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The sea—this truth must be confessed—has no generosity. No display of manly qualities—courage, hardihood, endurance,... Options
Daemon
Posted: Sunday, May 13, 2012 12:00:00 AM
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The sea—this truth must be confessed—has no generosity. No display of manly qualities—courage, hardihood, endurance, faithfulness—has ever been known to touch its irresponsible consciousness of power.

Joseph Conrad (1857-1924)
RubyMoon
Posted: Sunday, May 13, 2012 12:52:18 AM
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The sea may not display these manly qualities, but the sea is very generous - irresponsibly generous.
jcbarros
Posted: Sunday, May 13, 2012 1:03:37 AM

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Ostentatious behavior.
RubyMoon
Posted: Sunday, May 13, 2012 1:15:21 AM
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Cruel. The powerful, beautiful, cruel sea.
percivalpecksniff
Posted: Sunday, May 13, 2012 6:04:04 AM

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Of course he is just applying human qualities to the sea, which has no consciousness, and judging it on that basis as we know. But he errs in his judgment, since the sea enables man to travel, to explore, and to trade. It provides endless pleasure. It also 'gives' up its fish.

His view is one dimensional.


It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it. Aristotle
Ms. B. Have
Posted: Sunday, May 13, 2012 9:29:11 AM

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The sea is not just a giant pond of water, it is the womb of mother earth that gave birth to all life on earth and is still feeding this life with her milk: WATER.





Perception selects, and makes the world we see.
rogermue
Posted: Sunday, May 13, 2012 9:33:33 AM

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Absolutely right! What would be the Earth without water?
almostfreebird
Posted: Sunday, May 13, 2012 9:39:29 AM

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Goddamn right.


percivalpecksniff
Posted: Sunday, May 13, 2012 10:17:52 AM

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That's right, the sea is a wonder, but as to being the orgin of life ... well that is just one of many theories, not a proven fact.

Did anyone say the sea was just a giant pond of water? Conrad was not talking about the sea as encompassing its life forms, but as body of water in the destructive sense and applying the worst of human characteristics to it



It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it. Aristotle
Ms. B. Have
Posted: Sunday, May 13, 2012 10:30:08 AM

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Joseph Conrad wrote:
The sea—this truth must be confessed—has no generosity. No display of manly qualities—courage, hardihood, endurance, faithfulness—has ever been known to touch its irresponsible consciousness of power.

Maybe in his days people who sailed the sea had some right to complain about how they were treated by her waves, but we lost that right of speech by the way we are treating her; we should be embarrassed and ashamed about our irresponsible lack of consciousness.




Perception selects, and makes the world we see.
percivalpecksniff
Posted: Sunday, May 13, 2012 10:33:06 AM

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I do not think the age in which Conrad lived has any thing to do with his comments. As to our misuse... that is a better word than mistreatment... of the sea, I would hazard a guess we all think we misuse this asset.

Romanticism is all very well when discussing the sea, but in the end it counts not for a fig.


It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it. Aristotle
Ms. B. Have
Posted: Sunday, May 13, 2012 10:42:52 AM

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percivalpecksniff, theory or no theory, you would not be walking this earth without the sea.

And keep this in mind; you cannot destroy water with an axe: water will destroy the axe!

Nothing romantic about that.

Perception selects, and makes the world we see.
percivalpecksniff
Posted: Sunday, May 13, 2012 11:02:16 AM

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You said MS behave: percivalpecksniff, theory or no theory, you would not be walking this earth without the sea.


Really... I am not aware that I said that, and I certainly have never thought it. It is also obviously true that without oxygen or soil we would not walk the earth... but really does that need saying? You assume to much.

You also said: And keep this in mind; you cannot destroy water with an axe: water will destroy the axe!

Isn't that rather obvious? What is your point?


