The Book Launch for Eastern Voyages was held in front of the ‘Windjammers Statue’ at the Australian National Maritime Museum with the 1874 barque James Craig in the background. Commodore Christopher Rynd kindly performed the honours and below is the text from his speech:
“I grew up in the Far East and can recall from the early age hearing of Joseph Conrad. Later on, in going to sea and learning my business as a seaman officer in ships of trade I came to appreciate Conrad as the author who wrote with an authenticity that only one who has experience at sea and in command can.
In this book Ian brings his own unique knowledge of the geography and history of the Indonesian archipelago, of Malaya and Singapore, to enrich Conrad’s experiences and stories. Already the author of five books, the result of his own life and travels in this part of the world and the study of its history, Ian Burnet brings to this this book on Conrad and his Eastern Voyages a renewed appreciation of Conrad whose personal history is as fascinating as any character in his stories.
Ian’s book has made me appreciate afresh what an astute and perceptive observer Conrad was and of his writing style, crafted with the labour that only another author can appreciate. As a naturalised British citizen he wrote from a unique perspective of an outsider and wrote so well, in what was his third language, that his books were considered as English classics within his own lifetime.
As Ian Burnet has written in the first sentence of this book ‘The life of Josef Teodor Konrad Korzeniowski reads like an adventure story, an adventure story written by somebody like Joseph Conrad’.
I warmly commend this book to you. And declare it launched”
Photographs are courtesy of Cathy Morrison and John Cardelli