Conrad writes of lands known to no other writer, fertile and beautiful islands of the tropics, barren islets, a sea so hard and blue that it looks solid, a sea "fit to turn your hair gray only alooking at it," or "a straight line of the flat shore, joined to the stable sea, edge to edge with a perfect and unmarked closeness." And the civilized people who come to live in these barbaric lands—well, really, you know, they act in an unusual fashion! Their lives are florid, and their deeds most unexpected. Yet, as you read the stories, you have not the slightest doubt that truth is pictured for you.
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