Written in 1915, The Shadow-Line is based upon events and experiences from twenty-seven years earlier, to which Conrad returned obsessively in his fiction. A young sea-captain faces a succession of crises on his first command, for which he feels himself responsible. The novel is a work full of ´sudden passions´, as well as a penetrating analysis of the nature of manhood.
´´The Shadow Line´´ is a novel written and published by Joseph Conrad in 1917. The story has as its main theme the youth and its end. When the protagonist warns that his youth is practically over, he decides to leave the tropics and leaves. While waiting for the ship that will take him far away, life gives him a great opportunity: the possibility of assuming the role of Captain on an Eastern ship. But on the navec hovers a very bad energy, it seems almost bewitched and the memory of the previous dead mad captain is still present. The journey proceeds, therefore, in a disturbing and uncomfortable: the crew is annihilated by fevers and no wind. The main theme of the story is the inviting transformation that life claims: the transition from childhood to adult, (the transition from ingenuity and impulsiveness to wisdom) requires an inner emptiness not free from effort and suffering. We can say that beyond a novel of adventure, ´´The Shadow Line´´ is also a psychological account of what happens in the psyche of a boy, when he realizes that, in one way or another, he must change.
A young and inexperienced sea captain finds that his first command leaves him with a ship stranded in tropical seas and a crew smitten with fever. As he wrestles with his conscience and with the increasing sense of isolation that he experiences, the captain crosses the ´shadow-line´ between youth and adulthood. In many ways an autobiographical narrative, Conrad´s novella was written at the start of the Great War when his son Borys was at the Western Front, and can be seen as an attempt to open humanity´s eyes to the qualities needed to face evil and destruction. For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,700 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.
The Shadow Line: Joseph Conrad