77 Joseph Conrad Quotes from Famous Polish-British Writer

Joseph Conrad, a Polish-British writer born on December 3, 1857, is hailed as one of the paramount novelists in the English language.

Despite adopting English fluently only in his twenties and retaining an accent, Conrad’s prose showcased a unique, non-English sensibility.

Many of his stories, often set at sea, delve into the human spirit confronting an enigmatic universe.

Recognized as an early modernist with traces of nineteenth-century realism in his works, Conrad’s innovative narrative style and anti-heroic characters influenced renowned authors like T.S. Eliot, William Faulkner and Graham Greene.


Joseph Conrad is famous for writing the novels Lord Jim, Nostromo and The Secret Agent.

His works, reflective of European imperialism, drew from his Polish heritage and maritime experiences in the British and French navies, offering profound insights into human psychology and the complexities of a European-centric world.

His writings, initially appreciated by critics, were later deemed prescient considering subsequent global crises. Notably, “Heart of Darkness” inspired Francis Ford Coppola’s “Apocalypse Now” (1979).

Conrad passed away on August 3, 1924.

I have picked the great quotes by Joseph Conrad in this writeup.

Best Joseph Conrad Quotes


It’s only those who do nothing that make no mistakes, I suppose. ~ Joseph Conrad.


Vanity plays lurid tricks with our memory. ~ Joseph Conrad.


It echoed loudly within him because he was hollow at the core. ~ Joseph Conrad.


All creative art is magic, is evocation of the unseen in forms persuasive, enlightening, familiar and surprising. ~ Joseph Conrad.


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


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

Woe to the man whose heart has not learned while young to hope, to love – and to put its trust in life. ~ Joseph Conrad.


The mind of man is capable of anything. ~ Joseph Conrad.

An artist is a man of action, whether he creates a personality, invents an expedient, or finds the issue of a complicated situation. ~ Joseph Conrad.

The sea has never been friendly to man. At most it has been the accomplice of human restlessness. ~ Joseph Conrad.


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

he vilest scramble for loot that ever disfigured the history of human conscience. ~ Joseph Conrad.


I like what is in the work – the chance to find yourself. ~ Joseph Conrad.

Famous Joseph Conrad Quotes

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

No, it is impossible; it is impossible to convey the life-sensation of any given epoch of one’s existence – that which makes its truth, its meaning – its subtle and penetrating essence. It is impossible. We live, as we dream – alone. ~ Joseph Conrad.


It is my belief no man ever understands quite his own artful dodges to escape from the grim shadow of self knowledge. ~ Joseph Conrad.

Watching a coast as it slips by the ship is like thinking about an enigma. There it is before you, smiling, frowning, inviting, grand, mean, insipid, or savage, and always mute with an air of whispering, Come and find out. ~ Joseph Conrad.

The belief in a supernatural source of evil is not necessary; men alone are quite capable of every wickedness. ~ Joseph Conrad.

Destiny. My destiny! Droll thing life is – that mysterious arrangement of merciless logic for a futile purpose. ~ Joseph Conrad.


Like a flash of lightning between the clouds, we live in the flicker. ~ Joseph Conrad.

In order to move others deeply we must deliberately allow ourselves to be carried away beyond the bounds of our normal sensibility. ~ Joseph Conrad.

Top Joseph Conrad Quotes

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

But passion most dissembles, yet betrays, Even by its darkness; as the blackest sky Foretells the heaviest tempest. ~ Joseph Conrad.


Your strength is just an accident arising from the weakness of others. ~ Joseph Conrad.

They talk of a man betraying his country, his friends, his sweetheart. There must be a moral bond first. All a man can betray is his conscience. ~ Joseph Conrad.

We live as we dream – alone… ~ Joseph Conrad.

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

I was constantly watching myself, my secret self, as dependent on my actions as my own personality. ~ Joseph Conrad.

The true peace of God begins at any spot a thousand miles from the nearest land. ~ Joseph Conrad.

Reality, as usual, beats fiction out of sight. ~ Joseph Conrad.

Popular Joseph Conrad Quotes

Follow your bliss. Find where it is and don’t be afraid to follow it. ~ Joseph Conrad.

Conrad placed on the title page an epigraph taken from Edmund Spenser’s The Faerie Queene: Sleep after toyle, port after stormie seas, Ease after warre, death after life, does greatly please. This also became Conrad’s epitaph. ~ Joseph Conrad.

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


A fool has more ideas than a wise man can foresee. ~ Joseph Conrad.

