The Best Joseph Conrad quotes

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This week’s blog post is all about Joseph Conrad, one of the most famous British authors of the 19th and 20th centuries. Conrad was born in Poland in 1857 to a Polish father and English mother, and he spent his early childhood living in various places across Europe due to his father’s work as a private secretary. After spending some time in France and England, Conrad eventually settled in England permanently at the age of 21 and began writing fiction. In this post, we’ll take a closer look at Conrad’s life and works, as well as explore why he remains such an influential figure even today.

Discover the deepest World, Time, Dreams, Life, Earth, Truth quotes from Joseph Conrad, and much more.


About Joseph Conrad

birth of the author

3 December 1857

death of the author

3 August 1924

occupation of the author

Novelist, Short-Story Writer, Essayist

country of the author


date of the author

1895-1923: Modernism

genre of the author


award of the author

Notable Works:
Almayer’s Folly


We live, as We dream, alone. — Joseph Conrad

A man that is born falls into a dream like a man who falls into the sea. — Joseph Conrad

The dreams of men, the seed of commonwealth, the germs of empires. — Joseph Conrad

A man that is born falls into a dream like a man who falls into the sea. If he tries to climb out into the air as inexperienced people endeavor to do, he drowns. — Joseph Conrad

we live as we dream alone Joseph Conrad quote

They had behind them, to my mind, the terrific suggestiveness of words heard in dreams, of phrases spoken in nightmares. — Joseph Conrad

I had ambition not only to go farther than any man had ever been before, but as far as it was possible for a man to go. — Joseph Conrad

I have wrestled with death. It is the most unexciting contest you can imagine. — Joseph Conrad

All roads are long which lead to one’s heart’s desire. — Joseph Conrad


There is nothing more enticing, disenchanting, and enslaving than the life at sea. — Joseph Conrad

there is nothing more enticing disenchanting and enslaving than the life at sea Joseph Conrad quote

Perhaps life is just that… a dream and a fear. — Joseph Conrad

Art is long and life is short, and success is very far off. — Joseph Conrad

We owe much to the fruitful meditation of our sages, but a sane view of life is, after all, elaborated mainly in the kitchen. — Joseph Conrad

Sleep after toyle, port after stormie seas, Ease after warre, death after life, does greatly please. — Joseph Conrad

Imagination, not invention, is the supreme master of art as of life. — Joseph Conrad

perhaps life is just that a dream and a fear Joseph Conrad quote

We live as we dream–alone. While the dream disappears, the life continues painfully. — Joseph Conrad

Only in men’s imagination does every truth find an effective and undeniable existence. Imagination, not invention, is the supreme master of art as of life. — Joseph Conrad

I couldn’t have felt more of lonely desolation somehow, had I been robbed of a belief or had missed my destiny in life… — Joseph Conrad

What was Joseph Conrad’s original name?

Joseph Conrad’s original name was Józef Teodor Konrad Korzeniowski.


Woe to the man whose heart has not learned while young to hope, to love–and to put it’s trust in life! — Joseph Conrad

Every age is fed on illusions, lest men should renounce life early and the human race come to an end. — Joseph Conrad

art is long and life is short and success is very far off Joseph Conrad quote

All that mysterious life of the wilderness that stirs in the forest, in the jungles, in the hearts of wild men. — Joseph Conrad

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

I am a great foe of favoritism in public life, in private life, and even in the delicate relationship of an author to his works. — Joseph Conrad

Few men realize that their life, the very essence of their character, their capabilities and their audacities, are only the expression of their belief in the safety of their surroundings. — Joseph Conrad

The humblest craft that floats makes its appeal to a seaman by the faithfulness of her life. — Joseph Conrad

All idealisation makes life poorer. To beautify it is to take away its character of complexity–it is to destroy it. — Joseph Conrad

I thought his memory was like the other memories of the dead that accumulate in every man’s life,–a vague impress on the brain of shadows that had fallen on it in their swift and final passage. . . — Joseph Conrad

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

I am afraid that if you want to go down into history you’ll have to do something for it. — Joseph Conrad


The air of the New World seems favorable to the art of declamation. — Joseph Conrad

the air of the new world seems favorable to the art of declamation Joseph Conrad quote

The human heart is vast enough to contain all the world. — Joseph Conrad

Youth is insolent; it is its right–its necessity; it has got to assert itself, and all assertion in this world of doubts is a defiance, is an insolence. — Joseph Conrad

The world of finance is a mysterious world in which, incredible as the fact may appear, evaporation precedes liquidation. — Joseph Conrad

