Monday, March 19, 2018

Happy Saint Joseph's Day, 2018 -- March 19, 2018
Happy Saint Joseph's Day to my fellow Joes.

Joseph Conrad (Józef Teodor Konrad Korzeniowski) was born in Poland while much of the country was claimed by the Russian Empire. English may have been his fourth language (Polish, French, Russian, English).  His family had worked for Polish independence, so he had no future in Russia.  He joined the French merchant marine, and later the British.  I read somewhere that his shipmates called him "Polish Joe."  He began writing fiction in English and then had to give up the sea because of his health.

I read a lot of Conrad in college.  I took a summer class dedicated to him.  I got to operate the projector to show Lord Jim with Peter O'Toole.  It was my first experience with an anamorphic lens.

Conrad's books and stories show few signs that English was not his first language.  My final paper for the Conrad class was about a play he wrote, based on The Secret Agent.  I found traces of less-careful writing in the stage directions.

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