Category Archives: Joseph Conrad

Joseph Conrad

Conrad’s Verisimilitude

What is a novel if not a conviction of our fellow-men’s existence strong enough to take upon itself a form of imagined life clearer than reality and whose accumulated verisimilitude of selected episodes puts to shame the pride of documentary history?

Of course I would like this sentence from English novelist Joseph Conrad since it has such a wonderful “v” word in it! Verisimilitude means being true, or depicting realism. It is often used in reference to art and literature, as in Conrad’s sentence. I wish I’d taken Latin; it provides so many clues to words. For example, verum means truth.

So is there more truth in fiction? In a novel, an author can certainly leave out the daily bits of life to focus on one important theme so we see it more clearly.