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A Story a Day #19: Joseph Conrad



February 24th, 2020

"The Brute"

Joseph Conrad


A man enters his regular parlor and sees two men he knows and one he does not. The unknown man is spinning a tale about The Apse Family who is infamously awful. It is then uncovered that this is the name of a ship that was the most difficult, unreliable ship ever. He tells tales of how it killed a girl with its anchor and nearly drowned several people when they tried to sell it. At the end, he abruptly leaves.


Like many people, I am most familiar with Joseph Conrad through Heart of Darkness. Many people will also know this story through its film adaptation, Apocalypse Now. It seems that Conrad tends to write about male bravado through typically glorified events like war and sea faring. This story is no exception. It does seem to be somewhat self aware of the ridiculous showing off that happens through the telling of extravagant stories as is done here, but it doesn't appear to really be criticizing the act itself.


I am personally not interested in stories like these because they have no relatability whatsoever. I cannot relate to any of the characters and their traits or desires, nor am I intrigued by any of the actions they seem to be doing. I'm sure there are many people who enjoy Conrad, especially those that enjoy stories of war and heroism, but I can't say that I'm one of them.

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