Quotes from The Nigger of the Narcissus

Joseph Conrad ·  152 pages

Rating: (1.6K votes)


“But the artist appeals to that part of our being which is not dependent on wisdom; to that in us which is a gift and not an acquisition— and, therefore, more permanently enduring. He speaks to our capacity for delight and wonder, to the sense of mystery surrounding our lives; to our sense of pity, and beauty, and pain; to the latent feeling of fellowship with all creation— and to the subtle but invincible conviction of solidarity that knits together the loneliness of innumerable hearts, to the solidarity in dreams, in joy, in sorrow, in aspirations, in illusions, in hope, in fear, which binds men to each other, which binds together all humanity— the dead to the living and the living to the unborn.”
― Joseph Conrad, quote from The Nigger of the Narcissus


“The man who can't do most things and won't do the rest”
― Joseph Conrad, quote from The Nigger of the Narcissus


“the artist descends within himself, and in that lonely region of stress and strife, if he be deserving and fortunate, he finds the terms of his appeal. His appeal is made to our less obvious capacities: to that part of our nature which, because of the warlike conditions of existence, is necessarily kept out of sight within the more resisting and hard qualities … His appeal is less loud, more profound, less distinct, more stirring—and sooner forgotten. Yet its effect endures forever ... the artist appeals to that part of our being which is not dependent on wisdom: to that in us which is a gift and not an acquisition—and, therefore, more permanently enduring.”
― Joseph Conrad, quote from The Nigger of the Narcissus


“He seemed to hasten the retreat of departing light by his very presence; the setting sun dipped sharply, as though fleeing before our nigger; a black mist emanated from him; a subtle and dismal influence; a something cold and gloomy that floated out and settled on all the faces like a mourning veil. The circle broke up. The joy of laughter died on stiffened lips.”
― Joseph Conrad, quote from The Nigger of the Narcissus


“A work that aspires, however humbly, to the condition of art should carry its justification in every line.”
― Joseph Conrad, quote from The Nigger of the Narcissus



“To snatch in a moment of courage, from the remorseless rush of time, a passing phase of life, is only the beginning of the task. The task approached in tenderness and faith is to hold up unquestioningly, without choice and without fear, the rescued fragment before all eyes in the light of a sincere mood. It is to show its vibration, its color, its form; and through its movement, its form, and its color, reveal the substance of its truth— disclose its inspiring secret: the stress and passion within the core of each convincing moment.”
― Joseph Conrad, quote from The Nigger of the Narcissus


“But sometimes, by the deserving and the fortunate, even that task is accomplished. And when it is accomplished— behold!— all the truth of life is there: a moment of vision, a sigh, a smile— and the return to an eternal rest.”
― Joseph Conrad, quote from The Nigger of the Narcissus


“And when it is accomplished—behold!—all the truth of life is there: a moment of vision, a sigh, a smile—and the return to an eternal rest.”
― Joseph Conrad, quote from The Nigger of the Narcissus


“Is there a spot on earth where such a man is unknown, an ominous survival testifying to the eternal fitness of lies and impudence?”
― Joseph Conrad, quote from The Nigger of the Narcissus


“Let the earth and the sea each have its own.”
― Joseph Conrad, quote from The Nigger of the Narcissus



“He had found the secret of keeping for ever on the run the fundamental imbecility of mankind; he had the secret of life, that confounded dying man, and he made himself master of every moment of our existence.”
― Joseph Conrad, quote from The Nigger of the Narcissus


“His picturesque and filthy loquacity flowed like a troubled stream from a poisoned source.”
― Joseph Conrad, quote from The Nigger of the Narcissus


“He looked upon the immortal sea with the awakened and groping perception of its heartless might; he saw it unchanged, black and foaming under the eternal scrutiny of the stars; he heard its impatient voice calling for him out of a pitiless vastness full of unrest, turmoil, and of terror. He looked afar upon it, and he saw an immensity tortured and blind, moaning and furious, that claimed all the days of his tenacious life, and, when life was over, would claim the worn-out body of its slave...”
― Joseph Conrad, quote from The Nigger of the Narcissus


“a stone image shed a miraculous tear of compassion over the incertitudes of life and death....”
― Joseph Conrad, quote from The Nigger of the Narcissus


“She left a lingering smudge of smoke on the sky, and two vanishing trails of foam on the water.”
― Joseph Conrad, quote from The Nigger of the Narcissus



“the artist appeals to that part of our being which is not dependent on wisdom; to that in us which is a gift and not an acquisition—and, therefore, more permanently enduring. He speaks to our capacity for delight and wonder, to the sense of mystery surrounding our lives; to our sense of pity, and beauty, and pain; to the latent feeling of fellowship with all creation—and to the subtle but invincible conviction of solidarity that knits together the loneliness of innumerable hearts, to the solidarity in dreams, in joy, in sorrow, in aspirations, in illusions, in hope, in fear, which binds men to each other, which binds together all humanity—the dead to the living and the living to the unborn.”
― Joseph Conrad, quote from The Nigger of the Narcissus


