lord-jim

RIP Peter O'Toole (1932-2013) - One of the greatest actors of all time (and still in activity with two upcoming projects) has passed away today. The eternal Lawrence of Arabia, his first starring role and the one who led to fame and first Oscar nomination, the Irish O'Toole was a memorable member of the British New Wave of actors, like Michael Caine, Albert Finney, Tom Courtenay and others; and one of the most versatile thespians to ever grace on screen, acting in comedies, dramas, romance and epic films to recent blockbusters such as Troy (2004) and voice in Ratatouille (2007). Sadly, held the record as the actor with the most Oscar nominations without a single win, only receiving a special Oscar in 2003. Nominations came from: Lawrence of Arabia (1962), Becket (1964), The Lion in Winter (1968), Goodbye Mr. Chips (1969), The Ruling Class (1972), The Stunt Man (1980), My Favorite Year (1982)  a role he almost turned down - Venus (2006). Notable roles include Lord Jim (1965), How to Steal a Million (1966), The Night of the Generals (1967), Man of La Mancha (1972), The Last Emperor (1987), and some seasons in The Tudors.

Abandoning a Vessel, or Why in 9x07 The Shot of Lord Jim is SPN Crew at Its Best

In Joseph Conrad’s Lord Jim, the titular character is a young sailor who rises quickly through the ranks and who dreams of becoming a hero. However, when the ship he serves as first mate - en route to Mecca to bring pilgrims to the hajj - gets into trouble, he and his crew-mates abandon ship without aiding the passengers. Both Jim and the passengers of the Patna are saved, and Jim is court-martialed for dereliction of duty.

So, basically it is a story about a man who abandons the vessel he is supposed to protect. And whose hand do we see hovering near: Sam WInchester’s. Sam Winchester, arch-Angel-vessel-in-need-of-assistance-or-he-will-die Sam Winchester. Of course, in Lord Jim, Jim fails to protect the passengers on the ship by ejecting himself from the vessel, and the passengers go on living anyway, because there was another solution at hand (I’m looking at you, Dean Winchester).

And if that isn’t foreshadowing of what is going to happen to Sam, Ezekiel and the entire clusterfuck Dean has created, I don’t know what is.

It is when we try to grapple with another man’s intimate need that we perceive how incomprehensible, wavering and misty are the beings that share with us the sight of the stars and the warmth of the sun. It is as if loneliness were a hard and absolute condition of existence; the envelope of flesh and blood on which our eyes are fixed melts before the outstretched hand, and there remains only the capricious, inconsolable, and elusive spirit that no eye can follow, no hand can grasp.
—  Joseph Conrad, Lord Jim, p. 132.