The Oxford Book of Sea Stories

Paperback | July 18, 2002

EditorTony Tanner

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'And then went down to the ship.' Thus, with a nod to Homer, Ezra Pound began his own epic odyssey through the world of literature and the modern world. There is no literature without a departure, a setting forth; and very often that has meant leaving the land for the more uncertain world ofthe sea. Many great writers have written about life at sea and the adventures that are to be had, and in this selection of short stories, Tony Tanner's aim was to avoid the obvious and where possible to seek out their more neglected works. As a separate and recognizable genre, the sea story was effectivelyinvented by American writers and they are well represented, with contributions from Edgar Allan Poe, Stephen Crane, Jack London, Ernest Hemingway, F. Scott Fitzgerald, and William Faulkner. From Herman Melville(who wrote no short stories) we read his account of the final three days of the chase ofMoby Dick, which concludes that novel and is one of the high points in American literature. Rudyard Kipling, H. G. Wells, John Masefield, E. M. Forster, Malcolm Lowry, and Peter Ustinov are some of British authors in this collection. Although not British in origin, the greatest of all writers of sea fiction is Joseph Conrad, the only writer to be represented by two stories: 'Initiation',which begins the volume, and 'The Secret Sharer', in which he charts one of the most extraordinary relationships between men at sea ever imagined and analyzed. In his introduction, Tony Tanner seeks to explore and establish the particular qualities that emerge when writing takes to the waters and we, as readers, are offered what Conrad called his 'paper-boats'. This wide-ranging collection of stories will prove absorbing and thoroughly entertaining readingfor anyone with an interest in the sea and its literature.

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'And then went down to the ship.' Thus, with a nod to Homer, Ezra Pound began his own epic odyssey through the world of literature and the modern world. There is no literature without a departure, a setting forth; and very often that has meant leaving the land for the more uncertain world ofthe sea. Many great writers have written abou...

Professor of English at Cambridge University and Fellow of King's College until his death in 1998

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Format:PaperbackPublished:July 18, 2002Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0192803700

ISBN - 13:9780192803702

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Table of Contents

1. Joseph Conrad: Initiation2. Washington Irving: The Voyage3. Edgar Allan Poe: A Descent into the Maelstrom4. Tom Hopkinson: I Have Been Drowned5. J. N. Reynolds: Mocha Dick6. Herman Melville: The Chase7. Henry James: A Tragedy of Error8. Francis Bret Harte: High-Water Mark9. Stephen Crane: The Open Boat10. Jack London: Make Westing11. Rudyard Kipling: A Matter of Fact12. H. G. Wells: In the Abyss13. A. E. W. Mason: The Cruise of the Willing Mind14. Charles G. D. Roberts: The Terror of the Sea Caves15. W. W. Jacobs: False Colours16. Joseph Conrad: The Secret Sharer17. Richard Middleton: The Ghost Ship18. John Masefield: Ambitious Jimmy Hicks19. C. S. Forester: The Boy Stood on the Burning Deck20. A. E. Dingle: Poor Old man!21. Shalimar: Easting Down22. E. M. Forster: The Story of the Siren23. F. Scott Fitzgerald: The Rough Crossing24. Earnest Hemingway: After the Storm25. Malcolm Lowry: The Bravest Boat26. William Falkner: Turnabout27. Peter Ustinov: The Frontiers of the Sea