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A CONRAD MEMORIAL

NO WRITER ATTRIBUTED

No more appropriate organization could be named as the one to erect a memorial to Joseph Conrad than the Seaman's Institute. And in choosing a Library--to be built in New York--as the most fitting monument to the late writer the Institute has exercised good judgment, for thus will be united the two strongest influences in Conrad's life literature and the sea. The announcement of the members of the honorary committee elected to act with the Board of Managers is sufficient proof that the library will be proportionate to the genius of the man whose name it bears; one finds such notables and associates of Conrad as Frank N. Doubleday, Ford Maddox Ford, and Sir Esme Howard on the list.

Memorials built by public subscription are too often futile. In this case, fortunately, the contrary is true. Joseph Conrad had two main occupations in life: he sailed the seas and he wrote books. If he is to be honored with a concrete evidence of popular esteem it should be, certainly, something which will benefit sailors. No one claims that the sailor on shore leave is going to spend all of his time brousing in the Joseph Conrad Memorial Library. Nevertheless the institution will open up vast worlds to those of their number who have never read any of Conrad. Simply because one has chosen the oldest and not the least honorable of trades--that of voyaging--as one's life work is no indication that one is necessarily an intellectual moron. The most unlettered of common sailors can appreciate the beauty of "The Nigger of the Narcissus" far more than the most erudite of landlubbers, for he has lived the life that Conrad so masterfully described. And so--let the Conrad Memorial Library be duly honored; its function will, by the natural course of events, be fulfilled.

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