Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “A Personal Record” as Want to Read:
A Personal Record
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

A Personal Record

3.65  ·  Rating details ·  105 ratings  ·  17 reviews
A Personal Record (1912) both documents and fictionalizes Joseph Conrad's early life and the opening stages of his careers as a writer and as a seaman. It is also an artistic and political manifesto. The introduction traces Conrad's sources and gives the history of writing and reception. The essay on the text and the apparatus set out the textual history. The notes explain ...more
Paperback, 92 pages
Published 2017 by CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (first published 1912)
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.65  · 
Rating details
 ·  105 ratings  ·  17 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of A Personal Record
Ronald Wise
Oct 17, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book leaves me feeling as though I’ve had a long and rewarding conversation with Joseph Conrad. I’m in the process of reading all his books in the order in which they were written, and with each of his novels I’ve become more and more impressed with this man’s mastery of his adopted language – English – and his astute perception of humanity and a great variety of its members.

In this book I found what I had hoped to find in his earlier autobiographical Mirror of the Sea, before being somewha
Gary Dale
Mar 12, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I started reading this book believing it would be a stock standard autobiography. Well, it wasn't. And Joseph Conrad himself tells you that it wouldn't be so. However, what you do get is memories of people and periods in Conrad's life that shaped and developed the man. This doesn't tell the man's life story but it does tell the story of his life. I was grateful also for the stories of Conrad's uncle as well and of the genesis of his first novel, Almeyer's Folly. This book is a must for Joseph Co ...more
Feb 07, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: classics
A Personal Record by Joseph Conrad gave great insight into the man who wrote the classic "Heart of Darkness". I must say, if one plans on reading this, they must get the copy that has "A Familiar Preface" by Conrad, who spends some time justifying some of his decisions in how he wrote the book to the critics. It was probably one of my favorite parts of the book and found myself agreeing with him on many points. It seems there are two main points that most of the critics focused on, the first bei ...more
Jul 21, 2007 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: joseph conrad fans, men of letters
My issue, dated 1920, is actually a reprint of Conrad's original "Personal Record," and it includes a new preface along with various, unrelated letters to newspaper editors about current events.

"A Personal Record" is a long, intimate, and at times self-deprecating introspective into Conrad's creative process (or lack thereof), bundled up with assorted memories of his younger life spent in exile. The "Record" often meanders into tangential stories about Conrad's relatives (including a fascinating
Sep 01, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Conrad's sentences and stories are amazing enough; what really knocks me out is that they are written in his THIRD language. I'm not sure what I want to read more: a biography of this singular man or more of his fiction. ...more
Alexander Anderson
Feb 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I always get the feeling, when reading anything Conrad, of a continuous, delicious soul scrubbing rush of verbal manna that I am in constant fear is going to wear off but never does, or that I am going to build up a tolerance to but never do. No matter how small or big a hit of his writings I take, it consistently threatens to smother me by ripping the oxygen out of my lungs.

The man could write a chapter on the topic of a filthy commode and I would remain inexplicably transfixed with fascination
Oct 04, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
“Me atrevería a decir que en la actualidad me siento forzado, inconscientemente forzado, a escribir un volumen tras otro de igual forma que en el pasado me sentí forzado a hacerme a la mar, a emprender un viaje tras otro. Las hojas han de caer unas sobre otras tal como otrora cayeran unas tras otras las leguas marinas, a medida que pasaban los días, sin cesar, hasta llegar a buen puerto...”


“Hay quienes, según tengo oído, escriben en un vagón de ferrocarril, y quienes podrían incluso escribir en
Together with The Mirror of the Sea, Joseph Conrad's A Personal Record (1911) is one of his two openly autobiographical books. A short volume of reminiscences, it was written originally for an ambitious literary periodical.

