Dead Souls Quotes

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Dead Souls Dead Souls by Nikolai Gogol
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Dead Souls Quotes (showing 1-30 of 50)
“However stupid a fools words may be, they are sometimes enough to confound an intelligent man.”
Nikolai Gogol, Dead Souls
“There are occasions when a woman, no matter how weak and impotent in character she may be in comparison with a man, will yet suddenly become not only harder than any man, but even harder than anything and everything in the world.”
Nikolai Gogol, Dead Souls
“But wise is the man who disdains no character, but with searching glance explores him to the root and cause of all.”
Nikolai Gogol, Dead Souls
“You can't imagine how stupid the whole world has grown nowadays. The things these scribblers write! ”
Nikolai Gogol, Dead Souls
“A word aptly uttered or written cannot be cut away by an axe.”
Nikolai Gogol, Dead Souls
“But youth has a future. The closer he came to graduation, the more his heart beat. He said to himself: “This is still not life, this is only the preparation for life.”
Nikolai Gogol, Dead Souls
“Happy the writer who, passing by characters that are boring, disgusting, shocking in their mournful reality, approaches characters that manifest the lofty dignity of man, who from the great pool of daily whirling images has chosen only the rare exceptions, who has never once betrayed the exalted turning of his lyre, nor descended from his height to his poor, insignificant brethren, and, without touching the ground, has given the whole of himself to his elevated images so far removed from it. Twice enviable is his beautiful lot: he is among them as in his own family; and meanwhile his fame spreads loud and far. With entrancing smoke he has clouded people's eyes; he has flattered them wondrously, concealing what is mournful in life, showing them a beautiful man. Everything rushes after him, applauding, and flies off following his triumphal chariot. Great world poet they name him, soaring high above all other geniuses in the world, as the eagle soars above the other high fliers. At the mere mention of his name, young ardent hearts are filled with trembling, responsive tears shine in all eyes...No one equals him in power--he is God! But such is not the lot, and other is the destiny of the writer who has dared to call forth all that is before our eyes every moment and which our indifferent eyes do not see--all the stupendous mire of trivia in which our life in entangled, the whole depth of cold, fragmented, everyday characters that swarm over our often bitter and boring earthly path, and with the firm strength of his implacable chisel dares to present them roundly and vividly before the eyes of all people! It is not for him to win people's applause, not for him to behold the grateful tears and unanimous rapture of the souls he has stirred; no sixteen-year-old girl will come flying to meet him with her head in a whirl and heroic enthusiasm; it is not for him to forget himself in the sweet enchantment of sounds he himself has evoked; it is not for him, finally, to escape contemporary judgment, hypocritically callous contemporary judgment, which will call insignificant and mean the creations he has fostered, will allot him a contemptible corner in the ranks of writers who insult mankind, will ascribe to him the quality of the heroes he has portrayed, will deny him heart, and soul, and the divine flame of talent. For contemporary judgment does not recognize that equally wondrous are the glasses that observe the sun and those that look at the movement of inconspicuous insect; for contemporary judgment does not recognize that much depth of soul is needed to light up the picture drawn from contemptible life and elevate it into a pearl of creation; for contemporary judgment does not recognize that lofty ecstatic laughter is worthy to stand beside the lofty lyrical impulse, and that a whole abyss separates it from the antics of the street-fair clown! This contemporary judgment does not recognize; and will turn it all into a reproach and abuse of the unrecognized writer; with no sharing, no response, no sympathy, like a familyless wayfarer, he will be left alone in the middle of the road. Grim is his path, and bitterly he will feel his solitude.”
Nikolai Gogol, Dead Souls
“The current generation now sees everything clearly, it marvels at the errors, it laughs at the folly of its ancestors, not seeing that this chronicle is all overscored by divine fire, that every letter of it cries out, that from everywhere the piercing finger is pointed at it, at this current generation; but the current generation laughs and presumptuously, proudly begins a series of new errors, at which their descendants will also laugh afterwards.”
Nikolai Gogol, Dead Souls
“...and sank into the profound slumber which comes only to such
fortunate folk as are troubled neither with mosquitoes nor fleas nor excessive activity of brain.”
Nikolai Gogol, Dead Souls
“[F]or contemporary judgment does not recognize that much depth of soul is needed to light up the picture drawn from contemptible life and elevate it into a pearl of creation...”
Nikolai Gogol, Dead Souls
“It is well-known that there are many faces in the world over the finishing of which nature did not take much trouble, did not employ any fine tools such as files, gimlets, and so on, but simply hacked them out with round strokes: one chop-a nose appears; another chop-lips appear; eyes are scooped out with a big drill; and she lets it go into the world rough-hewn, saing: "ALIVE!”
Nikolai Gogol, Dead Souls
“The parental eye shed no tears when the time for leave-taking came; a half-rouble in copper coins was given to the boy by way of pocket-money and for sweets, and what is more important, the following admonition:

"Mind now, Pavlusha, be diligent, don't fool or gad about, and above all please your teachers and superiors. If you please your superiors, then you will be popular and get ahead of everyone even if you lag behind in knowledge and talent. Don't be too friendly with the other boys, they will teach you no good; but if you do make friends, cultivate those who are better off and might be useful. Don't invite or treat anyone, but conduct yourself in such a way as to be treated yourself, and above all, take care of and save your pennies, that is the most reliable of all things. A comrade or friend will cheat you and be the first to put all the blame on you when in a fix, but the pennies won't betray you in any difficulty. With money you can do anything in the world."

