Category Archives: Joseph Conrad

It Is Not the Clear-Sighted Who Lead the World. Great Achievements Are Accomplished in a Blessed, Warm, Mental Fog

Joseph Conrad? Edgar Ansel Mowrer? Apocryphal?

Dear Quote Investigator: Great attainments are normally thought to require superior mental acuity, but the brilliant novelist Joseph Conrad apparently contended that a “warm mental fog” was necessary. Would you please help me to find a citation?

Quote Investigator: In 1915 Joseph Conrad published “Victory: An Island Story” in “Munsey’s Magazine”. The narrator described a young impressionable man who was taught by his father to profoundly mistrust life. The result was detrimental. Emphasis added to excerpts by QI: 1

It is not the clear-sighted who lead the world. Great achievements are accomplished in a blessed, warm, mental fog, which the pitiless cold blasts of the father’s analysis had blown away from the son.

Below are additional selected citations in chronological order.

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Notes:

  1. 1915 February (1914 Copyright), Munsey’s Magazine, Volume 54, Victory: An Island Story by Joseph Conrad, Start Page 112, Quote Page 139, The Frank A. Munsey Company, New York. (HathiTrust Full View) link