"He came with conceptions, but he made a voyage of discovery. And so he caught truths, deeper and more durable truths about himself and about us all." (The Traveler's Luck)
So wrote Fouad Ajami, who died one year ago today, about Joseph Conrad, whose talents for capturing the clash between East and West he judged superior to V.S. Naipaul's. He might have been writing about his own gift for interpreting the Middle East from his adopted American home. The truths he caught were gained (like Conrad's) through an immigrant's eyes—eyes trained not just on his adopted country, but on the land of his birth.
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