Joseph Conrad

I just finished “The Arrow of Gold” by Joseph Conrad. I really don’t understand why I enjoy his writing but I do. This is not as heavy as some of his others and he still has a way of ending the stories without the “and they lived happily ever after”. It was a love story that was worth reading, although I have to admit I could have done without the last notes.


When I read this note about human life it reminded me of a Johnson quote about George Washington in which Washington’s political strength was recognizing the selfishness that is inherent in everyone, not in a bad way just in a normal way. We preachers have a saying when comparing notes with each other: “It’s difficult to get excited about someone else’s revelation”. Here is the quote:


“I suppose you know that the world is selfish, I mean the majority of the people in it, often unconsciously I must admit, and especially people with a mission, with a fixed idea, with some fantastic object in view, or even with only some fantastic illusion.”


As to the insights about love:

“There is a true saying that lips that have been kissed do not lose their freshness.”


The bible goes one better:

Prov 5:18-19 And rejoice with the wife of your youth.

19 As a loving deer and a graceful doe,

Let her breasts satisfy you at all times;

And always be enraptured with her love. NKJV


As the young man wanders the streets fighting the pangs of unrewarded love we have this observation of the carnival that is happening:


“It was the last evening of Carnival. The same masks, the same yells, the same mad rushes, the same bedlam of disguised humanity blowing about the streets in the great gusts of mistral that seemed to make them dance like dead leaves on an earth where all joy is watched by death.”


It reminds me of a writer who returned to Chico State after a trip to India in which he was using similar language to describe life at Chico state “California’s #1 party school”.


Enjoyed the book.

About hansston

Pastor a church in Sparta.
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