It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it. Aristotle
MTC
Posted: Sunday, May 13, 2012 11:42:36 AM
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The quotation is from Ch XXXVI of The Mirror of the Sea, a compilation of magazine articles written by Conrad:

The love that is given to ships is profoundly different from the love men feel for every other work of their hands - the love they bear to their houses, for instance - because it is untainted by the pride of possession. The pride of skill, the pride of responsibility, the pride of endurance there may be, but otherwise it is a disinterested sentiment. No seaman ever cherished a ship, even if she belonged to him, merely because of the profit she put in his pocket. No one, I think, ever did; for a ship-owner, even of the best, has always been outside the pale of that sentiment embracing in a feeling of intimate, equal fellowship the ship and the man, backing each other against the implacable, if sometimes dissembled, hostility of their world of waters. The sea - this truth must be confessed - has no generosity. No display of manly qualities - courage, hardihood, endurance, faithfulness - has ever been known to touch its irresponsible consciousness of power. The ocean has the conscienceless temper of a savage autocrat spoiled by much adulation. He cannot brook the slightest appearance of defiance, and has remained the irreconcilable enemy of ships and men ever since ships and men had the unheard of audacity to go afloat together in the face of his frown. From that day he has gone on swallowing up fleets and men without his resentment being glutted by the number of victims - by so many wrecked ships and wrecked lives. To-day, as ever, he is ready to beguile and betray, to smash and to drown the incorrigible optimism of men who, backed by the fidelity of ships, are trying to wrest from him the fortune of their house, the dominion of their world, or only a dole of food for their hunger. If not always in the hot mood to smash, he is always stealthily ready for a drowning. The most amazing wonder of the deep is its unfathomable cruelty.

In the title of Conrad's collection he tells the reader that the sea in it's many aspects is a "mirror" of man's character including his "unfathomable cruelty." To refer to Conrad's view of the sea as "one dimensional" without reading the entire collection of stories is itself one dimensional.
Ms. B. Have
Posted: Sunday, May 13, 2012 11:43:05 AM

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percivalpecksniff wrote:
It is also obviously true that without oxygen or soil we would not walk the earth...

….and without the sun, our source of light, and our ability to love and take care for each other as we should also love and take care for the sea like she takes care for us...




Perception selects, and makes the world we see.
percivalpecksniff
Posted: Sunday, May 13, 2012 12:01:51 PM

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You opined MTC: Quote.To refer to Conrad's view of the sea as "one dimensional" without reading the entire collection of stories is itself one dimensional.

Are you taking up the cudgels again and make a personal attack? Look what happened last time.


The line at the beginning of the thread was indeed one dimensional, since it ignored the bounty of the sea and the range of benefits, did it not?

In the fuller quote you post he talks of: 'The love that is given to ships is profoundly different from the love men feel for every other work of their hands

Frankly that is bunkum. What about the self-sacrificing nature of man displayed over the ages? And the care of family? The sea cannot give love, or indeed cruelty, so the exercise is futile. It is romanticism at its worst, frankly bunk, and deliberately sets out to down man.

You have been waiting to pounce, I feel, but you missed the target as usual. Adieu.


It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it. Aristotle
Ms. B. Have
Posted: Sunday, May 13, 2012 12:21:37 PM

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You are more adorable without your anger Sniffy...




Perception selects, and makes the world we see.
percivalpecksniff
Posted: Sunday, May 13, 2012 12:26:38 PM

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Conrad's piece quoted by MTC is riddled with false assumptions. Here is an example of such.

Quote: The sea has remained the irreconcilable enemy of ships and men ever since ships and men had the unheard of audacity to go afloat together in the face of his frown. Unquote.

One could argue convincingly that the sea has been a bounty to man, while at the same time an ever present danger. It has given up a harvest of food... allowed exploratory travel... commerce...pleasure etcetera. Even today luxury liners ply its waves and tankers and cargo ships do trade over its waters safely.


I would argue that on balance the sea has been and is a 'friend' of man.

He tends to be one-dimensional in his conclusions, ignoring the other side of the coin in his urgency to make a narrow point.


I am not angry MS Behave.


It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it. Aristotle
MTC
Posted: Sunday, May 13, 2012 12:31:48 PM
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Did you read the entire collection of stories entitled The Mirror of the Sea before commenting Conrad"s view of the sea was "one dimensional?" Let's focus on the substance of what you said and avoid anything personal.
GeorgeV
Posted: Sunday, May 13, 2012 12:34:29 PM

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.
Please go to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solaris_(novel) for a sentient ocean.
.

