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A Personal Record

Joseph Conrad

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .tremely animated and embraced most subjects under heaven, from big-game shooting in Africa to the last poem published in a very modernist review, edited by the very young and patronized by the highest society. But it never touched upon "Almayer's Folly," and next morning, in uninterrupted obscurity, this inseparable companion went on rolling with me in the southeast direction toward the government of Kiev.

At that time there was an eight hours' drive, if not more, from the railway station to the country-house which was my destination.

"Dear boy" (these words were always written in English), so ran the last letter from that house received in London—"Get yourself driven to the only inn in the place, dine as well as you can, and some time in the evening my own confidential servant, factotum and majordomo, a Mr. V. S. (I warn you he is of noble extraction), will present himself before you, reporting the arrival of the small sledge which will take yo. . . Read More

Community Reviews

The prose gets a little purple in spots, but I enjoyed the sketches of 1900s sailing life and the occasional flashes of humor. The kind of book that makes one want to grab some good old rollicking sea stories, assuming one could ever find good old rollicking sea stories that talk about people and pl

This is one of those books, as a friend said, that is so intense you find yourself stepping away to distill what you have read, then returning, eager again to read deeper. Conrad is mythic.

Mostly bangs on about the sea, boats, wind, the sea, storms, rivers, the sea.... The second part is billed as Conrad's account of how he came to be a writer; there's a bit of that, but mostly he bangs on some more about the sea. Still, he writes the best sentences I've ever read, and is a lot funnie

This was a tough read. It’s two books. The Mirror of the Sea is Conrad explaining his fascination with the sea and is heavy with anthropomorphism which I found tiresome. And although I have always understood that ships can be seen to have characters he takes this to an altogether different level. He

Review of “A Personal Record”

Review of “The Mirror of the Sea”

An old giant's impressions and reflections upon the nooks and quiet moments of his life. Conrad' characters often brood, glide, ponder, plot, and pout. Even if the reminiscences are digressive, the scenes and people he describes--always with rich language--offer vivid portraits of his rural origins,

Two of Conrad's books were included in this volume. The first, "Mirror of the Sea" was a set book I read and tried to dissect in 1945. As a 15 year old scientist the sea to me was just a large amount of H2O. I did not understand a word of it. For the uninitiated, Conrad was Polish, and it might as w

Great writing. A touch uneven, topic-wise, but hey, it's a collection of shorter pieces reshaped into a book. The good parts are amazing, and the not-so-good parts are still impressive. So what if the truth gets stretched?
The Mirror of the Sea (1906)
Joseph Conrad (1857-1924)
Memoir (135 pp.)
1870s to

I'd forgotten how great a manipulator of language Conrad is...and to think it was his SECOND language! Dostoevsky->Conrad->Faulkner

I think I didn't read the whole book, but snippets of it. One comment that struck me enough to copy it in my commonplace book:

"He who wants to persaude should put his truth not in the right argument, but in the right word. The power of sound has always been greater than the power of sense." -

I'd nev

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