Joseph Conrad

English novelist (born in Poland) noted for sea stories and for his narrative technique (1857-1924)

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A caricature is putting the face of a joke on the body of a truth.
A man is a worker. If he is not that he is nothing.
A man's real life is that accorded to him in the thoughts of other men by reason of respect or natural love.
Action is consolatory. It is the enemy of thought and the friend of illusions.
All a man can betray is his conscience.
All ambitions are lawful except those that climb upward on the miseries or credulities of mankind.
As in political so in literary action a man wins friends for himself mostly by the passion of his prejudices and the consistent narrowness of his outlook.
Being a woman is a terribly difficult task since it consists principally in dealing with men.
Each blade of grass has its spot on earth whence it draws its life, its strength; and so is man rooted to the land from which he draws his faith together with his life.
Facing it, always facing it, that's the way to get through. Face it.
For the great mass of mankind, the only saving grace needed is a steady fidelity to what is nearest to hand and heart for the short moment of each human effort.
Having had to encounter single-handed during his period of eclipse many physical dangers, he was well aware of the most dangerous element common to them all: of the crushing, paralysing sense of human littleness, which is what really defeats a human struggling with natural forces, alone, far from the eyes of his fellows.
How does one kill fear, I wonder How do you shoot a spectre through the heart, slash off its spectral head, take it by the spectral throat
How does one kill fear, I wonder? How do you shoot a specter through the heart, slash off its spectral head, take it by its spectral throat?
I don't like work... but I like what is in work -- the chance to find yourself. Your own reality -- for yourself, not for others -- which no other man can ever know.
I take it that what all men are really after is some form or perhaps only some formula of peace.
Illusory joy is often worth more than genuine sorrow.
It is to be remarked that a good many people are born curiously unfitted for the fate waiting them on this earth.
The belief in a supernatural source of evil is not necessary men alone are quite capable of every wickedness.
The discovery of America was the occasion of the greatest outburst of cruelty and reckless greed known in history.
The last thing a woman will consent to discover in a man whom she loves, or on whom she simply depends, is want of courage.
The mind of man is capable of anything--because everything is in it, all the past as well as all the future.
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.
The way of even the most jusitifiable revolution is prepared by personal impulses disguised into creeds.
There is something haunting in the light of the moon; it has all the dispassionateness of a disembodied soul, and something of its inconceivable mystery.
They talk of a man betraying his country, his friends, his sweetheart. There must be a moral bond first. All a man can betray is his conscience.
They wanted facts. Facts! They demanded facts from him, as if facts could explain anything.
We live, as we dream, alone
What makes mankind tragic is not that they are the victims of nature, it is that they are conscious of it.
Woe to the man whose heart has not learned while young to hope, to love - and to put its trust in life.
Words, as is well known, are great foes of reality.
Words, as is well known, are the great foes of reality.
You can t, in sound morals, condemn a man for taking care of his own integrity. It is his clear duty. And least of all can you condemn an artist pursuing, however humbly and imperfectly, a creative aim. In that interior world where his thought and his emotions go seeking for the experience of imagined adventures, there are no policemen, no law, no pressure of circumstance or dread of opinion to keep him within bounds. Who then is going to say Nay to his temptations if not his conscience?
You shall judge a man by his foes as well as by his friends.

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