Having admonished his son thus, the father took leave of him and trundled off home on his 'magpie'. Though from that day the son never set eyes on him more, his words and admonitions had sunk deep into his soul.”
Nikolai Gogol, Dead Souls
“Also, though not over-elderly, he was not over-young.”
Nikolai Gogol, Dead Souls
“Like all of us sinners, General Betrishchev was endowed with many virtues and many defects. Both the one and the other were scattered through him in a sort of picturesque disorder. Self-sacrifice, magnanimity in decisive moments, courage, intelligence--and with all that, a generous mixture of self-love, ambition, vanity, petty personal ticklishness, and a good many of those things which a man simply cannot do without.”
Nikolai Gogol, Dead Souls
tags: truth
“The fair-haired man was one of those people in whose character there is at first sight a certain obstinacy. Before you can open your mouth, they are already prepared to argue and, it seems, will never agree to anything that is clearly contrary to their way of thinking, will never call a stupid thing smart, and in particular will never dance to another man's tune; but it always ends up that there is a certain softness in their character, that they will agree precisely to what they had rejected, will call a stupid thing smart, and will then go off dancing their best to another man's tune - in short, starts out well, ends in hell.”
Nikolai Gogol, Dead Souls
“Why, then, make a show of the poverty of our life and our sad imperfection, unearthing people from the backwoods, from remote corners of the state? But what if this is in the writer's nature, and his own imperfection grieves him so, and the makeup of his talent is such, that he can only portray the poverty of our life, unearthing people from the backwoods, from the remote corners of the state! So here we are again in the backwoods, again we have come out in some corner!”
Nikolai Gogol, Dead Souls
“For every man there are certain words that are as if closer and more intimate to him than any others. And often, unexpectedly, in some remote, forsaken backwater, some deserted desert, one meets a man whose warming conversation makes you forget the pathlessness of your paths, the homelessness of your nights, and the contemporary world full of people's stupidity, of deceptions for deceiving man. Forever and always an evening spent in this way will vividly remain with you, and all that was and that took place then will be retained by the faithful memory: who was there, and who stood where, and what he was holding--the walls, the corners, and every trifle.”
Nikolai Gogol, Dead Souls
“a adormit bustean, cum dorm numai acei fericiti care nu sufera nici de hemoroizi, nici de purici si nici de vreo agerime prea mare a mintii”
Nikolai Gogol, Dead Souls
“This was not the old Chichikov. This was some wreckage of the old Chichikov. The inner state of his soul might be compared to a demolished building, which has been demolished so that from it a new one could be built; but the new one has not been started yet, because the infinitive plan has not yet come from the architect and the workers are left in perplexity.”
Nikolai Gogol, Dead Souls
“...a quiet room with cockroaches peeping out like prunes from every corner...”
Nikolai Gogol, Dead Souls
“Well, so that's the prosecutor! He lived and lived, and then died! And they will say in the papers that he died to the regret of his staff and all mankind, a respected citizen, a rare father, a model husband, and they will write a lot more stuff and nonsense about him; they will add, maybe, that he was mourned by widows and orphans; but if one were to investigate the matter thoroughly, it will emerge that he had nothing to him except his bushy eyebrows.”
Nikolai Gogol, Dead Souls
“Everything resembles the truth, everything can happen to a man.”
Nikolai Gogol, Dead Souls
“Wherever in life it may be, whether amongst its tough, coarsely poor, and untidily moldering mean ranks, or its monotonously cold and boringly tidy upper classes, a man will at least once meet with a phenomenon which is unlike anything he has happened to see before, which for once at least awakens in him a feeling unlike those he is fated to feel all his life. Wherever, across whatever sorrow sour life is woven of, a resplendent joy will gaily race by, just as a splendid carriage with golden harness, picture-book horses, and a shining brilliance of glass sometimes suddenly and unexpectedly goes speeding by some poor, forsaken hamlet that has never seen anything but a country cart, and for a long time the muzhiks stand gaping open-mouthed, not putting their hats back on, though the wondrous carriage has long since sped away and vanished from sight.”
Nikolai Gogol, Dead Souls
“Countless as the sands of sea are human passions, and not all of them are alike, and all of them, base and noble alike, are at first obedient to man and only later on become his terrible masters.”
Gogol Nikolai Gogol, Dead Souls
“And so the money which to some extent may have saved the situation is spent on various means for bringing about self oblivion”
Gogol Nikolai Gogol, Dead Souls
“I saw that I’d get nowhere on the straight path, and that to go crookedly was straighter.”
Nikolai Gogol, Dead Souls: A Novel
“Manilov was pleased by these final words, but he still couldn't make sense of the deal itself, and for want of an answer, he began sucking his clay pipe so hard that it started to wheeze like a bassoon. He seemed to be trying to extract from it an opinion about this unprecedented business; but the clay pipe only wheezed and said nothing.”
Nikolai Gogol, Dead Souls
“How many crooked, out-of-the-way, narrow, impassable, and devious paths has humanity chosen in the attempt to attain eternal truth, while before it the straight road lay open...It is wider and more open and resplendent than all other paths, lying as it does in the full glare of the sun, and lit up by many lights in the night, but men have streamed past it in blind darkness. And how many times...have they still managed to swerve away from it and go astray, have managed in the broad light of day to get into the impassable out-of-the-way places again, have managed again to throw a blinding mist over each other's eyes, and running after will-o'-the-wisps have managed to reach the brink of the precipice only to ask themselves with horror: 'Where is the way out? Where is the road?' The present generation sees everything clearly, it is amazed and laughs at the folly of its ancestors...and self-confidently enters on a fresh set of errors at which their descendants will laugh again later on.”
Nikolai Gogol, Dead Souls
“It seemed that both had lately had a touch of that pain under the waistband which comes of a sedentary life.”
Nikolai Gogol, Dead Souls
“in his mind, nothing could be more delightful than to live in solitude, and enjoy the spectacle of nature, and sometimes read some book or other.”
Nikolai Gogol, Dead Souls

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