Siberia Quotes

Quotes tagged as "siberia" Showing 1-25 of 25
Haruki Murakami
“Have you heard of the illness hysteria siberiana? Try to imagine this: You're a farmer, living all alone on the Siberian tundra. Day after day you plow your fields. As far as the eye can see, nothing. To the north, the horizon, to the east, the horizon, to the south, to the west, more of the same. Every morning, when the sun rises in the east, you go out to work in your fields. When it's directly overhead, you take a break for lunch. When it sinks in the west, you go home to sleep. And then one day, something inside you dies. Day after day you watch the sun rise in the east, pass across the sky, then sink in the west, and something breaks inside you and dies. You toss your plow aside and, your head completely empty of thought, begin walking toward the west. Heading toward a land that lies west of the sun. Like someone, possessed, you walk on, day after day, not eating or drinking, until you collapse on the ground and die. That's hysteria siberiana.”
Haruki Murakami, South of the Border, West of the Sun

Anton Chekhov
“Even in Siberia there is happiness.”
Anton Chekhov

Angela Carter
“Outside the window, there slides past that unimaginable and deserted vastness where night is coming on, the sun declining in ghastly blood-streaked splendour like a public execution across, it would seem, half a continent, where live only bears and shooting stars and the wolves who lap congealing ice from water that holds within it the entire sky. All white with snow as if under dustsheets, as if laid away eternally as soon as brought back from the shop, never to be used or touched. Horrors! And, as on a cyclorama, this unnatural spectacle rolls past at twenty-odd miles an hour in a tidy frame of lace curtains only a little the worse for soot and drapes of a heavy velvet of dark, dusty blue.”
Angela Carter, Nights at the Circus

Ian Frazier
“Sometimes travel is merely an opportunity taken when you can.”
Ian Frazier, Travels in Siberia

Ian Frazier
“Siberia is so big, it’s almost more an idea than a place”
Ian Frazier

Anthony Marra
“No one likes a braggart, and to praise your children is to curse them with misfortune, but we admit it, if only in secret, if only to ourselves: We are proud, we are so proud of them. We've given them all we can, but our greatest gift has been to imprint upon them our own ordinariness. They may begrudge us, may think us unambitious and narrow-minded, but someday they will realize that what makes them unremarkable is what kept them alive.”
Anthony Marra, The Tsar of Love and Techno

Varlam Shalamov
“If bones could freeze, then the brain could also be dulled and the soul could freeze over. And the soul shuddered and froze- perhaps to remain frozen forever.”
Varlam Shalamov, Kolyma Tales

Ian Frazier
“It reflects like an optical instrument and responds to changes in the weather so sensitively that it seems like a part of the sky rather than of the land. And along with all that, Baikal is distinctly Asiatic: if a camel caravan could somehow transport Baikal across Siberia to Europe, and curious buyers unwrapped it in a marketplace, none would mistake it for a lake from around there.”
Ian Frazier, Travels in Siberia

Christopher Hitchens
“Even in former days, Korea was known as the 'hermit kingdom' for its stubborn resistance to outsiders. And if you wanted to create a totally isolated and hermetic society, northern Korea in the years after the 1953 'armistice' would have been the place to start. It was bounded on two sides by the sea, and to the south by the impregnable and uncrossable DMZ, which divided it from South Korea. Its northern frontier consisted of a long stretch of China and a short stretch of Siberia; in other words its only contiguous neighbors were Mao and Stalin. (The next-nearest neighbor was Japan, historic enemy of the Koreans and the cruel colonial occupier until 1945.) Add to that the fact that almost every work of man had been reduced to shards by the Korean War. Air-force general Curtis LeMay later boasted that 'we burned down every town in North Korea,' and that he grounded his bombers only when there were no more targets to hit anywhere north of the 38th parallel. Pyongyang was an ashen moonscape. It was Year Zero. Kim Il Sung could create a laboratory, with controlled conditions, where he alone would be the engineer of the human soul.”
Christopher Hitchens, Love, Poverty, and War: Journeys and Essays

David K. Shipler
“The day I arrived in Yakutsk with my colleague Peter Osnos of The Washington Post, it was 46 below. When our plane landed, the door was frozen solidly shut, and it took about half an hour for a powerful hot-air blower- standard equipment at Siberian airports- to break the icy seal. Stepping outside was like stepping onto another planet, for at those low temperatures nothing seems quite normal. The air burns. Sounds are brittle. Every breath hovers in a strangle slow-motion cloud, adding to the mist of ice that pervades the city and blurs the sun. When the breath freezes into ice dust and falls almost silently to the ground, Siberians call it the whisper of stars.”
David K. Shipler, Russia: Broken Idols, Solemn Dreams

Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn
“They dream of the happiness of stretching out one's legs and of the relief one feels after going to the toilet. In Orotukan the earth thaws only in the summer and only to the depth of three feet—and only then can they bury the bones of those who died during the winter. And you have the right to arrange your own life under the blue sky and the hot sun, to get a drink of water, to stretch, to travel wherever you like without a convoy [escort]. So what's this about unwiped feet? And what's this about a mother-in-law? What about the main thing in life, all its riddles? If you want, I'll spell it out for you right now. Do not pursue what is illusory—property and position: all that is gained at the expense of your nerves decade after decade, and is confiscated in one fell night. Live with a steady superiority over life—don't be afraid of misfortune, and do not yearn after happiness; it is, after all, all the same: the bitter doesn't last forever, and the sweet never fills the cup to overflowing. It is enough if you don't freeze in the cold and if thirst and hunger don't claw at your insides. If your back isn't broken, if your feet can walk, if both arms can bend, if both eyes see, if both ears hear, then whom should you envy? And why? Our envy of others devours us most of all. Rub your eyes and purify your heart—and prize above all else in the world those who love you and who wish you well. Do not hurt them or scold them, and never part from any of them in anger; after all, you simply do not know: it may be your last act before your arrest, and that will be how you are imprinted in their memory!”
Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, The Gulag Archipelago, 1918 - 1956: An Experiment in Literary Investigation, Books I-II

