The Joseph Conrad sailor on display in Milan


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ConradIf you love the sea, sailing and the values of sailing, you can’t miss the exhibitionConrad and the Sea” at the Milan Civic Aquarium (Viale Gadio 2), through March 29.

Through period photographs, maritime objects (including an original rudder wheel and period nautical instruments) from the National Museum of Science and Technology in Milan, Conrad’s most famous pages printed on large sheets and made available to the public, as well as a video dedicated to the sea curated by Studio Azzurro and the contribution of Matteo Pavesi of the Fondazione Cineteca Italiana, who selected and edited a sequence with film clips inspired by Conrad, visitors will be transported on a legendary voyage aboard ancient sailing ships to discover the most fascinating and mysterious element of all, the sea, following an exceptional guide: Joseph Conrad.

A contemporary of Jack London and before Joshua Slocum and Bernard Moitessier, Joseph Conrad (1857- 1924) narrated the sea and sailing as a metaphor for life. After undertaking nautical studies, he served as an officer and then with the rank of captain on British merchant ships for a total of sixteen years, making voyages to the Far East, Sumatra. During his life as a sailor he was aboard a ship that following a fire sank, forcing the future writer to spend more than 12 hours on a lifeboat. In 1894, at the age of thirty-six, Conrad left the sea life to become an author. He is considered one of the greatest writers of the 20th century.


1- Shadow Line.

A young captain in his first command of a sailing ship in the Far East faces strenuous sailing due to weather and a mysterious illness on board.

2- The Secret Mate

A young captain experiences commanding a sailing ship for the first time. On the night before his departure, a man appears to him at sea asking for help. Things get complicated; the man has just escaped from his own ship, guilty of murder.

3 – Typhoon

Narrates the exploits of Captain MacWhirr in facing a tropical typhoon in command of the ship Nan-Shan. MacWhirr, a shy and simple man, mocked by his crew, refuses to change course to avoid the typhoon.

4 – At the extreme limit

Whalley, an old captain, returns to plying the seas in command of a small, shabby steamer. He does this out of love for his daughter and hides a terrible secret. The boat owner, however, anxious to collect the insurance premium, tricks him into leading him to the brink.

5 –

Of sea men and sails

Small essays mixed with stories, of memories and impressions, The art of understanding the gestures of navigation and contemplation of the watery mass. A declaration of love for a life spent on ships.

6 – The Mirror of the Sea

A series of maritime digressions, with very technical, mostly linguistic considerations aimed at demonstrating the substantial identity between the art of sailing and the art of writing. Splendid pages devoted to anchors, sailing technique, and sea life.

7- The Narcissus Negro.

James Wait, is a Negro sailor from the West Indies embarked on the merchant ship Narcissus, sailing between Bombay and London. During the voyage he is stricken with tuberculosis, five crew members rescue him at the risk of their lives during a storm, while the captain and an old sailor remain indifferent, focused on trying to save the ship.



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