Joseph Conrad

Literary Birthday – 3 December – Joseph Conrad

Joseph Conrad was born born 3 December 1857, and died 3 August 1924.

Joseph Conrad Quotes

  1. The belief in a supernatural source of evil is not necessary; men alone are quite capable of every wickedness.
  2. Of all the inanimate objects, of all men’s creations, books are the nearest to us for they contain our very thoughts, our ambitions, our indignations, our illusions, our fidelity to the truth, and our persistent leanings to error. But most of all they resemble us in their precious hold on life.
  3. Writing in English is like throwing mud at a wall.
  4. A word carries far, very far, deals destruction through time as the bullets go flying through space.
  5. 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.
  6. This is the difference between H.G. Wells and me. Wells does not love humanity but thinks he can improve it; I love humanity but I know it is unimprovable.
  7. I dare say I am compelled, unconsciously compelled, now to write volume after volume, as in past years I was compelled to go to sea, voyage after voyage.
  8. You perceive the force of a word. He who wants to persuade should put his trust not in the right argument, but in the right word. The power of sound has always been greater than the power of sense.
  9. A man is a worker. If he is not that he is nothing.
  10. Only in men’s imagination does every truth find an effective and undeniable existence. Imagination, not invention, is the supreme master of art as of life.

Joseph Conrad was a Polish-born English novelist who is most famous for Heart of Darkness, his fictionalised account of Colonial Africa. Conrad left Poland to avoid conscription into the Russian Army. He has been called one of the most powerful, insightful, and disturbing English novelists. Many films have been adapted from, or inspired by, his works.


George Charles Beresford, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

by Amanda Patterson

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Posted on: 3rd December 2012