14/8/19

Heart of Darkness

“It was un­earthly, and the men were—No, they were not in­hu­man. Well, you know, that was the worst of it—this sus­pi­cion of their not be­ing in­hu­man. It would come slowly to one. They howled and leaped, and spun, and made hor­rid faces; but what thrilled you was just the thought of their hu­man­ity—like yours—the thought of your re­mote kin­ship with this wild and pas­sion­ate up­roar.”
“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, val­our, rage—who can tell?—but truth—truth stripped of its cloak of time. Let the fool gape and shud­der—the man knows, and can look on with­out a wink. But he must at least be as much of a man as these on the shore. He must meet that truth with his own true stuff—with his own in­born strength. Prin­ci­ples won’t do. Ac­qui­si­tions, clothes, pretty rags—rags that would fly off at the first good shake. No; you want a de­lib­er­ate be­lief. An ap­peal to me in this fiendish row—is there? Very well; I hear; I ad­mit, but I have a voice, too, and for good or evil mine is the speech that can­not be si­lenced. Of course, a fool, what with sheer fright and fine sen­ti­ments, is al­ways safe.”
“I thought, ‘By Jove! it’s all over. We are too late; he has van­ished—the gift has van­ished, by means of some spear, ar­row, or club. I will never hear that chap speak af­ter all’—and my sor­row had a star­tling ex­trav­a­gance of emo­tion, even such as I had no­ticed in the howl­ing sor­row of these sav­ages in the bush. I couldn’t have felt more of lonely des­o­la­tion some­how, had I been robbed of a be­lief or had missed my des­tiny in life.”
Joseph Conrad