Joseph Conrad: Life and Letters - Vol. 1

Joseph Conrad: Life and Letters - Vol. 1

Joseph Conrad: Life and Letters - Vol. 1

Joseph Conrad: Life and Letters - Vol. 1

Excerpt

Long before Conrad died and left us our unfading memories, I began to collect material for this biography, little thinking, however, that I should be so suddenly entrusted with the melancholy task of tracing the path through life of one of the rarest spirits of our times. I cannot flatter myself that I have unravelled every puzzle; some incidents still remain obscure: but you will find nothing conjectural in this book, nothing unsupported by documentary evidence. If others, more fortunate, should some day discover facts unknown to me, I can at least feel sure that their discoveries will not discredit what is here recorded. The Bibliography at the end will show that my authorities have been diverse and many.

It was thought best that Conrad's Letters should be bound up with his biography, and the selection has devolved upon me. I have done my best to choose among not less than two thousand of his letters, English, French, and Polish. Some of the latter have been translated and included, but those written in French are so many and so individual in style that it has been decided to publish them, later, in a book for a French-reading public. The English letters are, of course, much the most numerous: so numerous, indeed, that it was impossible to include them all, though many of those which had to be omitted are nearly as worthy of publication . . .

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