In Writing

I went looking for a quote from Joseph Conrad and found too many. Often, I need to find someone else’s words to find my own.

“It’s extraordinary how we go through life with eyes half shut, with dull ears, with dormant thoughts. Perhaps it’s just as well; and it may be that it is this very dullness that makes life to the incalculable majority so supportable and so welcome.”
― Joseph Conrad

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“It is my belief no man ever understands quite his own artful dodges to escape from the grim shadow of self-knowledge.”
― Joseph Conrad, Lord Jim

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“One can’t live with one’s finger everlastingly on one’s pulse.”
― Joseph Conrad, Heart of Darkness

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“The conquest of the earth, which mostly means the taking it away from those who have a different complexion or slightly flatter noses than ourselves, is not a pretty thing when you look into it much.”
― Joseph Conrad, Heart of Darkness and The Secret Sharer

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“Life knows us not and we do not know life—-we don’t know even our own thoughts. Half the words we use have no meaning whatever and of the other half each man understands each word after the fashion of his own folly and conceit. 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 tomorrow”
― Joseph Conrad

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“A work that aspires, however humbly, to the condition of art should carry its justification in every line…To snatch in a moment of courage, from the remorseless rush of time, a passing phase of life is only the beginning of the task. The task approached in tenderness and faith is to hold up unquestioningly, without choice and without fear, the rescued fragment before all eyes and in the light of a sincere mood. It is to show its vibration, its colour, its form; and through its movement, its form, and its colour, reveal the substance of its truth — disclose its inspiring secret: the stress and passion within the core of each convincing moment. In a single-minded attempt of that kind, if one be deserving and fortunate, one may perchance attain to such clearness of sincerity that at last the presented vision of regret or pity, of terror or mirth, shall awaken in the hearts of the beholders that feeling of unavoidable solidarity; of the solidarity in mysterious origin, in toil, in joy, in hope, in uncertain fate, which binds men to each other and all mankind to the visible world.”
― Joseph Conrad

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“I remember my youth and the feeling that will never come back any more /the feeling that I could last for ever, outlast the sea, the earth, and all men; the deceitful feeling that lures us on to joys, to perils, to love, to vain effort /to death; the triumphant conviction of strength, the heat of life in the handful of dust, the glow in the heart that with every year grows dim, grows cold, grows small, and expires /and expires, too soon, too soon /before life itself”
― Joseph Conrad

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“A writing may be lost; a lie may be written; but what the eye has seen is truth and remains in the mind!”
― Joseph Conrad, The Lagoon

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“I am afraid that if you want to go down into history you’ll have to do something for it.”
― Joseph Conrad, The Secret Agent

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“Woe to the man whose heart has not learned while young to hope, to love – and to put it’s trust in life!”
― Joseph Conrad, Victory

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“All idealization makes life poorer. To beautify it is to take away its character of complexity — it is to destroy it.”
― Joseph Conrad, The Secret Agent

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“And a word carries far-very far-deals destruction through time as the bullets go flying through space.”
― Joseph Conrad, Lord Jim

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“The Zangiacomo band was not making music; it was simply murdering silence with a vulgar, ferocious energy.”
― Joseph Conrad, Victory

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“Every age is fed on illusions, lest men should renounce life early and the human race come to an end.”
― Joseph Conrad

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“The belief in a super natural sources of evil is not necessary. Men alone are quite capable of every wickedness.”
― Joseph Conrad, Under Western Eyes

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“She had said he had been driven away from her by a dream…”
― Joseph Conrad, Lord Jim

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“Avoid irritation more than exposure to the sun…In the tropics one must before everything keep calm.’ . . .”
― Joseph Conrad, Heart of Darkness

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“He was ruined in every way, but a man possessed of passion is not a bankrupt in life.”
― Joseph Conrad, Nostromo

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“It is not the clear-sighted who rule the world. Great achievements are accomplished in a blessed, warm fog.”
― Joseph Conrad

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“I must live until I die, mustn’t I?”
― Joseph Conrad, Great Short Works of Joseph Conrad

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“Skepticism is the tonic of the mind .”
― Joseph Conrad

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“But when one is young one must see things, gather experience, ideas; enlarge the mind.”
― Joseph Conrad

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“The only legitimate basis of creative work lies in the courageous recognition of all the irreconcilable antagonisms that make our life so enigmatic, so burdensome, so fascinating, so dangerous – so full of hope.”
― Joseph Conrad

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“the men, the women, the children; the old with the young, the decrepit with the lusty—all equal before sleep, death’s brother.”
― Joseph Conrad, Lord Jim

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“The sun was fierce, the land seemed to glisten and drip with steam.”
― Joseph Conrad, Heart of Darkness

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“One writes only half the book; the other half is with the reader.”
― Joseph Conrad

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“Everybody had to be thoroughly understood before being accepted.”
― Joseph Conrad, Under Western Eyes

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“It was a dark story.”
― Joseph Conrad, Lord Jim

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“oh youth! The strength of it, the faith of it, the imagination of it!”
― Joseph Conrad, Youth a Narrative and Other Short Works

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“The nations of the earth are mostly swayed by fear—fear of the sort that a little cheap oratory turns easily to rage, hate, and violence.”
― Joseph Conrad

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“They wanted facts. Facts! They demanded facts from him, as if facts could explain anything!”
― Joseph Conrad, Lord Jim

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“For history is made with tools, not with ideas; and everything is changed by economic conditions – art, philosophy, love, virtue – truth itself!”
― Joseph Conrad, The Secret Agent

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“It is to be remarked that a good many people are born curiously unfitted for the fate waiting them on this earth.”
― Joseph Conrad

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“Kings, ministers, aristocrats, the rich in general, kept the people in poverty and subjection; they kept them as they kept dogs, to fight and hunt for their service.”
― Joseph Conrad, Nostromo: A Tale of the Seaboard

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“The scrupulous and the just, the noble, humane, and devoted natures; the unselfish and the intelligent may begin a movement–but it passes away from them. They are not the leaders of a revolution. They are its victims.”
― Joseph Conrad

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“The girl he had come across, of whom he had possessed himself, to whose presence he was not yet accustomed, with whom he did not yet know how to live; that human being so near and still so strange, gave him a greater sense of his own reality than he had ever known in all his life.”
― Joseph Conrad, Victory

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