In this description note that everything is present only in bits or halves. It is a nice evocation of awakening creativity, inspired by the lure of mystery and the desire to fill in the blanks, but it is also possible that Conrad's "something to write about" concerns precisely the missing portions, the parts of the physical world that aren't there, although we believe they are. The thrust of the novel is that the only full reality is subjective experience, and note that here, the only undivided image is of "men's passions."