"Written after The Madness of Almayer and The Tramp of the Islands, his first two novels, in The Black of Narcissus (1897) Joseph Conrad pours part of his experiences as a merchant mariner and ship captain for twenty years. The novel begins in Mumbai as the crew of the ship Narcissus embarks on a long journey back to The Port of London. Conrad narrates with vivid realism and great psychological penetration the vicissitudes of the journey, including a terrible storm and the strange illness of the black cook – James Wait, "the negro of Narcissus", enlisted at the last minute – also Conrad made that journey, on that same sailboat, thirteen years earlier.
On this novel, its author says in the preface: "A black man in the alcazar of a British ship is a lonely being. He lacks friends. However, James Wait, fearful of death, who became his accomplice, was an impostor with character: he ...read more