A Personal Record and A Mirror of the Sea
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A Personal Record and A Mirror of the Sea

3.78 of 5 stars 3.78  ·  rating details  ·  45 ratings  ·  10 reviews
Joseph Conrad is a largely enigmatic presence in his novels, but in A Personal Record he decided to introduce his readers to "the figure behind the veil". Almost equally revealing is The Mirror of the Sea, written in "tribute to the sea, its ships, and its men, to whom I remain indebted for so much which has gone to make me what I am". Both are full of Conrad's anecdotes a...more
Paperback, 384 pages
Published January 1st 1999 by Penguin Classics (first published 1912)
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Ormond Sacker
The prose gets a little purple in spots, but I enjoyed the sketches of 1900s sailing life and the occasional flashes of humor. The kind of book that makes one want to grab some good old rollicking sea stories, assuming one could ever find good old rollicking sea stories that talk about people and places with the enthusiasm that they talk about the foremast rigging.
Mostly bangs on about the sea, boats, wind, the sea, storms, rivers, the sea.... The second part is billed as Conrad's account of how he came to be a writer; there's a bit of that, but mostly he bangs on some more about the sea. Still, he writes the best sentences I've ever read, and is a lot funnier than he's generally given credit for. I'm going to get 2 more cats and call them Joseph and Conrad.
This is one of those books, as a friend said, that is so intense you find yourself stepping away to distill what you have read, then returning, eager again to read deeper. Conrad is mythic.
I'd forgotten how great a manipulator of language Conrad is...and to think it was his SECOND language! Dostoevsky->Conrad->Faulkner
Stan Bebbington
Two of Conrad's books were included in this volume. The first, "Mirror of the Sea" was a set book I read and tried to dissect in 1945. As a 15 year old scientist the sea to me was just a large amount of H2O. I did not understand a word of it. For the uninitiated, Conrad was Polish, and it might as well have been written in his native language. I was reassured to see that a critic of the time suggested that it should have been translated from Conrad's Polish rather than he write it in English. I...more
Jean Grant
I think I didn't read the whole book, but snippets of it. One comment that struck me enough to copy it in my commonplace book:

"He who wants to persaude should put his truth not in the right argument, but in the right word. The power of sound has always been greater than the power of sense." -

I'd never heard this before, but immediately it struck me as true.
Ally Shand
Fascinating insight into the seafaring adventures that inspired so much of Conrad's fiction. Plenty of interesting musings on art and it's purpose in the world too.
C Mac

over last 35 years
have read the Mirror of the Sea
four or five times

each time
is still a pleasure

yours truly

Glenn Street
The Mirror of the Sea by Joseph Conrad (2005)
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Joseph Conrad (born Józef Teodor Konrad Korzeniowski ) was a Polish-born English novelist who today is most famous for Heart of Darkness, his fictionalized account of Colonial Africa.

Conrad left his native Poland in his middle teens to avoid conscription into the Russian Army. He joined the French Merchant Marine and briefly employed himself as a wartime gunrunner. He then began to work aboard Bri...more
More about Joseph Conrad...
Heart of Darkness Heart of Darkness Lord Jim Heart of Darkness and Selected Short Fiction Heart of Darkness and The Secret Sharer

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