Features of Ship of Fools A Novel PDF
August 1931. An ocean liner bound for Germany sets out from the Mexican port city of Veracruz. The ship’s first-class passengers include an idealistic young American painter and her lover; a Spanish dance troupe with a sideline in larceny; an elderly German couple and their fat, seasick bulldog; and a boisterous band of Cuban medical students. Ship of Fools A Novel PDF
As the Vera journeys across the Atlantic, the incidents and intrigues of several dozen passengers and crew members come into razor-sharp focus. The result is a richly drawn portrait of the human condition in all its complexity and a mesmerizing snapshot of a world drifting toward disaster.
Written over a span of twenty years and based on the diary Katherine Anne Porter kept during a similar ocean voyage, Ship of Fools was the bestselling novel of 1962 and the inspiration for an Academy Award–winning film starring Vivien Leigh. It is a masterpiece of American literature as captivating today as when it was first published more than a half century ago.
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Description of Ship of Fools A Novel PDF
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Katherine Anne Porter (1890–1980) was one of the twentieth century’s most celebrated authors. Born and raised in Texas, she published poetry and stories before joining the staffs of the Fort Worth Critic and the Rocky Mountain News in Denver, Colorado, where she almost died in the influenza pandemic of 1918.
In late 1919 Porter moved to New York City, where she made connections that led her to Mexico. Her Mexican experiences provided subjects for the six stories in her debut collection, Flowering Judas (1930). Flowering Judas and Other Stories (1935), which included four additional pieces, was published while Porter was living in Paris. It was followed by some of the finest volumes of short fiction in the English language, including Pale Horse, Pale Rider (1939), The Leaning Tower and Other Stories (1944), The Old Order (1955), and The Collected Stories of Katherine Anne Porter (1965), which won the National Book Award and the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction. Porter’s first and only full-length novel, Ship of Fools, was inspired by an ocean voyage she made from Mexico to Germany in 1931. It was the bestselling American novel of 1962 and was adapted into a popular film starring Vivien Leigh in 1965.
Over the course of her long and distinguished career, Porter taught or served as a writer in residence at universities all across the United States, wrote screenplays, gave lectures and readings, and authored articles and reviews for various publications. In 1966 she donated her papers and personal library to the University of Maryland.
Dimensions and Characteristics of Ship of Fools A Novel PDF
- Identification Number : B00U899DQU
- Publisher : Open Road Media (April 28, 2015)
- Publication date : April 28, 2015
- Language : English
- File size : 4183 KB
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Screen Reader : Supported
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Enabled
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print length : 670 pages
- Lending : Enabled
- Best Sellers Rank: #101 in Kindle Store
Re-Visit this Literary Classic!
June 8, 2018
What a treat. No political correctness. A fantastic exploration of racism, hidden racism, and the world pre-WW2. Porter is a skilled writer with deep psychological insights about human nature, love, death, and human emotions such as envy, jealousy, pity, desire etc. The characterization is remarkable and refreshing. While there isn’t much plot outside of a ship’s journey from Mexico to Germany, the book is a page turner, impossible to put down. Porter’s honest accurate portrays of bigotry and bias in the 1930’s holds a mirror up to ourselves. So much wisdom in this novel. Once finished, can’t wait to watch the award winning film.
Fascinating to read this book in today’s political correct world where Ship of Fools would NEVER be published! Shame because in writing about bigotry, anti-semitism, sexism, and racism, Porter forces us to look deep inside ourselves as well.
Cruising Was Not Always about Crusing
January 30, 2016
Ship of Fools captures that time, long ago, when being at sea was a necessity. There was no other way to cross oceans and a voyage could take weeks to arrive at a final destination. And because of this need, the types of people that congregated in close quarters on board a ship at sea was diverse. Ship of Fools captures the mood and diversity of passengers at sea during this bygone era.
