Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Kayerts and Carlier from Joseph Conrad's "An Outpost of Progress"

"There were two white men in charge of the trading station. Kayerts, the chief, was short and fat; Carlier, the assistant, was tall, with a large head and a very broad trunk perched upon a long pair of thin legs."

"Kayerts had been in the Administration of the Telegraphs, and knew how to express himself correctly....He regretted the streets, the pavements, the cafes, his friends of many years; all the things he used to see, day after day; all the thoughts suggested by familiar things--the thoughts effortless, monotonous, and soothing of a Government clerk; he regretted all the gossip, the small enmities, the mild venom, and the little jokes of Government offices."

"Carlier, an ex-non-commissioned officer of cavalry in an army guaranteed from harm by several European Powers.."

"Society, not from any tenderness, but because of its strange needs, had taken care of those two men, forbidding them all independent thought, all initiative, all departure from routine; and forbidding it under pain of death."

"...all the things dirty, and all the things broken, that accumulate mysteriously round untidy men."

"Kayerts stood still. He looked upwards; the fog rolled low over his head. He looked round like a man who has lost his way..."

" of the Company's steamers had been wrecked, and the Director was busy with the other, relieving very distant and important stations on the main river. He thought that the useless station, and the useless men, could wait. Meantime Kayerts and Carlier lived on rice boiled without salt, and cursed the Company, all Africa, and the day they were born."


Stephen said...

I suggest checking out the original for the ultimate fate of the two.

carmen said...

I would love to use some of these sketches in my English class! Would that be possible?

Stephen said...

Sorry for the late feedback. If it's still something you want to do then sure, use them.