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The Oxford Book of Sea Stories

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    Available in PDF - DJVU Format | The Oxford Book of Sea Stories.pdf | Language: ENGLISH
    Tony Tanner(Compiler)

    Book details

"Already I looked with other eyes upon the sea. I knew it capable of betraying the generous ardor of youth as implacably as, indifferent to good and evil, it would have betrayed the basest greed and the noblest heroism. And I looked upon the true sea--the sea that plays with men till their hearts are broken, and wears stout ships to death."
With this moment of realization, Joseph Conrad closes the story "Initiation"--and initiates us into the "true sea" at the heart of the twenty-seven tales in The Oxford Book of the Sea. Malevolent, mysterious, vast, the ocean waters have always sparked our fascination and sense of adventure, giving rise to a remarkable vein of narrative deftly mined here by editor Tony Tanner. In story after story, masters of the art tell of men on ship, grappling with themselves, their fellow sailors, and the trials of the sea: from hurricane winds to the frustrating calm, from swirling currents to rampaging whales. Here is the work of Jack London, Rudyard Kipling, Stephen Crane, C.S. Forester, Ernest Hemingway, and of course Conrad (whose classic The Secret Sharer appears as well). Along with the essential stories come unexpected gems by writers not known for their seafaring bent: William Faulkner ("Turnabout"), F. Scott Fitzgerald ("The Rough Crossing"), E.M. Forster ("The Story of the Siren"), and Edgar Allan Poe ("A Descent into the Maelström"). As with any fine Oxford anthology, The Oxford Book of Sea Stories includes a few surprises as well. In "Mocha Dick," J.N. Reynolds tells of an exciting hunt for a dangerous white whale--a story that predates Moby-Dick by twelve years (Tanner also includes the conclusion of the chase from Melville's classic). And "The Frontiers of the Sea," by actor Peter Ustinov, provides a fitting conclusion to the collection.
Some of the finest writers in the English language have been drawn to the subject of life at sea, with its dangers, loneliness, and triumphs. The Oxford Book of the Sea gathers together some of the best examples of the form, offering moving prose, fascinating insight into the human condition, and the simple pleasure of tales of high adventure.

"Striking, and significant."--Studies in Short Fiction About the Editor:Tony Tanner is Professor of English and American literature at Cambridge University. His books include The Reign of Wonder and Scenes of Nature, Signs of Men, and he edited Herman Melville's Moby-Dick, The Confidence-Man, and White-Jacket for the World's Classics series.

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Book details

  • PDF | 432 pages
  • Tony Tanner(Compiler)
  • Oxford University Press (June 1, 1995)
  • English
  • 3
  • Literature & Fiction

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Review Text

  • By Killa Koala on February 22, 2018

    Brilliant book.The packaging excellent.The price very fair, I would have paid more .The weather down under is becoming stormy ... the wind is becoming from the south west and quickly abates to calm.I think of seamen at sea on the oceans under sail.The wind and ocean are a metaphor of man encaptured in the book "The Old man and the Sea" and "Moby Dick".German philosophers such as Kant and Hegel never went to sea.Robinson Crusoe perhaps while having a sunburnt bum could not conceive of a self destroying dumbness that is destroying good taste in Europe.The Polish government attacks Jews, Assad uses insecticide on kids, Putin back stabs democracy.The wind is almost a gale now.The Oxford Book of Sea Stories reminds every one that going down to the sea in ships is a right and prerogative.Navigation to avoid shouls is difficult but not impossible.Any seafarer would state that Assad and Putin would not be good shipmates..

  • By Daniel Myers on March 12, 2006

    Like all anthologies, this one is a mixed bag. But, for lovers of the sea and stories of it, this collection is well worth having to endure the more shallow stories for the deeper treasures. I'll just confine myself to some personal plaudits and qualms concerning a few of the stories to give the prospective reader a general idea of what he's in for.First off, the best "story", anchors down, so to speak, is the extract from Moby Dick herein entitled The Chase. It reminded me of just what a genius America was bequeathed with in Melville.-Ahab's poetic, philosophical "ravings" leave one speechless before their innate profundity and insight into humanity and nature.Not surprisingly, Jack London's "Make Westering", though very short, gives us more powerful writing from a writer vastly underappreciated today.And, of course, there's Joseph Conrad, whose famous Secret Sharer gave me quite a shock. I was forced to read this story in my teens and saw nothing in it. Rereading it, I found it to be probably the most insidiously terrifying story in the collection. The notion of meeting one's otherworldly double has never been so explored.---I'll leave the reader to it.My major qualm with this book is that many of the stories seem to be included simply to get the names of the famous authors into the anthology, rather than for any intrinsic worth of the stories themselves.Sea stories are just not Henry James's suit, as is amply demonstrated here.The F. Scott Fitzgerald story was so bad that I well-nigh became seasick muddling through it.---Only for hardcore Fitzgerald devotees who don't mind hearing about Scott and Zelda under thinly disguised alterations---again!On the other hand, Faulkner's "Turnabout" is one of the best stories included here!---You never know with such a literary giant.The selection from Lowry's oeuvre was disappointing. Tanner really should have chosen an excerpt from his early novel, Ultramarine, rather than one of his later stories, "The Bravest Boat, which is, well, "wishy-washy."So, Bon Voyage readers into what is all-in-all quite an enjoyable book.Only 4 stars---if only because of the inclusion of that vapid Fitzgerald story.

  • By Natalie Gould on June 23, 2015

    If you love the sea, which I do, this is the book for you.

  • By Invictus Prime on July 20, 2014

    Excellent book with plenty of great maritime stories.

  • By Michael Spexarth on February 2, 2010

    A master book of sea stories, British version. If you like sea stories get an American group as well "American Sea Writing", Library of America. Lot's of truth from the Olde Salts.

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