“For it is my belief no man ever understands quite his own artful dodges to escape from the grim shadow of self-knowledge.”
Joseph Conrad in “Lord Jim”
It’s extraordinary how we go through life with eyes half shut, with dull ears, with dormant thoughts. Perhaps it’s just as well; and it may be that it is this very dullness that makes life to the incalculable majority so supportable and so welcome.
Nevertheless, there can be but few of us who had never known one of these rare moments of awakening when we see, hear, understand ever so much — everything — in a flash — before we fall back again into our agreeable somnolence.
“I would wish him to enlarge his sympathies by patient and loving observation while he grows in mental power. It is in the impartial practice of life, if anywhere, that the promise of perfection for his art can be found, rather than in the absurd formulas trying to prescribe this or that particular method of technique or conception.
Let him mature the strength of his imagination amongst the things of this earth, which it is his business to cherish and know and refrain from calling down his inspiration ready-made from some heaven of perfections of which he knows nothing.”
“To have the gift of words is no such great matter.
A man furnished with a long-range weapon does not become a hunter or a warrior by the mere possession of a firearm.”
“My task which I am trying to achieve is,
by the power of the written word,
to make you hear,
to make you feel—
it is, before all, to make you see.
That—and no more, and it is everything.
If I succeed, you shall find there, according to your deserts, encouragement,
all you demand—
and, perhaps, also that glimpse of truth
for which you have forgotten to ask.”