Russian Literature Quotes

Quotes tagged as "russian-literature" (showing 1-30 of 114)
Fyodor Dostoyevsky
“But man is a fickle and disreputable creature and perhaps, like a chess-player, is interested in the process of attaining his goal rather than the goal itself.”
Fyodor Dostoyevsky, Notes from Underground, White Nights, The Dream of a Ridiculous Man, and Selections from The House of the Dead

Alexander Pushkin
“My dreams, my dreams! What has become of their sweetness? What indeed has become of my youth?”
Alexander Pushkin, Eugene Onegin

Nikolai Gogol
“A word aptly uttered or written cannot be cut away by an axe.”
Nikolai Gogol, Dead Souls

Alexander Pushkin
“It's a lucky man, a very lucky man, who is committed to what he believes, who has stifled intellectual detachment and can relax in the luxury of his emotions - like a tipsy traveller resting for the night at wayside inn.”
Alexander Pushkin, Eugene Onegin

Leo Tolstoy
“But the older he grew and the more intimately he came to know his brother, the oftener the thought occurred to him that the power of working for the general welfare – a power of which he felt himself entirely destitute – was not a virtue but rather a lack of something: not a lack of kindly honesty and noble desires and tastes, but a lack of the power of living, of what is called heart – the aspiration which makes a man choose one out of all the innumerable paths of life that present themselves, and desire that alone.”
Leo Tolstoy, Anna Karenina

Fyodor Dostoyevsky
“We all come out from Gogol's 'Overcoat'.”
Fyodor Dostoyevsky

Leo Tolstoy
“at one time, a freethinker was a man who had been brought up in the conceptions of religion, law and morality, who reached freethought only after conflict and difficulty. But now a new type of born freethinkers has appeared, who grow up without so much as hearing that there used to be laws of morality, or religion, that authorities existed... In the old days, you see, if a man - a Frenchman, for instance- wished to get an education, he would have set to work to study the classics, the theologians, the tragedians, historians and philosophers- and you can realize all the intellectual labour involved. But nowadays he goes straight for the literature of negation, rapidly assimilates the essence of the science of negation, and thinks he's finished.”
Leo Tolstoy

Mirra Ginsburg
“One of the most brilliant Russian writers of the twentieth century, Yevgeny Zamyatin belongs to the tradition in Russian literature represented by Gogol, Leskov, Bely, Remizov, and, in certain aspects of their work, also by Babel and Bulgakov. It is a tradition, paradoxically, of experimenters and innovators. Perhaps the principal quality that unites them is their approach to reality and its uses in art - the refusal to be bound by literal fact, the interweaving of reality and fantasy, the transmutation of fact into poetry, often grotesque, oblique, playful, but always expressive of the writer's unique vision of life in his own, unique terms.”
Mirra Ginsburg, The Dragon: Fifteen Stories

Leo Tolstoy
“I see that my presence is burdensome to you. Painful as it was for me to become convinced of it, I see that it is so and cannot be otherwise. I do not blame you, and God is my witness that, seeing you during your illness, I resolved with all my soul to forget everything that had been between us and start a new life. I do not repent and will never repent of what I have done; but I desired one thing - your good, the good of your soul - and now I see that I have not achieved it. Tell me yourself what will give you true happiness and peace in your soul. I give myself over entirely to your will and your sense of justice.”
Leo Tolstoy, Anna Karenina

Yevgeny Zamyatin
“If circumstances should make it impossible (temporarily, I hope) for me to be a Russian writer, perhaps I shall be able, like the Pole Joseph Conrad, to become for a time an English writer... ("Letter To Stalin")”
Yevgeny Zamyatin

Ernest Hemingway
“كان المانح في البداية الأدباء الروس ثم أضحي فيما بعد جميع الآخرين ولكن لوقت طويل كان الروس فقط”
Ernest Hemingway

Anton Chekhov
“Надо изображать жизнь не такою, как она есть, и не такою, как должна быть, а такою, как она представляется в мечтах.”
Anton Chekhov, Чайка

John Steinbeck
“In nothing is the difference between the Americans and the Soviets so marked as in the attitude, not only toward writers, but of writers toward their system. For in the Soviet Union the writer's job is to encourage, to celebrate, to explain, and in every way to carry forward the Soviet system. Whereas in America, and in England, a good writer is the watch-dog of society. His job is to satirize its silliness, to attack its injustices, to stigmatize its faults. And this is the reason that in America neither society nor government is very fond of writers. The two are completely opposite approaches toward literature.”
John Steinbeck, A Russian Journal

Fyodor Dostoyevsky
“Now life is given in exchange for pain and fear, and that's the basis of the whole deception. Now man is still not what he should be. There will e a new man, happy and proud. Whoever doesn't care whether he lives or doesn't live, he himself will be God. And that other God will no longer be.'
'So, that other God does exist, in your opinion?'
'He doesn't exist, but he does exist. In the stone there' no pain, but in the fear of the stone there is pain. God is the pain of the fear of death. Whoever conquers pain and fear will himself become God.”
Fyodor Dostoyevsky

Alexander Pushkin
“...es insoportable ver solo ante si la larga hilera de comidas, mirar la vida como una ceremonia y seguir a la solemne multitud, sin compartir con ella las opiniones generales ni las pasiones.”
Alexander Pushkin, Eugene Onegin

Stacy Schiff
“Briefly (Vladimir Nabokov) caught the (Superman) fever too, composing a poem, now lost, on the the Man of Steel's wedding night.”
Stacy Schiff, Vera

