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El negro del 'Narcissus'.

Ed. Paula Martín Salván




El negro del ‘Narcissus’:

Critical edition and Spanish translation of Joseph Conrad’s novel The Nigger of the ‘Narcissus’. Translated by María Jesús López Sánchez-Vizcaíno. Critical introduction by Paula Martín Salván.

The Nigger of the ‘Narcissus’ (1897) is inspired by Conrad’s journey on the homonymous ship in 1884. As in many of his stories, autobiographical elements come to life through his literary vocation, and they fulfill the testimonial role suggested by Edgard Garnett when he urged Conrad to keep his memories from sea life in writing.The Nigger of the ‘Narcissus’ is a sea story, heir to a tradition which can be traced back to novels such as Victor Hugo’s The Workers of the Sea (1866). This novel, the third in Conrad’s career, inaugurates a prolific stage in which he would successively write Heart of Darkness (1899) and Lord Jim (1900). In the three novels, the characters’ moral ambiguity and their anxiety to bear witness to their experience produce complex texts with a strong symbolic component. In The Nigger of the ‘Narcissus’, darkness is the key epistemological and moral metaphor. In this novel we also find one of Conrad’s first literary articulations of the communitarian ideal he had found in the Navy, to which he says goodbye at the end of the novel: “Good-bye, brothers! You were a good crowd. As good a crowd as ever fisted with wild cries the beating canvas of a heavy foresail; or tossing aloft, invisible in the night, gave back yell for yell to a westerly gale”.