Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Conrad in Full Sail

To Edward Garnett
17 Gillingham St. S. W.

March 8, 1895.

Dear Garnett,

I send you 4 chapters of the Outcast who--as you will perceive--is very much so. More than ever.--Your talk yesterday put so much life into me that I am reluctantly compelled to suspect you of good nature. Do not be offended for I do not mean any harm in charging you with such a bourgeois (or Philistine) failing. Even our friends are not perfect! This world is a dreary place and a prey to minor virtues. A dreary place--unless a fellow is a Willems of some kind and is stuffed full of emotions--without any moral--when he may discover some joviality or other at the bottom of his load of anguish. But that's a lottery; an illegal thing; the invention of the Devil.

In Chap. XII beginning with the words: "And now they are . . ." are the two pars. in the new style. Please say on the margin what you think. One word will do. I am very much in doubt myself about it; but where is the thing, institution or principle which I do not doubt?!

I shall advise you by autograph of my return from the Continent: because the fashionable intelligence of the Pall Mall neglects me in a most unaccountable way. Till then

-from Joseph Conrad: Life and Letters by G. Jean-Aubry (Garden City, New York: Doubleday Page & Co., 1927) Vol. 1, p. 173.

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