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What is a novel if not a conviction of our fellow-men's existence strong enough to take upon itself a form of imagined life... Options
Daemon
Posted: Monday, June 4, 2012 12:00:00 AM
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What is a novel if not a conviction of our fellow-men's existence strong enough to take upon itself a form of imagined life clearer than reality and whose accumulated verisimilitude of selected episodes puts to shame the pride of documentary history.

Joseph Conrad (1857-1924)
MTC
Posted: Monday, June 4, 2012 5:36:19 AM
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The quotation is from "A Personal Record" by Conrad. He describes how a fellow passenger on a steamship, "Jacques," after reading Conrad's partially completed manuscript of "Almayer's Folly" encouraged him to complete the story:

What is it that Novalis says: "It is certain my conviction gains infinitely the moment an other soul will believe in it." And what is a novel if not a conviction of our fellow-men's existence strong enough to take upon itself a form of imagined life clearer than reality and whose accumulated verisimilitude of selected episodes puts to shame the pride of documentary history. Providence which saved my MS. from the Congo rapids brought it to the knowledge of a helpful soul far out on the open sea. It would be on my part the greatest ingratitude ever to forget the sallow, sunken face and the deep-set, dark eyes of the young Cambridge man (he was a "passenger for his health" on board the good ship Torrens outward bound to Australia) who was the first reader of "Almayer's Folly"—the very first reader I ever had.

Random1
Posted: Monday, June 4, 2012 9:54:35 AM
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What does the sentence mean? Novel is a condensed life? an essence of life ?
jcbarros
Posted: Monday, June 4, 2012 11:48:31 AM

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Life imitates art.
Jimbob
Posted: Monday, June 4, 2012 11:55:22 PM
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A personal Record by Joseph Conrad
What is it that Novalis says: “It is certain my conviction gains infinitely the moment an other soul will believe in it. “ And what is a novel if not a conviction of our fellow-men’s existence strong enough to take upon itself a form of imagined life clearer than reality and whose accumulated verisimilitude of selected episodes puts to shame the pride of documentary history . Providence which saved my MS. From the Congo rapids brought it to the knowledge of a helpful soul far out on the open sea. It would be on my part the greatest ingratitude ever to forget the sallow, sunken face and deep-set, dark eyes of the young Cambridge man (he was a “passenger for his health” on board the good ship Torrens outwards bound to Australia) who was the first reader of “Almayer’s Folly”—the very first reader I ever had.
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Novalis (May 2, 1772 – March 25, 1801), an author and philosopher of early German Romanticism.

verisimilitude 1. The quality of appearing to be true or real. See Synonyms at truth.

Almayer's Folly, published in 1895, is Joseph Conrad's first novel. Set in the late 19th century, it centers on the life of the Dutch trader Kaspar Almayer in the Borneo jungle and his relationship to his half-caste daughter Nina.
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Whether fiction or non-fiction the writers thoughts are seemingly flowing from the writer to the reader, effectively perhaps manipulating ones subconscious or and imagination. And also judging (critic) the outcome of the writer’s popularity standing. Inspiration is derived from others quite often (the reader) as in the case of young Cambridge man, being the first reader of “Amayer’s Folly” (by Conrad). So what do I say about the silent, not a lot, they do not influence because they are silent and therefor are only into themselves. They share nothing and could be considered uncooperative especially if they have something to offer. Lastly Conrad uses a statement and narrative, inviting the reader to weigh one thing against another.
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