“On men reprieved by its disdainful mercy, the immortal sea confers in its justice the full privilege of desired unrest.”
― Joseph Conrad, quote from The Nigger of the Narcissus


“The double row of berths yawned black, like graves tenanted by uneasy corpses.”
― Joseph Conrad, quote from The Nigger of the Narcissus


“He was absurd to the point of inspiration.”
― Joseph Conrad, quote from The Nigger of the Narcissus


“Așa cum se legănau pe pietrele albe, în mijlocul mulțimii grăbite și zgomotoase, păreau niște ființe dintr-o altă specie - o specie pierdută, singuratică, lipsită de memorie și osândită să piară; niște naufragiați, niște naufragiați nesăbuiți, veseli și nebuni, care petrec în toiul furtunii, pe muchea lunecoasă a unei stânci perfide.”
― Joseph Conrad, quote from The Nigger of the Narcissus



“N-am smuls noi, oare, navigând laolaltă pe marea nemuritoare, un sens vieților noastre păcătoase? Adio, fraților! Ați fost niște mateloți destoinici. La fel de destoinici ca oricare dintre cei care-au izbit vreodată, urlând, în pânzele zbuciumate ale arborelui mare; sau care, legănându-se pe vergi, invizibili în noapte, au răspuns chiuind la chiotele furtunii.”
― Joseph Conrad, quote from The Nigger of the Narcissus


“But at the corner I stopped to take my last look at the crew of the Narcissus. They were swaying irresolute and noisy on the broad flagstones before the Mint. They were bound for the Black Horse, where men, in fur caps with brutal faces and in shirt sleeves, dispense out of varnished barrels the illusions of strength, mirth, happiness; the illusion of splendor and poetry of life, to the paid-off crews of southern-going ships.”
― Joseph Conrad, quote from The Nigger of the Narcissus


About the author

Joseph Conrad
Born place: in Berdichev (formerly Poland), Ukraine
Born date December 3, 1857
See more on GoodReads

Popular quotes

“Love is random; fear is inevitable.”
― Orson Scott Card, quote from Pastwatch: The Redemption of Christopher Columbus


“Art is the creation of beauty; it is the expression of thought or feeling
in a form that seems beautiful or sublime, and therefore arouses in us some reverberation of that primordial delight which woman gives to man, or man to woman.”
― Will Durant, quote from Our Oriental Heritage


“She doesn’t like you, McNab.

“I knoooow. I find that really attractive in a woman.”
― J.D. Robb, quote from Vengeance in Death


“If you find no one to support you on the spiritual path, walk alone. There is no companionship with the immature.”
― quote from The Dhammapada


“Would it be possible, he wondered, to stand up before the world and with the utmost conviction spew out lies and nonsense? To say that windmills were knights, that a barber’s basin was a helmet, that puppets were real people? Would it be possible to persuade others to agree with what he said, even though they did not believe him? In other words, to what extent would people tolerate blasphemies if they gave them amusement? The answer is obvious, isn’t it? To any extent. For the proof is that we still read the book. It remains highly amusing to us. And that’s finally all anyone wants out of a book—to be amused.”
― Paul Auster, quote from City of Glass


Interesting books

St. Joseph New American Bible
(2.6K)
Of Light and Darkness
(812)
Of Light and Darknes...
by Shayne Leighton
Clarimonde
(711)
Clarimonde
by Théophile Gautier
Exposure
(525)
Exposure
by Alan Russell
Voyage Through Time: Walks of Life to the Nobel Prize
(254)
Voyage Through Time:...
by Ahmed H. Zewail
Songs of the Doomed: More Notes on the Death of the American Dream
(3.3K)
Songs of the Doomed:...
by Hunter S. Thompson

About BookQuoters

BookQuoters is a community of passionate readers who enjoy sharing the most meaningful, memorable and interesting quotes from great books. As the world communicates more and more via texts, memes and sound bytes, short but profound quotes from books have become more relevant and important. For some of us a quote becomes a mantra, a goal or a philosophy by which we live. For all of us, quotes are a great way to remember a book and to carry with us the author’s best ideas.

We thoughtfully gather quotes from our favorite books, both classic and current, and choose the ones that are most thought-provoking. Each quote represents a book that is interesting, well written and has potential to enhance the reader’s life. We also accept submissions from our visitors and will select the quotes we feel are most appealing to the BookQuoters community.

Founded in 2023, BookQuoters has quickly become a large and vibrant community of people who share an affinity for books. Books are seen by some as a throwback to a previous world; conversely, gleaning the main ideas of a book via a quote or a quick summary is typical of the Information Age but is a habit disdained by some diehard readers. We feel that we have the best of both worlds at BookQuoters; we read books cover-to-cover but offer you some of the highlights. We hope you’ll join us.