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    "You must not know too much or be too precise or scientific about birds and trees and flowers and watercraft; a certain free-margin, and even vagueness - ignorance, credulity - helps your enjoyment of these things."

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    Joseph Conrad Quotes

    English (Polish-Ukrainian-born) novelist
    2 Favorites on Read Print

    Quotes by Joseph Conrad

    • All a man can betray is his conscience.
    • All ambitions are lawful except those that climb upward on the miseries or credulities of mankind.
    • Being a woman is a terribly difficult task since it consists principally in dealing with men.
    • Being a woman is a terribly difficult task, since it consists principally in dealing with men.
    • 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.
    • I can't tell if a straw ever saved a drowning man, but I know that a mere glance is enough to make despair pause. For in truth we who are creatures of impulse are creatures of despair.
    • I take it that what all men are really after is some form or perhaps only some formula of peace.
    • They wanted facts. Facts! They demanded facts from him, as if facts could explain anything.
    • What makes mankind tragic is not that they are the victims of nature, it is that they are conscious of it.
    • Strength is just an accident arising from the weakness of others.
      Heart of Darkness
    • We live as we dream - alone.
      Heart of Darkness
    • 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.
      Lord Jim
    • Who could tell what forms, what visions, what faces, what forgiveness he could see in the glow of the west!
      Lord Jim
    • There is no credulity so eager and blind as the credulity of covetness, which, in its universal extent, measures the moral misery and the intellectual destitution of mankind.
    • But 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.
      Nostromo (on the death of Decoud)
    • The belief in a supernatural source of evil is not necessary; men alone are quite capable of every wickedness.
      Under Western Eyes, 1911
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