1. tsathul
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    tsathul New Member

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    Joseph Conrad - Secret agent - What does the author mean by this

    Discussion in 'Book Discussion' started by tsathul, Jan 30, 2011.

    Anyone who has read Secret Agent by Joseph Conrad please respond. I'm trying to get around to what this sentence might signify. This excerpt is from Secret agent by Joseph Conrad chapter 11.
    "He had exaggerated the strength of their fury and the length of their arm (for professional purposes) too often to have many illusions one way or the other. For to exaggerate with judgement one must begin by measuring with nicety. He knew also how much virtue and how much infamy is forgotten in two long years."
    I especially was confused in the last words "He knew also how much virtue and how much infamy was forgotten in two long years."
     
  2. SashaMerideth
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    SashaMerideth Contributing Member

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    That looks like badly written filler, just to get his word count up.
     
  3. arron89
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    arron89 Banned

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    I haven't read the novel, but if you read the paragraph as a whole, not that sentence, the meaning is pretty clear. He's talking about a group of revolutionaries who he (and his wife) apparently fears is going to try to kill him. In this passage, he's explaining to his wife, to calm her down, that he does not believe he is at risk.

    I don't think its badly written at all, nor is it particularly confusing when read in the proper context...
     
  4. SashaMerideth
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    SashaMerideth Contributing Member

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    The author has spent about a thousand dollars in his words when a few dollars would do the job perfectly well. All I saw was some talking about how someone had said someone else was more powerful than they really were, and justify it, and try to explain how to make the exaggerated lie believable. As I said. Filler.
     
  5. arron89
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    arron89 Banned

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    The difference between how you phrased it and how he did is the reason his works have been immortalised, studied for decades and hugely successful. What you say doesn't matter nearly as much as how you say it, and Conrad has a great writing style.
     
  6. SashaMerideth
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    SashaMerideth Contributing Member

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    Ohhh, I get it now, sorry my sarcasm detector is not working. :)
     

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