Jules Verne
“Friend," replied Michael Strogoff, "Heaven reward thee for all thou hast done for me!"
"Only fools expect reward on earth," replied the mujik.”
Jules Verne

Hunter Blacke
“Our Freedoms come from those that keep our beliefs, our ideology, and lifestyle safe. You may never know who they are but salute their presence. Their only glory is knowing we recognize their efforts even if they are but ghosts.”
Hunter Blacke, TROIKA: Operation Siberia: Operatives Spies and Assassins

Boris Pasternak
“This was the sickness of the age, the revolutionary madness of the epoch. In thought everyone was different from his words and outward show. No one had a clear conscience. Each with good reason could feel himself guilty, a secret criminal, an unexposed deceiver.”
Boris Pasternak, Doctor Zhivago

“Russia is usually readier to ascribe misfortune to conspiracies rather than to the more probable screwup.”
Dominic Ziegler, Black Dragon River: A Journey Down the Amur River at the Borderlands of Empires

Fyodor Dostoevsky
“I shall humble myself before people and whimper at every word that I am a criminal? Yes, that's it, that's it, that's what they are sending me there for, that's what they want. Look at them running to and fro about the streets, every one of them a scoundrel and a criminal at heart and, worse still, an idiot. But try to get me off and they'd be wild with righteous indignation. Oh, how I hate them all!”
Fyodor Dostoyevsky, Crime and Punishment

“Oli veel üks proosalisem selgitus, miks reisil nähtud inimesed polnud nii hirmunud nagu nende kaasmaalased lääne pool Uuraleid. Kuna nad olid sündinud siberlased, ei ähvardanud neid Siberisse küüditamise oht.”
Irena Wiley, Kahekümne aastaga ümber maailma

Ryszard Kapuściński
“There is something in this January Siberian landscape that overpowers, oppresses, stuns. Above all, it is its enormity, its boundlessness, its oceanic limitlessness. The earth has no end here; the world has no end. Man is no created for such measureless. For him a comfortable, palpable, serviceable measure is the measure of his village, his field, street, house. At sea, the size of the ship's deck will be such a measure. Man is created for the kind of space that he can traverse at one try, with a single effort.”
Ryszard Kapuściński, Imperium

Ian Frazier
“Then a beat-up car lurched into sight towing an even more beat-up car. As the cars came near, I saw that they were connected back to front by a loop made of two seat belts buckled to each other. That was the only time I ever saw a Russian use a seat belt for any purpose at all.”
Ian Frazier, Travels in Siberia

C.G. Faulkner
“Aleksandr’s match with the big Mongolian known only as ‘Genghis’ had been going for over eight minutes. No prior fighter had lasted more than two minutes. They circled each other like two Bengal tigers that had both happened upon the same prey after weeks of starvation.”
C.G. Faulkner, White Room: A Cold War Thriller

Ewan McGregor
“Andava tão em baixo que tinha perdido a confiança e já sentia o estômago às reviravoltas perante a perspetiva das estradas no Cazaquistão, Mongólia e Sibéria. Quanto a mim, esses três nomes representavam a parte fundamental da nossa aventura e só poderíamos voltar a respirar de alívio quando a tivéssemos ultrapassado.”
Ewan McGregor, Long Way Round: Chasing Shadows Across the World

Andrew Drummond
“What lay to the east of Siberia was in the eighteenth century uncharted, uncivilised and, most importantly, uncolonised. It was all too tempting. For a period of almost eighty years, between 1725 and the end of the century, adventurous gentlemen from the Russian Empire - military, academic, mercantile, or simply mercenary - embarked upon voyages of exploration to map the coastlines and islands, investigate and civilise the native peoples, and seek out trading opportunities.”
Andrew Drummond, The Intriguing Life and Ignominious Death of Maurice Benyovszky

Sara Wheeler
“The sun never sets there [Siberia] - one end wakes up when the other is going to sleep. In parts it is so cold that living trees explode with a sound like gunfire...”
Sara Wheeler, Mud and Stars: Travels in Russia with Pushkin, Tolstoy, and Other Geniuses of the Golden Age

Sara Wheeler
“[it was] perceived that it was easier to rise upwards east of the Urals. A man who left Russia as a common soldier became a sergeant in Tobolsk, a captain in Yakutsk and a colonel in Kamchatka.”
Sara Wheeler, Mud and Stars: Travels in Russia with Pushkin, Tolstoy, and Other Geniuses of the Golden Age

Sara Wheeler
“Their [500 Siberian Tribes] presence predated Russians by thousands of years. Yet they are routinely referred to as 'half-thawed humanity' and 'descendants of fish'...”
Sara Wheeler, Mud and Stars: Travels in Russia with Pushkin, Tolstoy, and Other Geniuses of the Golden Age