Mikhail Bulgakov
“—Camarada profesor —respondió Fatum—, palabra de honor que me está volviendo loco. Le digo que es imprescindible reanudar en el país la cría de gallinas, En el extranjero están escribiendo toda clase de abominaciones sobre nosotros. Así es.
—Pues que las escriban...
—Bueno, ya sabe —respondió Fatum en tono enigmático y sacudió la cabeza.
—Me gustaría saber a quién se la ha ocurrido la idea de criar gallinas en los huevos...
—A mí.
—Vaya... En fin... Y ¿por qué, si puede saberse? ¿Cómo ha averiguado las propiedades del rayo?
—Estuve en su conferencia, profesor.
—¡Todavía no he hecho nada con huevos, sólo me dispongo a hacerlo!
—Ya verá como todo saldrá bien —dijo Fatum con repentina convicción y cordialidad—, su rayo es tan notable que podría criar incluso elefantes, no solo pollitos".”
Mikhail Bulgakov, The Fatal Eggs

“A she-wolf teaches her cubs: "Bite like I do," and that's enough. A she-rabbit teaches her offspring: "Run like I do," and that's also enough. But a man teaches his children: "Think like I do," and that's a crime.”
Brothers Strugatsky

Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn
“Nineteenth-century Russian literature, swooning with compassion for the suffering brother, had created for Nerzhin, and for everyone reading it for the first time, the image of a haloed, silvery-haired People, embodying all wisdom, moral purity, and spiritual grandeur.
But that was far away, on bookshelves; it was somewhere else, in the villages and fields at the crossroads of the nineteenth century. The heavens unfolded, the twentieth century came, and those places had long since ceased to exist under Russian skies.”
Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, The First Circle

Fyodor Dostoyevsky
“Es gibt wenige Orte, wo sich so viele trübe, starke, seltsame Momente, die auf die menschliche Seele wirken, vereinigt finden, wie in Petersburg.”
Fyodor Dostoyevsky

Fyodor Dostoyevsky
“Und ich weiß jetzt, Sofia, daß, wer kräftig und stark ist an Geist und Verstand, daß der auch der Beherrscher der andern ist! Wer viel wagt, der ist nach ihrer Anschauung auch im Recht. Wer der Masse dreist entgegentritt, der gilt ihnen als Gesetzgeber, und wer mehr als alle andern wagt, der hat auch das allergrößte Recht! So ist das bisher gewesen, und so wird das immer sein! Man muß blind sein, um das nicht einzusehen!”
Fyodor Dostoyevsky

Andreï Makine
“As his hands fell upon the keyboard, it was still possible to believe a beautiful harmony had been formed at random, in spite of him. But a second later the music came surging out, the power of it sweeping away all doubts, voices, sounds, wiping away the fixed grins and exchanged glances, pushing back the walls, dispersing the light of the reception room out into the nocturnal immensity of the sky beyond the windows.

He did not feel as if he were playing. He was advancing through a night, breathing in its delicate transparency, made up as it was of an infinite number of facets of ice, of leaves, of wind. He no longer felt any pain. No fear about what would happen. No anguish or remorse. The night through which he was advancing expressed this pain, this fear, and the irremediable shattering of the past, but this had all become music and now only existed through its beauty.”
Andreï Makine, Music of a Life

“Quanto più forte era in me la coscienza del bene e di tutto ciò ch'è "bello e sublime", con tanto più entusiasmo mi lasciavo sprofondare nel mio fango fino a impantanarmici completamente.”
Fédor Dostoïevski, Notas do Submundo

Fyodor Dostoyevsky
“Quanto più forte era in me la coscienza del bene e di tutto ciò ch'è "bello e sublime", con tanto più entusiasmo mi lasciavo sprofondare nel mio fango fino a impantanarmici completamente.”
Fyodor Dostoyevsky

Teffi
“But do you realize that there is a dreadful force that only saints and crazed fanatics can defeat? This force closes all these doors; it makes man revolt against God, scorn science for its impotence, turn a cold shoulder to art and forget how to love… It makes death, that eternal bogeyman, come to seem welcome and blessed. This force is pain. Torturers the world over have always known this. The fear of death can be overcome by reason and by faith. But only saints and fanatics have been able to conquer the fear of pain.”
Teffi, Subtly Worded

Mykola Khvylovy
“Велика російська література не здібна виховати сильну й здорову, цільну й залізну людину, що буде мати крицеві нерви і не полізе рачки від тих ідеалів, які спалахнули в останній революції. Велика російська література не здібна підтримувати огонь надзвичайної віри в правду горожанських баталій, в неминучість приходу "далекої загірньої комуни". І коли московська молодь, в силу важких традицій, не може звільнитися від впливу свого мистецького минулого, то не тягніть в це болото (свідомо чи несвідомо) і наш молодняк.”
Mykola Khvylovy, Україна чи Малоросія

T.S. Eliot
“On his life between 1926-1927: "like a bad Russian novel”
T.S. Eliot

Guillermo Erades
“I admired the way Anton Pavlovich didn’t seem so much interested in telling a story as in conveying a nastroeniye – a mood or atmosphere. Anton Pavlovich is the master of nastroeniye, Lyudmila Aleksandrovna had told me, and he certainly was, capturing in his writing the essence of late nineteenth-century Russia.”
Guillermo Erades, Back to Moscow

Leo Tolstoy
“Sí, todo era equivocado, pensó, pero no importa. Se puede, es posible hacer lo otro. Pero se preguntó, ¿qué es lo otro?, y de repente se quedó sosegado.”
Leo Tolstoy, La muerte de Ivan Ilich / Iván el tonto

“Well, I maintain that we haven't one single Russian Socialist; there are none and there have never been, for all our Socialists are also landowners or divinity students. All our notorious and professed Socialists, both here and abroad, are nothing more than Liberals from the landed gentry of the serf-owning days.”
Dostoyevsky

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