Brain-washing starts in the cradle. - Arthur Koestler
percivalpecksniff
Posted: Sunday, May 13, 2012 12:49:49 PM

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But MTC being personal is just how you behaved is it not? If you address the substance of my rebuttal to you, that would be an advancement would it not?

I read what you posted by Conrad and made a reasoned reply. I disagreed with the extended peice you posted and gave you reason why. One does not have to wade through all his stories on the subject to gain a view of his opinions, does one.

I agree, let us keep it on a polite level.

Shall we start again?


It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it. Aristotle
MTC
Posted: Sunday, May 13, 2012 12:53:02 PM
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Yes, George V, that's interesting about the sentient ocean. The sea is a character in Conrad's fiction. Men vie with the sea in a test of their own character in Conrad's works. Man's existence becomes meaningful in the process. I doubt whether Conrad actually believed the sea was sentient, however. What do you think?
MTC
Posted: Sunday, May 13, 2012 1:13:13 PM
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To answer your question, yes "one does have to wade through all his stories on the subject" before expressing the opinion that Conrad's views of the sea are "one dimensional" because in other stories Conrad might express a different view of the sea. It would be both unfair and illogical to characterize Conrad's view of the sea in any way--critically or uncritically--otherwise. Additionally, criticizing Conrad's view of the sea as "one dimensional" misses the point of Conrad's fiction. Remember it is fiction, not reportage, even though the fiction was based on Conrad's real life experiences. Conrad was not writing an encyclopedia article about the sea. He was writing works of fiction in which the sea is a character against which men struggle. We don't criticize apples for not being oranges.
percivalpecksniff
Posted: Sunday, May 13, 2012 1:37:24 PM

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Well I guess that is a no. So we will have to beg to differ. Even if what you say is true, and some of it I agree with, his logic is as I showed, flawed, and his reasoning poor. I hold to my opinion that one does not have to read all in order to make an observation.

If one were to follow your dictum them one could not comment on any matter unless one had read all, and every word, penned on the matter by anyone. An impossible task.

I do not think anyone was suggesting he believed in the consciousness of the sea as a body of water. I understood his attempted analogy but did not agree with his reasoning.



It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it. Aristotle
Ms. B. Have
Posted: Sunday, May 13, 2012 3:55:05 PM

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There are two waves rolling over the ocean, one a bit bigger than the other.  The bigger wave suddenly becomes very upset.  The small wave asks: “What's wrong?”  "You don't want to know." the big wave says.  "What is it?" the small wave asks again.  "No - really - it's too terrible, you can't see it, but I can see it, not far from here all the waves are crashing on the shore.  We will be destroyed!"  The small wave smiles and says: “Do not be afraid big wave, nothing will happen to us, we are not a wave, we are a part of the ocean, and that we are forever."



Perception selects, and makes the world we see.
MTC
Posted: Sunday, May 13, 2012 8:02:25 PM
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"If one were to follow your dictum them one could not comment on any matter unless one had read all, and every word, penned on the matter by anyone. An impossible task."

This is a straw man argument, an informal logical fallacy, that misstates my position. Nowhere did I state or imply one would have to "read all, and every word, penned on the matter by anyone" before offering an opinion about an author's view on a subject. Let's clarify. Based on an isolated quotation by Conrad you reached the general conclusion that Conrad's view of the sea is "one dimensional." That is reaching a general conclusion with insufficient evidence. Before reaching such a sweeping characterization about Conrad's views on any subject you or anyone one would have to read a substantial number of Conrad's works. Think of a simple example: Would you or anyone submit a paper in English 101 entitled, "Conrad's View of the Sea" citing a single line from a single unidentified work by Conrad as the only evidence for the conclusion? But that is exactly what was done. Of course, the paper could be entitled, "Conrad's View of the Sea in a Single Sentence from a Single Unidentified Work." But that would be more laughable than logical.

