Notes on Life and Letters

Notes on Life and Letters

by Joseph Conrad
     
 

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I don't know whether I ought to offer an apology for this collection which has more to do with life than with letters. Its appeal is made to orderly minds. This, to be frank about it, is a process of tidying up, which, from the nature of things, cannot be regarded as premature. The fact is that I wanted to do it myself because of a feeling that had nothing to do…  See more details below

Overview

I don't know whether I ought to offer an apology for this collection which has more to do with life than with letters. Its appeal is made to orderly minds. This, to be frank about it, is a process of tidying up, which, from the nature of things, cannot be regarded as premature. The fact is that I wanted to do it myself because of a feeling that had nothing to do with the considerations of worthiness or unworthiness of the small (but unbroken) pieces collected within the covers of this volume. Of course it may be said that I might have taken up a broom and used it without saying anything about it. That, certainly, is one way of tidying up. But it would have been too much to have expected me to treat all this matter as removable rubbish. All those things had a place in my life. Whether any of them deserve to have been picked up and ranged on the shelf-this shelf-I cannot say, and, frankly, I have not allowed my mind to dwell on the question. I was afraid of thinking myself into a mood that would hurt my feelings; for those pieces of writing, whatever may be the comment on their display, appertain to the character of the man. And so here they are, dusted, which was but a decent thing to do, but in no way polished, extending from the year '98 to the year '20, a thin array (for such a stretch of time) of really innocent attitudes: Conrad literary, Conrad political, Conrad reminiscent, Conrad controversial. Well, yes! A one-man show-or is it merely the show of one man? The only thing that will not be found amongst those Figures and Things that have passed away, will be Conrad en pantoufles. It is a constitutional inability. Schlafrock und pantoffeln! Not that! Never! . . .

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"This volume--with its thoughtful and thorough essays, Notes, and Apparatus--constitutes an excellent casebook on the making of critical editions. More importantly, of course, it is a major contribution to Conrad scholarship and will undoubtedly become the authoritative foundation for further research and writing on this richly varied collection of the author's journalistic writings." - Wallace Watson, Duquesne University

Product Details

ISBN-13:
2940019297467
Publisher:
Garden City, N.Y., and Toronto, Doubleday, Page & company
Format:
NOOK Book
File size:
457 KB

Meet the Author

Joseph Conrad 3 December 1857 Berdichev, Ukraine - 3 August 1924) was a Polish novelist who wrote in English, after settling in England.

Conrad is regarded as one of the great novelists in English, though he did not speak the language fluently until he was in his twenties (and then always with a marked Polish accent). He wrote stories and novels, predominantly with a nautical setting, that depict trials of the human spirit by the demands of duty and honor. Conrad was a master prose stylist who brought a distinctly non-English tragic sensibility into English literature. While some of his works have a strain of romanticism, he is viewed as a precursor of modernist literature. His narrative style and anti-heroic characters have influenced many authors.

Films have been adapted from or inspired by Conrad's Victory, Lord Jim, The Secret Agent, An Outcast of the Islands, The Rover, The Shadow Line, The Duel, Heart of Darkness, Nostromo, and Almayer's Folly.

Writing in the heyday of the British Empire, Conrad drew upon his experiences in the French and later the British Merchant Navy to create short stories and novels that reflect aspects of a worldwide empire while also plumbing the depths of the human soul.

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Brief Biography

Date of Birth:
December 3, 1857
Date of Death:
August 3, 1924
Place of Birth:
Berdiczew, Podolia, Russia
Place of Death:
Bishopsbourne, Kent, England
Education:
Tutored in Switzerland. Self-taught in classical literature. Attended maritime school in Marseilles, France

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