Category Archives: ships

The Port of Beirut

This gallery contains 23 photos.

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“A foretaste of annihilation”

Joseph Conrad’s The Shadow Line is an odd novella.  A ghost story, a beautifully symmetrical tale, a strange little fable, or a metaphor for the First World War (as Wikipedia seems to say)? A young man is given command of  his first … Continue reading

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“no sailor’s card”

Imagine a trans-textual “proletarian” protagonist, one that has travelled the world, gets stuck into adventures aboard ships and on land, and has a laconic easy sarcasm and a way with words.  A kind of working class Marlowe with a better … Continue reading

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The ship as the heterotopia par excellence

How wonderful is it that Foucault considers the ship the perfect heterotopia: Brothels and colonies are two extreme types of heterotopia, and if we think, after all, that the boat is a floating piece of space, a place without a place, that … Continue reading

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“war, commerce, and transit”

“Let us have the courage to be crude: let us sweep the spirit of subtlety down the sewer along with the flags and the great warriors.” Paul Nizan Paul Nizan’s star burned bright and brief.  He was a classmate of Jean-Paul Sartre‘s … Continue reading

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The ship

Come end of January 2015, I will be on this ship:

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“a seaman in exile from the sea”

Do you remember that haunting Conrad quotation from Heart of Darkness that says “The conquest of the earth, which mostly means the taking it away from those who have a different complexion or slightly flatter noses than ourselves, is not a … Continue reading

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Muslim Pirates

Pirate Utopias is a strange little book – at once a bit disappointing and a portal to further discovery.  The concept behind it is fabulous enough (about which more below) and the blurbs on the back -by Christopher Hill, Marcus … Continue reading

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Factory Ships

Stories about enslaved fishermen on factory ships occasionally appear on BBC and other news sources.   A recent one tells us about the interdiction of one such ship by Thai police, which then lets the ship go.  Apparently Thai fishing … Continue reading

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Piracy and Counter-piracy

There is a kind of romance around piracy.  It is the romance of anti-authority figures and of a life lived not just in the margins but outside the boundaries.   Just think about the masses of novels and films about piracy … Continue reading

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