It is not the clear–sighted who rule the world. Great achievements are accomplished in a blessed, warm fog. — Joseph Conrad

History repeats itself, but the special call of an art which has passed away is never reproduced. It is as utterly gone out of the world as the song of a destroyed wild bird. — Joseph Conrad

the human heart is vast enough to contain all the world Joseph Conrad quote

Give me the right word and the right accent and I will move the world. — Joseph Conrad

For there is nothing mysterious to a seaman unless it be the sea itself, which is the mistress of his existence… — Joseph Conrad

Redundant Thematics

In Joseph Conrad Statements


All ambitions are lawful except those that climb upward on the miseries or credulities of mankind. — Joseph Conrad


One must explore deep and believe the incredible to find the new particles of truth floating in an ocean of insignificance. — Joseph Conrad

I can’t tell if a straw ever saved a drowning man, but I know that a mere glance is enough to make dspair pause. For in truth, we who are creatures of impulse, are creatures of despair. — Joseph Conrad

a caricature is putting the face of a joke on the body of a truth Joseph Conrad quote

A caricature is putting the face of a joke on the body of a truth. — Joseph Conrad

Vanity plays lurid tricks with our memory, and the truth of every passion wants some pretence to make it live. — Joseph Conrad

A writing may be lost; a lie may be written; but what the eye has seen is truth and remains in the mind! — Joseph Conrad

The end (goal) of art is to figure the hidden meaning of things and not their appearance; for in this profound truth lies their true reality, which does not appear in their external outlines. — Joseph Conrad

A nickname may be the best record of a success. That’s what I call putting the face of a joke upon the body of a truth. — Joseph Conrad

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

They wanted facts. facts! They demanded facts from him, as if facts could explain anything. — Joseph Conrad


There is never enough time to say our last word–the last word of our love, of our desire, faith, remorse, submission, revolt. — Joseph Conrad

For a time I would feel I belonged still to a world of straightforward facts; but the feeling would not last long. Something would turn up to scare it away. — Joseph Conrad

Any fool can carry on, but a wise man knows how to shorten sail in time. — Joseph Conrad

any fool can carry on but a wise man knows how to shorten sail in time Joseph Conrad quote

You can’t breathe dead hippo waking, sleeping, and eating, and at the same time keep your precarious grip on existence. — Joseph Conrad

And a word carries far–very far–deals destruction through time as the bullets go flying through space. — Joseph Conrad

What was Joseph Conrad’s family like?

Joseph Conrad’s father, Apollo Nalęcz Korzeniowski, was a poet and an ardent Polish patriot who participated in a Polish insurrection against Russian rule.

After both his parents died from tuberculosis, Conrad was put under the care of his maternal uncle, Tadeusz Bobrowski, a lawyer. .

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

It is not Justice the servant of men, but accident, hazard, Fortune–the ally of patient Time–that holds an even and scrupulous balance. — Joseph Conrad


The conquest of the earth… is not a pretty thing when you look into it too much. What redeems it is the idea only… not a sentimental pretence but an idea. — Joseph Conrad

and this also said marlow suddenly has been one of the dark places of the earth Joseph Conrad quote

It is to be remarked that a good many people are born curiously unfItted for the fate waIting them on this earth. — Joseph Conrad

The sight of it made the earth seem unearthly. They were accustomed to look upon the shackled form of a conquered monster, but there––there you could look at a thing monstrous, beautiful, and free. — Joseph Conrad

In the empty immensity of earth, sky, and water, there she was, incomprehensible, firing into a continent. — Joseph Conrad

We live in the flicker––may it last as long as the old earth keeps rolling! But darkness was here yesterday. — Joseph Conrad

I remember my youth… the feeling that I could last forever, outlast the sea, the earth, and all men. — Joseph Conrad

And this also,’ said Marlow suddenly, ‘has been one of the dark places of the earth. — Joseph Conrad

That faculty of beholding at a hint the face of his desire and the shape of his dream, without which the earth would know no lover and no adventurer. — Joseph Conrad

The conquest of the earth, which mostly means the taking it away from those who have a different complexion or slightly flatter noses than ourselves, is not a pretty thing when you look into it much. — Joseph Conrad

I saw him open his mouth wide. . . as though he had wanted to swallow all the air, all the earth, all the men before him. — Joseph Conrad

But it is like a running blaze on a plain, like a flash of lightning in the clouds. We live in the flicker–may it last as long as the old earth keeps rolling! — Joseph Conrad


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