Tuesday, March 09, 2010

That Glimpse of Truth

Perhaps a mission statement for the writers among us:

My task, which I am trying to achieve, is, by the power of the written word, to make you hear, to make you feel -- it is, before all, to make you see. That -- and no more, and it is everything. If I succeed, you shall find there, according to your deserts, encouragement, consolation, fear, charm, all you demand -- and, perhaps, also that glimpse of truth for which you have forgotten to ask.

-- Joseph Conrad, quoted by Sally Fitzgerald in the introduction to a volume of works by Flannery O'Connor. Fitzgerald said O'Connor was an admirer of Conrad. "From him, she took a definition of her fictional aims."

(I recently borrowed this book from the Mulberry Street Library after finally getting a New York Public Library card. I'm embarrassed that it took me three years to do so.)

The photo of Conrad above is from here.

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