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

The offing was barred by a black bank of clouds, and the tranquil water-way leading to the uttermost ends of the earth flowed somber under an overcast sky – seemed to lead into the heart of an immense darkness. ~ Joseph Conrad.

Your strength is just an accident owed to the weakness of others. ~ Joseph Conrad.

As a general rule, a reputation is built on manner as much as on achievement. ~ Joseph Conrad.

Let them think what they liked, but I didn’t mean to drown myself. I meant to swim till I sank – but that’s not the same thing. ~ Joseph Conrad.

Never test another man by your own weakness. ~ Joseph Conrad.

Great Joseph Conrad Quotes

We penetrated deeper and deeper into the heart of darkness. ~ Joseph Conrad.

Action is consolatory. It is the enemy of thought and the friend of flattering illusions. ~ 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.

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

Everything can be found at sea according to the spirit of your quest. ~ Joseph Conrad.

The mind of man is capable of anything – because everything is in it, all the past as well as all the future. What was there after all? Joy, fear, sorrow, devotion, valor, rage – who can tell? – but truth – truth stripped of its cloak of time. ~ Joseph Conrad.

He resembled a pilot, which to a seaman is trustworthiness personified. ~ Joseph Conrad.

One can’t live with one’s finger everlastingly on one’s pulse. ~ Joseph Conrad.


If you don’t make mistakes, you don’t make anything. ~ Joseph Conrad.

It is when we try to grapple with another man’s intimate need that we perceive how incomprehensible, wavering, and misty are the beings that share with us the sight of the stars and the warmth of the sun. ~ Joseph Conrad.

Wise Joseph Conrad Quotes

An author writes only half the book. The rest is written by readers. ~ Joseph Conrad.

A man is a worker. If he is not that he is nothing. ~ Joseph Conrad.

A ship in dock, surrounded by quays and the walls of warehouses, has the appearance of a prisoner meditating upon freedom in the sadness of a free spirit put under restraint. ~ Joseph Conrad.

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

He struggled with himself, too. I saw it – I heard it. I saw the inconceivable mystery of a soul that knew no restraint, no faith, and no fear, yet struggling blindly with itself. ~ Joseph Conrad.

It was written I should be loyal to the nightmare of my choice. ~ Joseph Conrad.

Facing it, always facing it, that’s the way to get through. Face it. ~ Joseph Conrad.

A writer without interest or sympathy for the foibles of his fellow man is not conceivable as a writer. ~ Joseph Conrad.

Unforgettable Joseph Conrad Quotes

What makes mankind tragic is not that they are the victims of nature, it is that they are conscious of it. ~ 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.

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. ~ Joseph Conrad.

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

For the great mass of mankind the only saving grace that is needed is steady fidelity to what is nearest to hand and heart in the short moment of each human effort. ~ Joseph Conrad.

I remember my youth and the feeling that will never come back any more. ~ Joseph Conrad.

Even extreme grief may ultimately vent itself in violence – but more generally takes the form of apathy. ~ Joseph Conrad.

Like a running blaze on a plain, like a flash of lightning in the clouds. We live in the flicker. ~ Joseph Conrad.

The blight of futility that lies in wait for men’s speeches had fallen upon our conversation and made it a thing of empty sounds. ~ Joseph Conrad.

Inspiring Joseph Conrad Quotes

To have his path made clear for him is the aspiration of every human being in our beclouded and tempestuous existence. ~ Joseph Conrad.

I don’t like work – no man does – but I like what is in the work – the chance to find yourself. ~ Joseph Conrad.


The question is not how to get cured, but how to live. ~ Joseph Conrad.

And perhaps in this is the whole difference; perhaps all the wisdom, and all truth, and all sincerity, are just compressed into that inappreciable moment of time in which we step over the threshold of the invisible. ~ Joseph Conrad.

Being a woman is a terribly difficult task, since it consists principally in dealing with men. ~ Joseph Conrad.

I have a voice, too, and for good or evil mine is the speech that cannot be silenced. ~ Joseph Conrad.

I slipped the book into my pocket. I assure you to leave off reading was like tearing myself away from the shelter of an old and solid friendship. ~ Joseph Conrad.

So these were the 77 top Joseph Conrad quotes and sayings.

If you like these quotes and sayings, then you can also read my other posts on Sam Harris quotes and Tony Evans quotes.

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Chandan Negi
Chandan Negi

I’m the Founder of Internet Pillar - I love sharing quotes and motivational content to inspire and motivate people - #quotes #motivation #internetpillar