Conrad was born in Poland, moving to live in France in 1874. He subsequently joined the British merchant navy, and did not begin writing novels until he was nearly forty. In this book he describes his cultural heritage, and the central motives in his life as a seaman and a wri
Cyrille Honoré
Fausse autobiographie ou autobiographie romancée, je ne sais pas comment le décrire. Ce n’est pas un roman, c’est (volontairement) déstructuré. Il est peut-être de bon ton de savoir apprécier ce genre de livre et d’y voir le génie de l’artiste entre deux lignes, (très bien) caché quelque part. Je n’y ai vu personnellement que du verbiage sans grand intérêt.
Aug 07, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Si bien el libro no me resulto demasiado interesante, me resulto atractiva la forma de escribir del autor.
Oct 14, 2016 rated it it was ok
There are two things I can predict about anybody who reads A Personal Record hoping to learn a good deal about the real Joseph Conrad. Firstly, I can safely say that they will be disappointed. Secondly, I can add that they obviously do not know Conrad’s works very well if they had that expectation. Conrad’s ‘personal record’ is, of course, nothing of the sort.

This is the case with all Conrad’s works including The Mirror of the Sea, Conrad’s other semi-autobiographical work. To some extent all of
Chapter 1 recalls his first attempts at Almayer’s Folly which he wrote mostly at sea. His first reader was a passenger on his ship who dies a few weeks later. There are some recollections of early life including the often quoted passage when he was nine year old and looked at a map of Africa and pointed to the blank space and said “When I grow up I shall go there.” (p. 17)

Chapter 2 has more autobiographical recollections of his youth until about the time he ventures out West. He travels to Switz
Fábio Fernandes
Jan 24, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2014
Conrad is one of my favorite classic authors. I feel a sort of proximity to him because we both came from countries where English wasn't neither the first nor the second language; Educated in French (I wasn't), Conrad learned English later in life, and became one of the best writers in English of his time. He is one of my personal idols in this respect.

This particular book (another one of my Seattle Collection) is a short one. I took a long time to read it because, like everything Conrad, I lik
Israel E
Dec 17, 2015 rated it liked it
Simplemente unas interesantes memorias de la vida de Conrad, creo que aparte de ser marino algo muy interesante es que parece sentirse alguien sin patria, realmente no puedo decir que hable tan concretamente de su vida en Polonia como cuando vivió en Rusia e Inglaterra vivir así me imagino debe ser frustrarte de cierta forma.

Sigo teniendo esas sensaciones encontradas con las lecturas de Conrad, me gusta el tema la trama pero creo que no me gusta como escribe. sin embargo quiero seguir leyendo má
Se´m va fer feixug
Nickole Schlapkohl
rated it it was ok
Nov 20, 2017
rated it liked it
Oct 16, 2017
rated it it was ok
Apr 24, 2019
Krasimir Kavaldjiev
rated it really liked it
Feb 22, 2018
Stan Smethurst
rated it liked it
Sep 17, 2015
Ken Kase
rated it really liked it
Jun 02, 2020
rated it liked it
Apr 05, 2017
Christian Doebel
rated it it was amazing
Feb 09, 2016
rated it liked it
Mar 07, 2011
Gerhard Ens
rated it it was ok
Aug 28, 2020
rated it really liked it
Mar 15, 2020
Eleanor Dohner
rated it liked it
Dec 17, 2016
Casey Bunch
rated it it was amazing
Dec 27, 2015
rated it really liked it
Apr 18, 2018
« previous 1 3 4 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • Numero zero
  • Sanctuary
  • Chronicles: Volume One
  • Περαίωση (Η Τριλογία της Κρίσεως, #2)
  • On the Shoulders of Giants: The Great Works of Physics and Astronomy
  • The Struggle Over Lebanon
  • The Quotable Feynman
  • Relatos del mar: de Colón a Hemingway
  • La pena máxima
  • Postscript to the Name of the Rose
  • Trilogía del Abismo (Los botes del "Glenn Carrig", La casa en el confín de la Tierra, Los piratas fantasmas)
  • Los secretos del Congreso
  • South: The Story of Shackleton's Last Expedition 1914-1917
  • Secondhand Time: The Last of the Soviets
  • Travels with Herodotus
  • Los cachorros
  • Zinky Boys: Soviet Voices from the Afghanistan War
  • Argenleaks: Los cables de Wikileaks sobre la Argentina, de la A a la Z
See similar books…
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

Related Articles

You might know comedian Colin Jost from his work as the co-anchor of Saturday Night Live’s Weekend Update, or perhaps you know him as Scarlett...
126 likes · 47 comments