Tuesday, January 28, 2014

The Fertility of his Imagination

"The doctor had been a very stubborn prisoner, and, as a natural consequence of that “bad disposition” (so Father Beron called it), his subjugation had been very crushing and very complete.  That is why the limp in his walk, the twist of his shoulders, the scars on his cheeks were so pronounced. His confessions, when they came at last, were very complete, too. Sometimes on the nights when he walked the floor, he wondered, grinding his teeth with shame and rage, at the fertility of his imagination when stimulated by a sort of pain that makes truth, honour, self-respect, and life itself matters of little moment."

Joseph Conrad, Nostromo, page 268

Best known for the incredible Heart of Darkness, Conrad also wrote a larger number of novels. This little gem of a book is one that I picked up when I was living in New Mexico. I can't say I remember all of it but what I do remember was a powerful picture of a Latin American town under the grip of the interests controlling a silver mine outside of town. I also remember being impressed with its political honestly, and lucid prose. If anyone out there recommends any other Conrad, i'm open to reading another of his books.

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