novelHowever in his final phase Conrad gave himself over to far romantic tales with characters who were far too idealised to exist in real life While Conrad was not given to writing upbeat stories at the best of times the later stories were almost doomed to an unhappy ending because it was simply inconceivable that the romantic characters could do anything conceivably mundane such as live like any normal married coupleThe Rescue is a novel of this kind The characters are all romanticised though thankfully the book lacks some of the worst romantic passages of late Conrad perhaps because it was merely a work Conrad had written much earlier in his life which he now reconstituted for a late releaseThis is romance by character Indeed we see romance in all stages of life here – in the young shipman Carter the middle aged hero Captain Lingard and the elderly adventurer Jorgenson The heroine is also romantic as is her detached observer the Spanish D’Alsacer All of the Malays represent romantic stock figures and are less well definedThe story concerns Captain Tom Lingard a supporting character in two earlier novels now taking centre stage Lingard has befriended a Malay prince and princess Hassim and Immada and has plans to restore them to power after they are overthrown Lingard’s confidence in his own abilities is soon put to the test when a small ship is stranded close to the area where Lingard has been seeking support from the nativesThe ship is owned by the odious businessman Travers who is caught with his bored and scornful wife Edith and their acuaintance D’Alsacer The presence of Europeans complicates Lingard’s plans He feels obliged to help his own people and to prevent them from falling into the hands of the natives his ruthless allies Travers and D’Alsacer fall into the hands of a faction among the natives and Lingard finds it a difficult job to extricate them especially since he is falling in love with Edith Travers and neglecting his duties towards Hassim and Immada His dalliance causes his ally Jorgenson to despair and Jorgenson decides to blow up his ship killing a number of people including Lingard’s enemies Jorgenson himself and Hasssim and Immada Wracked with guilt Lingard allows Edith to depart with Travers and the would be lovers are partedIt is a sad novel and one that sets up a typical Conrad conundrum – a man who believes he is ready for anything only to face a totally unprecedented and unusual situation that is out of his control Lingard fails the test As his name suggests he lingers too long and fails to actTo some extent he is choosing between the native Hassim and Immada who he regards as his own children and members of his own race In the circumstances he does as many others have done and chooses his own kind precipitating the disaster However while his decision may be wrong Conrad is sympathetic to his plight Indeed it is the European characters that bring the work to life whilst the Malay characters are too shadowy to engage our interest Conrad sides with the Europeans every bit as much as Lingard doesThe dilemma is presented with some weaknesses on Conrad’s part Firstly there is an excess of dense description and psychological motivation which serves to weaken Conrad’s claim that this work is an adventure story The book is rather static appropriate for its subject matter perhaps and the exciting events take place away from our full view This may be intentional but it sometimes renders the story slow and confusingConrad is also uncertain how to present his heroine We cannot help being drawn to Edith Travers and in some respects her relationship towards Lingard is like that of an Ibsen heroine – romantic passionate fascinating the man in a harpy like manner yet inspiring him However in Ibsen they seek to inspire their lover to action whereas Edith inspires Lingard to stasisHowever while Edith is appealing in some ways Conrad is ambiguous in his treatment of her She is seen as bored and scornful taking on roles that she should not She wears Malay clothes identifying her with the natives something Conrad would not approve of That the clothes are those that Lingard had laid aside for Immada also reinforces the sense of Edith interfering in a situation and taking their rightful placeThe Rescue is the third book in a trilogy in reverse It takes place before An Outcast of the Islands which in turn took place before Almayer’s Folly each work acting almost as a preuel to the last However the 20 year gestation has perhaps changed some of Conrad’s original concerns The Tom Lingard of earlier books was a jovial bully well meaning but wrong headed There is something of that Lingard in this book too He takes Carter and the Travers’ boat captive because they interfere with his plans which he was foolish enough to believe were impregnable He is also committed to interfering in Malayan politics for no better reason than a feeling of loyalty to a brother and sister he once befriended However this is a very different Tom Lingard in other respects He is heroic and strong minded passionate and reflective He is therefore considerably sympathetic than the older Lingard of earlier booksConrad has also removed a good deal of the excessive verbiage that was in his first draft of The Rescue making this a better book than the other two works in this loose trilogy However while the book is vastly improved as a result it cannot be counted as one of Conrad’s best works It is too wordy and abstract when it needs to be pacey and forcefulOf course Conrad never wrote works for purely commercial effect and the descriptive passages and psychology are the most important priorities in his writing With all its faults The Rescue is a worthwhile book and there is much to enjoy in its pages The best of the Lingard trilogy for me With the exception of the end which somehow lacks the power of much of the rest of the book a tour de force I love the descriptions of the landscape the light the sea Some good characters Jorgensen Lingard Mr Travers I remember liking Conrad a lot in high school and I still enjoy the intense dialogues that elaborate the themes of a thoroughly gripping adventure story But everything is melodramatic and absolute from the opening description of the sea down to the smallest twitch of a character's arm and that can get a little tiring to read My introduction to Conrad after overdosing on Thomas Hardy Compelling pellucid and emotionally powerful

The Rescue Kindle ¿ Paperback
  • Paperback
  • 352 pages
  • The Rescue
  • Joseph Conrad
  • English
  • 03 November 2014
  • 9781426404313