Monday, August 12, 2013

#Quotes: Quotes from Leo Tolstoy's Anna Karenina*

All happy families resemble one another, but each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way. [1]

Yet, as often happens between men who have chosen different pursuits, each, while in argument justifying the other's activity, despised it in the depth of his heart. [16]

The aim of civilisation is to enable us to get enjoyment out of everything. [35]

Oh, you moralist! But just consider, here are two women: one insists only on her rights, and her rights are your love, which you cannot give her; and the other sacrifices herself and demands nothing. What are you to do? How are you to act? It is a terrible tragedy. [41]

You know that capitalism oppresses the workers. Our workmen the peasants bear the whole burden of labour, but are so placed that, work as they may, they cannot escape from their degrading condition. All the profits on their labour, by which they might better their condition, give themselves some leisure, and consequently gain some education, all this surplus value is taken away by the capitalists. And our society has so shaped itself that the more the people work the richer the merchants and landowners will become, while the people will remain beasts of burden for ever. And this system must be changed. [86]

What you are saying is wrong, and if you are a good man, I beg you to forget it, as I will forget it. [101]

No, joking apart, I believe that to understand love one must first make a mistake and then correct it. [135]

I think ... if it is true that there are as many minds as there are heads, then there are as many kinds of love as there are hearts. [135-6]

By digging into our souls, we often dig up what might better have remained there unnoticed. Your feelings concern your conscience, but it is my duty is to you, to myself, and to God, to point out to you your duties. Our lives are bound together not by men but by God. This bond can only be broken by a crime, and that kind of crime brings its punishment. [144]

Woman, you see, is an object of such a kind that study it as much as you will, it is always quite new. [159]

Some mathematician has said pleasure lies not in discovering truth but in seeking it. [159]

Pretence about anything sometimes deceives teh wisest and shrewdest man, but however cunningly it is hidden, a child of the meanest capacity feels it and is repelled by it. [263]

There are no Communists whatever, But scheming people always have invented and always will invent some harmful and dangerous Party. That's an old trick. [306]

Yes, if you had to carry a load and use your hands at the same time, it would be possible only if the load were strapped on your back: and that is marriage. I found that out when I married. I suddenly had my hands free. But if you drag that load without marriage, your hands are so full that you can do nothing else. [307]

The fact of the matter is, you see, that progress can only be achieved by authority.. [326]

The people are on so low a level both of material and moral development that they are certain to oppose what is good for them. [331]

I shall die and I am very glad that I shall die: I shall find deliverance and deliver you. [355]

He who desires a result accepts the means of obtaining it. [363]

While I was in doubt it was hard, but not so hard as it is now. While I doubted, I had hope; but now there is no hope left and all the same I doubt everything. I doubt everything so much that I hate my son, and sometimes believe he is not my son. I am very unhappy. [387-8]

One may save a person who does not wish to perish; but if a nature is so spoilt and depraved that it regards ruin as salvation, what can one do? [388]

Love them that hate you, but you can't love them whom you hate. [389]

I have heard it said that women love men for their very faults ... but I hate him for his virtues. [420]

He soon felt that the realization of his longing gave him only one grain of the mountain of bliss he had anticipated. That realization showed him the eternal the eternal error men make by imagining that happiness consists in the gratification of their wishes. [462]

For a moment he felt like a man who, receiving a blow from behind, angrily and revengefully turns round to find his assailant and realizes that he has accidentally knocked himself, that there is no one to be angry wtih and that he must endure and try to still the pain. [479]

He said, addressing himself to God, 'If Thou dost exist, heal this man (such things have often happened), and Thou wilt save both him and me!' [496]

It is possible to sit for some hours with one's legs doubled up without changing one's position if one knows there is nothing to prevent one's doing so, but if a man knows that he must sit with his legs doubled up he will get cramp, and his legs will begin to jerk and strain in the direction in which he would like to stretch them. [524]

What is dishonourable is the acquisition by wrong means: by cunning ... such as the profits made by banks - the acquisition of enormous wealth without work, just as in the days of the drink-monopolists, - only the form has changed. [581]

The first glass you drive in like a stake, the second flies like a crake, and after the third they fly like wee little birds. [666-7]

The one thing needful was to have money in the bank, without asking whence it came, so as to be always sure of the wherewithal to get tomorrow's beef. [667]

He wishes to give me proofs that his love of me must not interfere with his freedom. But I don't need proofs; I need love! [694]

There are no conditions of life to which a man cannot accustom himself, especially if he sees that every one around him lives in the same way. [696]

Before any definite step can be taken in a household, there must be either complete division or loving accord between husband and wife. When their relations are indefinite it is impossible for them to make any move. [728]

Respect was invented to fill the empty place where love ought to be! [733]

You see, he who sits down to play against me, wishes to leave me without a shirt, and I treat him the same! So we struggle, and therein lies the pleasure! [738]

Oh heavens! How many times! But, you see, some men find it possible to sit down to cards and yet be able to leave when the time comes for an assignation! Now I can engage in lovemaking, but always so as not to be late for cards in the evening. [139]

[T]he struggle for existence and hatred are the only things that unite people. [751]

And where love ceases, there hate begins [752]

Reason has been given to man to enable him to escape from his troubles. [755]

To free one's brothers from oppression is an aim worth both dying and living for. [769]

In an infinity of time, and in infinity of matter, in infinite space, a bubble, a bubble organism, separates itself, and that bubble maintains itself awhile and then bursts, and that bubble is - I. [777]

If goodness has a cause, it is no longer goodness if it has a consequence - a reward, it is also not goodness. Therefore goodness is beyond the chain of cause and effect.
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*Version translated by Louise and Aylmer Maude and published by Wordsworth Classics.
Read the review here

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