This article seeks to challenge current understandings of Conrad's status as a maritime writer by considering his many treatments of the sea not as fictionalized versions of his personal experiences as a sailor but as a sustained attempt to reimagine the sea as a literary object. As the earliest reviews of Typhoon attest, contemporaries regarded Conrad's evocation of the sea as unparalleled in both its strangeness and its verisimilitude. This conundrum, I propose, derives from Conrad's desire to recover for literature a maritime space which, as he saw it, had become disenchanted (in Weber's sense) by its mediation in early twentieth-century culture. Indeed, Typhoon, it is argued, was inspired by and in key respects modelled upon Jules Verne's Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea (1870), a novel that had been readily available to Conrad in its Polish serialization in Warsaw's Gazeta Polska in 1870–71.


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pp. 47-65
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