Between the darkness of earth and heaven she was burning fiercely upon a disc of purple sea shot by the blood-red play of gleams; upon a disc of water glittering and sinister. A high, clear flame, an immense and lonely flame, ascended from the ocean, and from its summit the black smoke poured continuously at the sky. She burned furiously, mournful and imposing like a funeral pile kindled in the night, surrounded by the sea, watched over by the stars. A magnificent death had come like a grace, like a gift, like a reward to that old ship at the end of her laborious days. (from "Youth: A Narrative")
was best put by HG Wells: reviewing An Outcast of the Islands (1896), he described Conrad's style as being "like river-mist; for a space things are seen clearly, and then comes a great grey bank of printed matter, page upon page, creeping round the reader, swallowing him up".
The yarns of seamen have a direct simplicity, the whole meaning of which lies within the shell of a
cracked nut. But Marlow was not typical, and to him the meaning of an episode was not inside like a
kernel but outside, enveloping the tale which brought it out only as a glow brings out a haze.
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