The book’s strength resides in the various mind-sets of its eclectic group of passengers. While they come from different backgrounds, different professions, and different places, they all posses that common human trait that becomes readily apparent when diversity is forced upon individuals for prolonged periods of time: pride, in all of its sad manifestations.
There is no escaping the foolishness that pride brings to every passenger. Each passenger cannot avoid seeing themselves in the true light of their own beliefs and their actions are consequently foolish to all but the actor (and those of similar minds). Themes of patriotism and xenophobia are explored alongside more typical human faults such as jealousy, envy, and greed. And while Katherine Porter spares her readers from being judged, the personal guilt of the reader is only a thought away from each foolish act.
As the book progresses, however, this strength-of-theme also becomes its primary weakness. The effect of capturing the somewhat monotonous mood of weeks upon the ocean served to create a similar outlook for the book itself. It seemed to take weeks for both the voyage and the book to end.
Picture: The SS Werra (2), which was to be renamed the Vera by Porter.
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We’re all on this boat, you know?
October 4, 2016
The more you think about Ship of Fools the more interesting it is. A ship bound from Mexico to Germany in 1931 is filled with passengers, mostly Germans who’ve been living in Mexico running businesses and returning home, a few Americans on vacation. They have about seven days to spend and within hours they start to make themselves and each other miserable. Their rampant sexism, racism, classism etc is so patently absurd. For one example, a German man passionately in love with his Jewish wife waiting for him when he arrives is seated at the captain’s table. He mentioned to a lady he met that he was married to a Jewish woman and she tells the captain. The next he is moved to a table with the one Jewish man on the boat. Furious at the indignity the German commissariats with the Jewish man who responds to the effect, “Why would a nice Jewish girl marry a Goy like you?”
No one on this boat can win due entirely to the absurdity of everyone’s trained cultural opinions. It would be hysterically funny if it were not so often pathetic.
Porter’s writing is masterful. She moves among her characters with grace, elevating them in your opinion only to send them crashing down based on the absurdity of perfectly common ways of thinking.
Are we there yet?
April 18, 2020
In this very aptly and correctly titled novel from Katherine Anne Porter, we meet a bevy of characters with various and conflicting backgrounds, ethnicities, ages, beliefs, prejudices, faults, biases and motives as they sail the Vera on their voyage from Mexico to Germany circa 1933.
I stuck this one out, even to the bitter end, even though I felt like I was on a month long cruise that I didn’t want to be on.
First, I will say Porter’s prose itself is probably one of the aspects I did like about this book. That being said, I didn’t care for much else.
The plot structure in Porter’s novel is such that, well, there isn’t a plot structure per se. Much like a boat floating aimlessly at sea, this novel drifts for nearly ninety percent of it with various characters’ exchanges, interactions, quibbles, arguments, banters, squabbles, etc. These episodes repeat and become quite circular throughout, like the circular flow of water going down the drain.
During this time we do zoom into focus on certain individuals and begin to understand a bit of their personality makeup (which most likely isn’t much to speak of), and we also come to be enlightened to the inner workings of their minds and their motives in life. Many of the individuals on board are insecure, failed human beings either lacking identity or finding their place in the world. However, as the novel’s title certain suggests, we as an audience are left most often feeling cold, alienated from said moments into character’s perspectives.
I get the method to the madness from Porter’s allegory, as she constructs this rather unpleasant little voyage and certainly makes a rather blatant point about illustrating the nature of human evil and frailty and the general narcissistic and nihilistic elements of humankind. If the goal and moral is to create a novel depicting human depravity, degenerate and evil individuals, and just the general bleak aspect of being on board, Porter exceeds with flying colors.
But, wow, this one is difficult to endure. At the end of the day, this novel is so unpleasant an experience in so many ways. It has the most unsympathetic cast of characters ever, is entirely (like at least 200 or more pages) too long with a narrative style that moves at the pace of watching grass grow. All this with a message delivered with the subtlety of an oncoming locomotive.
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