Joseph Conrad, Maya Jasanoff, and gCaptain’s Best Books of 2017!

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gCaptain is a source of daily news, interesting articles and book reviews that often contain the seeds of story ideas I can use for expanding the universe of the Nostromo. What? You’ve never heard of gCaptain?

Their self-stated mission has been to build a community of professionals working in the maritime and offshore industry to promote interaction, discussion and the sharing of ideas and information among the most experienced maritime and offshore industry professionals in the world.

Periodically, gCaptain publishes an exciting list of book recommendations and this year’s “best of” list is no exception.

At the top of the list is Maya Jasanoff’s “The Dawn Watch,” an intriguing biography of author Joseph Conrad, whose novel, Nostromo, has been sourced for the names of spacecraft in Alien (the Nostromo) and Aliens (the Sulaco). Many other Alien universe fictions have accessed his works for naming inspiration.

The Dawn Watch: Joseph Conrad in a Global World,” by Maya Jasanoff. The book is described as “an absorbing blend of history, biography, and travelogue.” Right up my alley!

Jasanoff is the Coolidge Professor of History at Harvard, and according to gCaptain’s recommendation, she follows Conrad’s routes and the stories of his four greatest works and gives us a perspective of Captain Conrad from sea level.

The Travels of Joseph Conrad

F. R. Leavis (a British literary critic of the early-to-mid-twentieth century) remarked in his analysis of Nostromo (in The Great Tradition) that the novel’s main theme is the relation between moral idealism and ‘material interests’. And without giving away the plot of Nostromo, I think I can safely reveal that Nostromo (the character in the novel) is charged with hauling a quantity of silver.

{Sound like things you’ve picked up from Alien?)

At any rate, I am fascinated by the novel, Nostromo, and have only read it through once. It is a slog. It was written in over a century ago and its style belongs to that long-gone era when authors built their narratives slowly, perhaps keeping time with the clop-clop of horse-drawn carriages. This bio might be a good stepping-stone to giving Nostromo another reading.

There are several other good picks in gCaptain’s list of the winners of their second annual award for gCaptain’s Best Nautical Books Of The Year.

Read more about them here: gCaptain’s Best Nautical Books Of 2017 – gCaptain

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