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Joseph Conrad was born in Berdyczow, which, at the time of his birth, on December 3, 1857, was a city in Ukraine. Determined to be a sailor, Conrad left home at 16 and moved to Marseilles, France, where he began his apprenticeship, working entry-level positions on several merchant ships. His career floundered, however, when he learned that to continue this line of work he needed the permission from the Russian consul, who was more likely to conscript Conrad into the Russian army than grant permission. Moreover, Conrad had gambling debts he could not pay. In despair, he wounded himself in the chest in a half-hearted suicide attempt, which prompted his uncle to settle Conrad’s debts and to help him relocate to England. For the next 16 years, Conrad worked in the British mercantile marine, rising in rank to master mariner. In 1886, at the age of 29, he became a British citizen. Youth is an autobiographical short story by Joseph Conrad written in 1898. The framing of the story as a true sea yarn told to a group of drinking companions lends a convenient distance to the adventure so that it carries a conscious irony inappropriate to the narrator’s youthful self. In one sense, “Youth” is a kind of trial run for the framing technique, which became more important in Heart of Darkness, in which Marlowe sits cross-legged like a Buddha in a boat on the Thames with a similar group of former seamen… You can listen online to free English audiobook “Youth” by Joseph Conrad on our website.

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