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Thread: Where is Patusan

  1. #1


    Patusan was a real-life pirate settlement in Sarawak. Source: Oxford Reader's Companion to Conrad.

  2. #2


    hello, i am French. i'd like to answer the question on Patusan.<br>first of all, some of you are too optimistic, and have a too simplistic reading of the book. it is much more complex and no, Jim does not win, neither lose. and "one of us" is also charged with racial inclusion/exclusion. <br>Also, please don not say "Conrad says ..." . No, it's Marlowe, or a character that says. The author does not think like his character, and sometimes, the characters do not think what they say and make mistakes, errors of judgment. <br><br>As for Patusan, Conrad used travel books, and found inspiration in descriptions of the Malayan Archipelago. One of his favorit books was the one of A.R. Wallace who describes that region.<br><br>Also, the Patna was inspired from the Jeddah case, which was a shipwreck case also, same story kind of: people left the ship who were judged.<br><br>

  3. #3

    Where is Patusan

    Is Patusan even a real place? Was it ever a real place? I know sometimes Conrad changes names for the story's sake. Is this one of those times? I can not find it in Encarta Virtual Globe, which will list almost any little island, town, or provice that exists.<br>if you can help, please email me.<br>thanks<br><br>

  4. #4
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Hello, I'm French too. I could not find Patusan anywhere on a map. So maybe it doesn't exist. Is it important anyway? Yet, I just realised that Patusan is a kind of an anagram where the word "us" has been added. Did JC added this "word" out of the blue or could we relate it to this recurrent sentence in the book: "He is one of US"? What do you think?

  5. #5
    Ataraxia bazarov's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    In spleen
    I don't know does it have anything with this novel, but once I saw a movie where some kids were going to Patusan, some small kingdom on small island,somewhere in south-eastern Asia.

    That is the movie, it says it's in China sea, so there is Patusan!

    I was very young when I watched that movie...
    At thunder and tempest, At the world's coldheartedness,
    During times of heavy loss And when you're sad
    The greatest art on earth Is to seem uncomplicatedly gay.

    To get things clear, they have to firstly be very unclear. But if you get them too quickly, you probably got them wrong.
    If you need me urgent, send me a PM

  6. #6

    Patusan is fictional

    Patusan is a fictional country in the movies The Last Electric Knight and Surf Ninjas, as well as the TV series Sidekicks. It is notable among fictional countries for appearing in three different fictional continuities, with very little connection to each other. It also appears in Joseph Conrad's maritime adventure novel Lord Jim published in 1900.

  7. #7
    Registered User
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    Jul 2007
    Brittany, FRANCE


    It seems that in Conrad's mind Patusan is Berau, located in the indonesian part of Borneo.
    Conrad, as chief-officer on the VIDAR, often called in Berau. And capt. William Lingard (model for Tom) too : he discovered a "secret" channel in the river. See Gavin Young ("Les fantōmes de J. Conrad" in french. I don't remember the tittle in english).
    Sorry for my primary English.

  8. #8


    Anyone who has actually been to Berau (Tanjong Redeb) in Kalimantan will know that this is 'Lord Jim's Patusan.

  9. #9
    Registered User
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    Dec 2012
    Patusan appears as a place in the engraved chart 'The Indian Archipelago' published by Edward Weller from about 1863. He died in 1884 but his charts were regularly published in Cassells Despatch and as atlases. It looks as though it is in the same place as Sri Aman (formerly Simanggang) in Sarawak and between the Lupar and Layar rivers. When I was there in the early sixties it was often quoted as the Patusan of Lord Jim. Anyone interested can buy a copy of the chart (edition LV) online for between£35 to £200). Hope this helps!


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