Joseph Conrad Monument

  Al. Jana Pawła II 1, Gdynia     06 Dec 2023
A name well-recognised in English literature, many people don't know that Joseph Conrad was actually born Józef Teodor Konrad Korzeniowski (1857-1924), who hailed from Berdychiv (now Ukraine) and was a merchant-marine for 20 years before first being published. However, as far as anyone can tell, Conrad had no connections with Gdynia and so this sculpture simply lays claim to his Polish nationality and the influence that his sea-faring life had on his works. That being said, this is one of only a few monuments in the world dedicated to the great man, and the only to depict his likeness. An inscription, taken from his novel Lord Jim, reads in Polish, "Nic tak nie nęci, nie rozczarowuje i nie zniewala, jak życie na morzu" ("There is nothing more enticing, disenchanting, and enslaving than life at sea").

The monument is the work of sculptors Danuta and Zdzisław Koseda and Wawrzyniec Samp, which was unveiled in 1976, and it adds a touch of class to the pleasant concrete spit of land on which it rests.



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Christine Lipner

Re the fact that Joseph Conrad had no personal connection with Gdynia - - absolutely true. However, his books were read avidly by young readers, especially male, of my father's generation (1906 - - 1987) and these "landlubbers" were lured to the sea and seafaring. Check the biographies of Poland's celebrated naval and merchant marine officers of WWII and you will probably find references to Conrad. Therefore, Conrad is responsible, albeit indirectly, for creating a maritime tradition in Poland. That is why the monument is there.
Dr GWS Brodsky

Conrad did not "hail from Bialystok."He was born in Berdechiv (Pol. Berdiczów) Ukraine, lived also in exile as a child in Vologda, and later in Lviv (Pol. Lwów), Krakow and Marseille before leaving for Britain.
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