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Article: The Secret Secret Sharer

TitleThe Secret Secret Sharer
Authors
Issue Date2014
PublisherEditions Rodopi BV. The Journal's web site is located at http://www.rodopi.nl
Citation
The Conradian, 2014, v. 39 n. 2, p. 19-30 How to Cite?
Abstract"The Secret Sharer", written in 1909 in a respite from the composition of the novel that was to become Under Western Eyes, is one of Conrad’s most straightforward as well as one of his most popular stories. It moves steadily forward to an exciting narrative climax, and more or less observes the classical unities of action, time and place. The consensus of the large critical literature it has engendered is that the tale’s centre of gravity lies in the relationship between the two parties to the “secret sharing” of the story: the young captain, poised uncertainly on the threshold of his first voyage in command of a ship, and Leggatt, the fugitive murderer whom he takes on board, hides in his own quarters without the knowledge of his own crew, and eventually helps to escape. This relationship is based on an intuitive and romantic kinship each feels for the other, which is another meaning of the title phrase “the secret sharer”. The tale is narrated as a retrospect by the young captain himself, and critical opinion also agrees in seeing in him an example of the Conradian “unreliable narrator”. This paper argues that the young captain is in some crucial respects a great deal more unreliable than has been noticed hitherto. In doing so, it reveals more than one more layer of meaning in the tale’s cunning title, and shares at least one more vital secret, buried in the story by the narrator because he too is unaware of it.
Persistent Identifierhttp://hdl.handle.net/10722/207214
ISSN

 

DC FieldValueLanguage
dc.contributor.authorKerr, DWFen_US
dc.date.accessioned2014-12-19T08:52:28Z-
dc.date.available2014-12-19T08:52:28Z-
dc.date.issued2014en_US
dc.identifier.citationThe Conradian, 2014, v. 39 n. 2, p. 19-30en_US
dc.identifier.issn0951-2314-
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10722/207214-
dc.description.abstract"The Secret Sharer", written in 1909 in a respite from the composition of the novel that was to become Under Western Eyes, is one of Conrad’s most straightforward as well as one of his most popular stories. It moves steadily forward to an exciting narrative climax, and more or less observes the classical unities of action, time and place. The consensus of the large critical literature it has engendered is that the tale’s centre of gravity lies in the relationship between the two parties to the “secret sharing” of the story: the young captain, poised uncertainly on the threshold of his first voyage in command of a ship, and Leggatt, the fugitive murderer whom he takes on board, hides in his own quarters without the knowledge of his own crew, and eventually helps to escape. This relationship is based on an intuitive and romantic kinship each feels for the other, which is another meaning of the title phrase “the secret sharer”. The tale is narrated as a retrospect by the young captain himself, and critical opinion also agrees in seeing in him an example of the Conradian “unreliable narrator”. This paper argues that the young captain is in some crucial respects a great deal more unreliable than has been noticed hitherto. In doing so, it reveals more than one more layer of meaning in the tale’s cunning title, and shares at least one more vital secret, buried in the story by the narrator because he too is unaware of it.en_US
dc.languageengen_US
dc.publisherEditions Rodopi BV. The Journal's web site is located at http://www.rodopi.nlen_US
dc.relation.ispartofThe Conradianen_US
dc.rightsCreative Commons: Attribution 3.0 Hong Kong License-
dc.titleThe Secret Secret Shareren_US
dc.typeArticleen_US
dc.identifier.emailKerr, DWF: kerrdw@hku.hken_US
dc.identifier.authorityKerr, DWF=rp01163en_US
dc.description.naturepostprint-
dc.identifier.hkuros241860en_US
dc.identifier.volume39en_US
dc.identifier.issue2-
dc.identifier.spage19en_US
dc.identifier.epage30en_US
dc.publisher.placeNetherlands-

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