Saturday, April 5, 2008

Quotations from *Lord Jim*, 5 of 5
Joseph Conrad
1857-1924 Polish/British

‘I—I love her dearly. More than I could tell. Of course one cannot tell. You take a different view of your actions when you come to understand, when you are made to understand every day that your existence is necessary—you see, absolutely necessary—to another person. I am made to feel that. Wonderful.’
Joseph Conrad, Lord Jim

The boat fairly flew; we sweltered side by side in the stagnant superheated air; the smell of mud, of marsh, the primeval smell of fecund earth, seemed to sting our faces; till suddenly at a bend it was as if a great hand far away had lifted a heavy curtain, had flung open an immense portal. The light itself seemed to stir, the sky above our heads widened, a far-off murmur reached our ears, a freshness enveloped us, filled our lungs, quickened our thoughts, our blood, our regrets—and, straight ahead, the forests sank down against the dark-blue ridge of the sea.

I breathed deeply, I revelled in the vastness of the opened horizon, in the different atmosphere that seemed to vibrate with a toil of life, with the energy of an impeccable world. This sky and this sea were open to me.
Joseph Conrad, Lord Jim

And yet is not mankind itself, pushing on its blind way, driven by a dream of its greatness and its power upon the dark paths of excessive cruelty and of excessive devotion? And what is the pursuit of truth, after all?
Joseph Conrad, Lord Jim

I remember staying to look at it for a long time, as one would linger within reach of a consoling whisper. The sky was pearly gray. It was one of those overcast days so rare in the tropics, in which memories crowd upon one, memories of other shores, of other faces.
Joseph Conrad, Lord Jim

‘For the last time,’ she cried, menacingly, ‘will you defend yourself?’ ‘Nothing can touch me,’ he said in a last flicker of superb egoism. Tamb' Itam saw her lean forward where she stood, open her arms, and run at him swiftly. She flung herself upon his breast and clasped him round the neck.

‘Ah! but I shall hold thee thus,’ she cried.... ‘Thou art mine!’
Joseph Conrad, Lord Jim

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