Skip to main content

Just Listen Podcast: The Lagoon

Just Listen Podcast: The Lagoon

"The Lagoon" is a short story by Joseph Conrad, 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.

“The Lagoon” was first published in Cornhill Magazine  in 1897. The story is about a white man, referred to as "Tuan" (the equivalent of "Lord" or "Sir"), who is traveling through an Indonesian rainforest and is forced to stop for the night with a distant Malay friend named Arsat. Upon arriving, he finds Arsat distraught, for his lover is dying. Arsat tells the distant and rather silent white man a story of his past.

The story is full of symbols and contrasts - such as the use of dark/light, black/white, sunrise/sunset, water/fire, and possibly the most important one, movement/stillness. Arsat's clearing is still, nothing moves, yet everything outside the clearing moves.

"The Lagoon" by Joseph Conrad...we begin....