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.