Nostromo: A Tale of the Seaboard (Penguin Modern Classics)

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9780141183091: Nostromo: A Tale of the Seaboard (Penguin Modern Classics)

In the backwater of Costaguana in South America, Charles Gould is determined to make a success of the silver mine left to him by his father. But his dreams of wealth are thwarted as the country is plunged into revolution, torn apart by rival warlords who want the mine and its riches for themselves.

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Nostromo, first published in 1904, is arguably Conrad’s greatest and most complex novel. A compelling adventure story, it is also a novel of profound psychological insight and of powerful political implications. It tells the story of a Central American state whose silver mine serves both literally and metaphorically as the source of the country‘s value. Written at the time of the development of the Panama Canal, Nostromo is set in the imaginary province of Sulaco, which secedes from the federation of Costaguana in order to protect its natural resource, the silver mine. The parallels with the ‘revolution’ fomented in Panama by the United States in 1903 are striking; just as Panama seceded from Columbia to satisfy the material interests of the canal builders, so the secession of Sulaco serves the material interests of ‘the Gould concession.’ In this edition a variety of documents from the period (including material concerning American involvement in Central America in the early twentieth century, early critical notices, and family letters of Conrad’s) help to set the text in context.

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