Archive | May, 2012


Conrad on Writing

From Conrad’s short 1905 essay on Books: To be hopeful in an artistic sense it is not necessary to think that the world is good. It is enough to believe that there is no impossibility of its being made so. If the flight of imaginative thought may be allowed to rise superior to many moralities […]


Life in Brief: Joseph Conrad

3 Dec. 1857:         Józef Teodor Konrad Korzeniowski born in Berdichev, Ukraine to a Polish family 1861:                      His father Apollo is arrested by Russian authorities in Warsaw and exiled to Vologda 1865:                      His mother Ewelina dies of tuberculosis 1869:                  … becomes an orphan at age 11 when Apollo dies in Kraków, Poland 1874:                  … travels to Marseilles to sail after failing […]


Friday Fun: Sabotage

Alfred Hitchcock (liberally) adapted Conrad’s novel in 1936 as Sabotage. It’s an entertaining, concise and sometimes chilling variation on the novel. Hard to imagine, though, that there are many other suspense films that open with a close-up of a dictionary page… Quentin Tarantino incorporated one clip from the film into his 2009 movie Inglorious Basterds. […]

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Quotable: Joseph Conrad

Troubled thoughts from a stormy mind, venting itself in an 1894 letter to distant cousin, fellow writer and confidant Marguerite Poradowska: But you are afraid of yourself; of the inseparable being forever at your side – master and slave, victim and executioner – who suffers and causes suffering. That’s how it is! One must drag […]


1907: The Secret Agent

Joseph Conrad’s The Secret Agent may have begun as “a simple tale,” words incorporated into the novel’s full title, but in less than a year it grew into something more complex and enduring, because of its Ukrainian-born, Polish author’s unusual, circuitous literary talents – English was his third language – and a topic that continues […]