To clarify my position which has been misstated, any conclusion must be based on sufficient evidence. That well-understood principle of logic applies equally well to literary criticism.



dusty
Posted: Sunday, May 13, 2012 10:52:19 PM

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I know Conrad was a well know author, but I have only been reading literature for a couple of years. The first book and the only Joseph Conrad work I've read is "The Shadowline" which I guess is not one of his well knowns.

But even out of context I it seems hard for me to understand this as anything derogatory, negative, or inaccurate. But rather doing a really good job of putting into words how the the majority of people would view any waters that you cannot see the land on the other side of nothing but salt water. Knowing without reaching land our bodies our bodies will surely die.

If you have ever spent time on large bodies of water (only oceans or perhaps also the Great Lakes) you will have a healthy fear and respect for the water pooled in oceans. Few sailors are afraid of God's wraith or fire, the fear they have for the sea or oceans is a love, and when they depend on the host as a vessel to be able to be upon it, which entails their submission, they suddenly have great respect,fear, and a reverence for sacred fire.

It is a strange polar psychology of love, fear, respect, and reverence. It's a madness those intimate times when that trio of sea, man, and fire get together and gather temporarily and only when adorned by Man's sacred vessel.

The reverence for both fire and water was the way sailors were back then. It's hard to explain the dynamic of the holy trio as it was back then, so that people today understand that it is necessary to regard what another holds sacred, as something you do not violate. The only things that are allowed such offences are things such as the oceans, fire, forces of the weather that keep the oathe of knowing no prejudices.

as animals, we can either be feral and wild or be fed by the labors of the modern world. There can be no such animal that is wild, and lets a human touch it or have control over it.

But the little I have read by this author, is possibly his least known book. So I can't say except that if not about the ocean, possibly he was upset at a person or associated collective that violated God Given rights, but theirs is a world of subversion where their not comprehending is not genuine but their lack of a conscience is genuine, so it makes one wonder about the facade of sporadic consciousness. It's hard to take even great works written on enlightenment and levels of consciousness seriously if they deal in the same arena as a facade.

To be concerned of the fate of the world is not bad, but bearing false witness is to not be
HWNN1961
Posted: Sunday, May 13, 2012 11:07:22 PM

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The sea is a force, without emotion, without a thought to help or hinder us.

It isn't conscious. It cannot be accused of premeditation in our ruin, nor of benevolence when it provides plenty.

It simply is.



"Be without fear in the face of your enemies. Be brave and upright that God may love thee. Speak the truth always, even if it leads to your death. Safeguard the helpless, and do no wrong". (Knight's Oath, Kingdom of Heaven)
dusty
Posted: Monday, May 14, 2012 12:58:39 AM

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I guess anytime any time a person who has been around the ocean, or ever been in trouble on the water and came out unscathed assigns a new understanding of the first recognized ocean. After they recognize oceans that are not characterized by being made up of mostly water, they begin refering to the "first Ocean" as the one they can see.

It's as if they suddenly realize that no life exists without dwelling in some sort of ocean. That nothing that is physically alive remains alive without being in constant contact with the outer barriers of all living creatures and life that are of similar habits. I would agree except for that I cannot deny oceans of waters and oceans of invisible contact that carry everything that life needs to traffic between other life to live, sometimes will quiet as if to come to a conscious agreement. But I don't know how to describe it as anything else but a conscious force without prejudice. But I understand why most do not share my view as all observations point to the opposite

To be concerned of the fate of the world is not bad, but bearing false witness is to not be
percivalpecksniff
Posted: Monday, May 14, 2012 5:11:52 AM

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No... it is not a strawman argument, and you continue to avoid addressing the points I make. We are going nowhere are we. I find you impossible to reason with you, and will let it rest here for the sake of peace.


You said:To answer your question, yes "one does have to wade through all his stories on the subject'

I disagree.



It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it. Aristotle
excaelis
Posted: Monday, May 14, 2012 9:53:40 PM

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The sea.

It is what it is.

Live with it or move to Iowa.

Sanity is not statistical
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