Nostromo: A Tale of the Seaboard is a 1904 novel by Joseph Conrad, set in the fictitious South American republic of “Costaguana”. It was originally published serially in two volumes of T.P.’s Weekly.
In 1998, the Modern Library ranked Nostromo 47th on its list of the 100 best English-language novels of the 20th century. It is frequently regarded as amongst the best of Conrad’s long fiction; F. Scott Fitzgerald once said, “I’d rather have written Nostromo than any other novel.”
Conrad set his novel in the town of Sulaco, an imaginary port in the western region of the imaginary country Costaguana.
In his “Author’s Note” to later editions of Nostromo, Joseph Conrad provides a detailed explanation of the inspirational origins of his novel. There he relates how, as a young man of about seventeen, while serving aboard a ship in the Gulf of Mexico, he heard the story of a man who had stolen, single-handedly, “a whole lighter-full of silver”. As Conrad goes on to relate, he forgot about the story until some twenty-five years later when he came across a travelogue in a used-book shop in which the author related how he worked for years aboard a schooner whose master claimed to be that very thief who had stolen the silver.
Joseph Conrad (born Józef Teodor Konrad Korzeniowski, Polish) 3 December 1857 – 3 August 1924 was a Polish-British writer regarded as one of the greatest novelists to write in the English language.
Though he did not speak English fluently until his twenties, he was a master prose stylist who brought a non-English sensibility into English literature. Conrad wrote stories and novels, many with a nautical setting, that depict trials of the human spirit in the midst of what he saw as an impassive, inscrutable universe.
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