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 :: 1857-1924, Polish-born British Novelist

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Truth of a modest sort I can promise you, and also sincerity. That complete, praiseworthy sincerity which, while it delivers one into the hands of one's enemies, is as likely as not to embroil one with one's friends.
~ Joseph Conrad - [Sincerity]

 

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Woe to the man whose heart has not learned while young to hope, to love -- and to put its trust in life.
~ Joseph Conrad - [Trust]

 

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What all men are really after is some form, or perhaps only some formula, of peace.
~ Joseph Conrad - [Peace]

 

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A man's real life is that accorded to him in the thoughts of other men by reason of respect or natural love.
~ Joseph Conrad - [People, Other]

 

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It is when we try to grapple with another man's intimate need that we perceive how incomprehensible, wavering, and misty are the beings that share with us the sight of the stars and the warmth of the sun.
~ Joseph Conrad - [People, Other]

 

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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.
~ Joseph Conrad - [Persuasion]

 

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To have his path made clear for him is the aspiration of every human being in our beclouded and tempestuous existence.
~ Joseph Conrad - [Planning]

 

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I would not unduly praise the virtue of restraint. It is often merely temperamental. But it is not always a sign of coldness. It may be pride. There can be nothing more humiliating than to see the shaft of one's emotion miss the mark of either laughter or tears. Nothing more humiliating! And this for the reason that should the mark be missed, should the open display of emotion fail to move, then it must perish unavoidably in disgust or contempt.
~ Joseph Conrad - [Reserve]

 

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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.
~ Joseph Conrad - [Resignation]

 

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The revolutionary spirit is mighty convenient in this, that it frees one from all scruples as regards ideas. Its hard absolute optimism is repulsive to my mind by the menace of fanaticism and intolerance it contains. No doubt one should smile at these things; but, imperfect Esthete, I am no better Philosopher. All claim to special righteousness awakens in me that scorn and anger from which a philosophical mind should be free.
~ Joseph Conrad - [Revolutions and Revolutionaries]

 

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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 - [Revolutions and Revolutionaries]

 

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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.
~ Joseph Conrad - [Sea]

 

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The sea has never been friendly to man. At most it has been the accomplice of human restlessness.
~ Joseph Conrad - [Sea]

 

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A man's most open actions have a secret side to them.
~ Joseph Conrad - [Secrets]

 

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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?
~ Joseph Conrad - [Integrity]

 

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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.
~ Joseph Conrad - [Land]

 

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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.
~ Joseph Conrad - [Language]

 

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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 - [Life and Living]

 

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Perhaps life is just that... a dream and a fear.
~ Joseph Conrad - [Life and Living]

 

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Who knows what true loneliness is -- not the conventional word, but the naked terror? To the lonely themselves it wears a mask. The most miserable outcast hugs some memory or some illusion. Now and then a fatal conjunction of events may lift the veil for an instant. For an instant only. No human being could bear a steady view of moral solitude without going mad.
~ Joseph Conrad - [Loneliness]

 

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