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Lord Jim by Joseph Conrad
page 2 of 376 (00%)
refreshments on that night, a glass of mineral water of some sort to
help the narrator on.

But, seriously, the truth of the matter is, that my first thought was
of a short story, concerned only with the pilgrim ship episode; nothing
more. And that was a legitimate conception. After writing a few pages,
however, I became for some reason discontented and I laid them aside for
a time. I didn't take them out of the drawer till the late Mr. William
Blackwood suggested I should give something again to his magazine.

It was only then that I perceived that the pilgrim ship episode was a
good starting-point for a free and wandering tale; that it was an event,
too, which could conceivably colour the whole 'sentiment of existence'
in a simple and sensitive character. But all these preliminary moods
and stirrings of spirit were rather obscure at the time, and they do not
appear clearer to me now after the lapse of so many years.

The few pages I had laid aside were not without their weight in the
choice of subject. But the whole was re-written deliberately. When I sat
down to it I knew it would be a long book, though I didn't foresee that
it would spread itself over thirteen numbers of Maga.

I have been asked at times whether this was not the book of mine I liked
best. I am a great foe to favouritism in public life, in private life,
and even in the delicate relationship of an author to his works. As a
matter of principle I will have no favourites; but I don't go so far
as to feel grieved and annoyed by the preference some people give to
my Lord Jim. I won't even say that I 'fail to understand . . .' No! But
once I had occasion to be puzzled and surprised.