Lord Jim Essay

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In the following essay, Bass discusses Conrad's difficulties with presenting speech, idiom, and dialect in his writing.

One does not have to read far in Lord Jim to observe Conrad's difficulties in making speech idiom read true. A Yankee deserter who is the crack marksman of Brown's derelict pirates, keeping his eye on a human target, says unconvincingly, "This there coon's health would never be a source of anxiety to his friends any more"; and later, when there are no further victims to shoot at, he pronounces the calm of Patusan to be "onnatural." The difficulty of rendering Jim's British idiom, however, Conrad seems to have turned into an asset rather than a liability. Jim is sometimes limited to a mere inept stutter, the mixture of pretense and modesty that is after all pretty much the base of his character. When Marlow proposes the Patusan venture to him...

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This section contains 3,651 words
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Buy the Lord Jim Study Guide
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