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Joseph Conrad (1857 – 1924)


Polish writer, working in England, regarded as one of the greatest novelists in the English language.
Joseph Conrad
It's only those who do nothing that make no mistakes, I suppose.
Conrad quotes
In plucking the fruit of memory one runs the risk of spoiling its bloom.
Conrad
All passion is lost now. The world is mediocre, limp, without force. And madness and despair are a force. And force is a crime in the eyes of the fools, the weak and the silly who rule the roost. You are mediocre. Verloc, whose affair the police has managed to smother so nicely, was mediocre. And the police murdered him. He was mediocre. Everybody is mediocre. Madness and despair! Give me that for a lever, and I'll move the world. Ossipon, you have my cordial scorn. You are incapable of conceiving even what the fat-fed citizen would call a crime. You have no force.




Conrad Joseph quotes
An artist is a man of action, whether he creates a personality, invents an expedient, or finds the issue of a complicated situation.
Conrad Joseph
As to honour you know it's a very fine mediaeval inheritance which women never got hold of. It wasn't theirs.
Joseph Conrad quotes
I take it that what all men are really after is some form or perhaps only some formula of peace.
Joseph Conrad
The more I write the less substance do I see in my work, ... It is tolerably awful. And I face it, I face it but the fright is growing on me. My fortitude is shaken by the view of the monster. It does not move; its eyes are baleful; it is as still as death itself and it will devour me. Its stare has eaten into my soul already deep, deep.
Conrad Joseph quotes
The sea this truth must be confessed has no generosity. No display of manly qualities courage, hardihood, endurance, faithfulness has ever been known to touch its irresponsible consciousness of power.
Conrad
She strode like a grenadier, was strong and upright like an obelisk, had a beautiful face, a candid brow, pure eyes, and not a thought of her own in her head.
Conrad Joseph
A man's most open actions have a secret side to them.
Joseph Conrad
Coming in from the eastward, the bright colouring of the [Nore] lightship marking the part of the river committed to the charge of an Admiral (the Commander-in-Chief at the Nore) accentuates the dreariness and the great breadth of the Thames Estuary. But soon the course of the ship opens the entrance of the Medway, with its men-of-war moored in line, and the long wooden jetty of Port Victoria, with its few low buildings like the beginning of a hasty settlement upon a wild and unexplored shore. The famous Thames barges sit in brown clusters upon the water with an effect of birds floating upon a pond... [The inward-bound ships] all converge upon the Nore, the warm speck of red upon the tones of drab and gray, with the distant shores running together towards the west, low and flat, like the sides of an enormous canal. The sea-reach of the Thames is straight, and, once Sheerness is left behind, its banks seem very uninhabited, except for the cluster of houses which is Southend, or here and there a lonely wooden jetty where petroleum ships discharge their dangerous cargoes, and the oil-storage tanks, low and round with slightly-domed roofs, peep over the edge of the fore-shore, as it were a village of Central African huts imitated in iron. Bordered by the black and shining mud-flats, the level marsh extends for miles. Away in the far background the land rises, closing the view with a continuous wooded slope, forming in the distance an interminable rampart overgrown with bushes.




Joseph Conrad quotes
I had ambition not only to go farther than any man had ever been before, but as far as it was possible for a man to go.
Joseph Conrad
D.H. Lawrence, Studies in Classic American Literature (1923)
Conrad quotes
Facing it always facing it that's the way to get through.
Conrad Joseph
History repeats itself, but the special call of an art which has passed away is never reproduced. It is as utterly gone out of the world as the song of a destroyed wild bird.
Conrad Joseph quotes
Melville doesn't sentimentalize the ocean and the sea's unfortunates. Snivel in a wet hanky like Lord Jim.
Joseph Conrad
Being a woman is a terribly difficult trade since it consists principally of dealings with men.
Joseph Conrad quotes
When he stepped off the straight and narrow path of his peculiar honesty, it was with an inward assertion of unflinching resolve to fall back again into the monotonous but safe stride of virtue as soon as his little excursion into the wayside quagmires had produced the desired effect.
Joseph Conrad
The truth was that he died from solitude, the enemy known but to few on this Earth, and whom only the simplest of us are fit to withstand. The brilliant Costaguanaro of the boulevards had died from solitude and want of faith in himself and others.
Conrad Joseph
Faith is a myth and beliefs shift like mists on the shore; thoughts vanish; words, once pronounced, die; and the memory of yesterday is as shadowy as the hope of to-morrow....
In this world as I have known it we are made to suffer without the shadow of a reason, of a cause or of guilt....
There is no morality, no knowledge and no hope; there is only the consciousness of ourselves which drives us about a world that... is always but a vain and fleeting appearance....
A moment, a twinkling of an eye and nothing remains but a clod of mud, of cold mud, of dead mud cast into black space, rolling around an extinguished sun. Nothing. Neither thought, nor sound, nor soul. Nothing.


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