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Joseph Conrad Quotes


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No man ever understands quite his own artful dodges to escape from the grim shadow of self-knowledge.
[Self Knowledge]
 

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.
 

Perhaps life is just that... a dream and a fear.
 

Resignation, not mystic, not detached, but resignation open-eyed, conscious, and informed by love, is the only one of our feelings for which it is impossible to become a sham.
 

Some great men owe most of their greatness to the ability of detecting in those they destine for their tools the exact quality of strength that matters for their work.
 

The artist (in literature) appeals to that part of our being which is not dependent on wisdom; to that in us which is a gift and not an acquisition - and, therefore, more permanently enduring. He speaks to our capacity for delight and wonder, to the sense of mystery surrounding our lives; to our sense of pity, and beauty, and pain.
[Writing]
 

The belief in a supernatural source of evil is not necessary; men alone are quite capable of every wickedness.
 

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 too much.
 

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.
[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.
[Begin]
 

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.
[The Sea]
 

The sea has never been friendly to man. At most it has been the accomplice of human restlessness.
 

There are men here and there to whom the whole of life is like an after-dinner hour with a cigar; easy, pleasant, empty, perhaps enlivened by some fable of strife to be forgotten - before the end is told - even if there happens to be any end to it.
 

There is nothing more enticing, disenchanting, and enslaving than the life at sea.
 

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.
[Nature]
 

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.
 

This magnificent butterfly finds a little heap of dirt and sits still on it; but man will never on his heap of mud keep still.
 

To a teacher of languages there comes a time when the world is but a place of many words and man appears a mere talking animal not much more wonderful than a parrot.
 

To be busy with material affairs is the best preservative against reflection, fears, doubts ... all these things which stand in the way of achievement. I suppose a fellow proposing to cut his throat would experience a sort of relief while occupied in stropping his razor carefully.
 


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