Leo Tolstoy, aka Count Lev Nikolayevich Tolstoy or Tolstoi

Leo
Tolstoy, aka Count Lev Nikolayevich Tolstoy or Tolstoi
1828
1910

Russian Essayist, Realistic Fiction Novelist and Playwright, best known for novels "War and Peace" and "Anna Karenina"

Author Quotes

Work is the inevitable condition of human life, the true source of human welfare.

What can I want? All I can want is that you should not desert me, as you think of doing, she said, understanding all he had not uttered. But that I don't want; that's secondary. I want love, and there is none. So then all is over.

Whatever our fate is or may be, we have made it and do not complain of it.

When one's head is gone one doesn't weep over one's hair!

Why do I live? In the infinity of space and infinity of time infinitely small particles mutate with infinite complexity. When you understand the laws of these mutations, you'll understand why you live.

Writing laws is easy, but governing is difficult.

What counts in making a happy marriage is not so much how compatible you are but how you deal with incompatibility.

Whatever question arose, a swarm of these drones, without having finished their buzzing on a previous theme, flew over to the new one and by their hum drowned and obscured the voices of those who were disputing honestly.

When politics and home life have become one and the same thing, ... then... it is evident that we will be in a state of total liberty or anarchy.

Why does an apple fall when it is ripe? Is it brought down by the force of gravity? Is it because its stalk withers? Because it is dried by the sun, because it grows too heavy, or because the boy standing under the tree wants to eat it? None of these is the cause... Every action of theirs, that seems to them an act of their own freewill is in the historical sense not free at all but is bound up with the whole course of history and preordained from all eternity.

Wrong does not cease to be wrong because the majority share in it.

What dwells in man I already knew. Now I learnt what is not given him. It is not given to man to know his own needs.

What's all this love of arguing? No one ever convinces anyone else.

When she heard this Sonya blushed so that tears came into her eyes and, unable to bear the looks turned upon her, ran away into the dancing hall, whirled round it at full speed with her dress puffed out like a balloon, and, flushed and smiling, plumped down on the floor.

Why is gambling forbidden while women in costumes which evoke sensuality are not forbidden? They are a thousand times more dangerous!

What energy! I thought. 'Man has conquered everything, and destroyed millions of plants, yet this one won't submit.

What's happened is that I'm waiting for visitors, and I is not waiting for guests, and nothing happened, but I ask you to go

When the examination was over, the doctor looked at his watch, and then Praskovya Fyodorovna informed Ivan Ilyich that it must of course be as he liked, but she had sent today for a celebrated doctor, and that he would examine him, and have a consultation with Mihail Danilovich (that was the name of his regular doctor). 'Don't oppose it now, please. This I'm doing entirely for my own sake,' she said ironically, meaning it to be understood that she was doing it all for his sake, and was only saying this to give him no right to refuse her request. He lay silent, knitting his brows. He felt that he was hemmed in by such a tangle of falsity that it was hard to disentangle anything from it. Everything she did for him was entirely for her own sake, and she told him she was doing for her own sake what she actually was doing for her own sake as something so incredible that he would take it as meaning the opposite.

Why nowadays there's a new fashion every day.

What I think about vivisection is that if people admit that they have the right to take or endanger the life of living beings for the benefit of many, there will be no limit to their cruelty.

What's this? Am I falling? My legs are giving way under me, he thought, and fell on his back. He opened his eyes, hoping to see how the struggle of the French soldiers with the artilleryman was ending, and eager to know whether the red-haired gunner artilleryman was killed or not, whether the cannons had been taken or saved. But he saw nothing of all that. Above him there was nothing but the sky ? the lofty sky, not clear, but still immeasurably lofty, with gray clouds creeping quietly over it.

When the Indians complain that the English have enslaved them it is as if drunkards complained that the spirit-dealers who have settled among them have enslaved them. You tell them that they might give up drinking, but they reply that they are so accustomed to it that they cannot abstain, and that they must have alcohol to keep up their energy. Is it not the same thing with the millions of people who submit to thousands or even to hundreds, of others ? of their own or other nations? If the people of India are enslaved by violence it is only because they themselves live and have lived by violence, and do not recognize the eternal law of love inherent in humanity.

Wisdom needs no violence...As it is we have played at war ? that?s what?s vile! We play at magnanimity and all that stuff. Such magnanimity and sensibility are like the magnanimity and sensibility of a lady who faints when she sees a calf being killed: she is so kindhearted that she can?t look at blood, but enjoys eating the calf served up with sauce?If there was none of this magnanimity in war, we should go to war only when it was worthwhile going to certain death, as it is now. Then there would not be war because Paul Ivanovich had offended Michael Ivanovich.

What is bad? What is good? What should one love, what hate? Why live, and what am I? What is lie, what is death? What power rules over everything? he asked himself. And there was no answer to any of these questions except one, which was not logical and was not at all an answer to these questions. This answer was: You will die--and everything will end. You will die and learn everything--or stop asking.

When a man sees a dying animal, horror comes over him: that which he himself is, his essence, is obviously being annihilated before his eyes--is ceasing to be. But when the dying one is a person, and a beloved person, then, besides a sense of horror at the annihilation of life, there is a feeling of severance and a spiritual wound which, like a physical wound, sometimes kills and sometimes heals, but always hurts and fears any external, irritating touch.

Author Picture
First Name
Leo
Last Name
Tolstoy, aka Count Lev Nikolayevich Tolstoy or Tolstoi
Birth Date
1828
Death Date
1910
Bio

Russian Essayist, Realistic Fiction Novelist and Playwright, best known for novels "War and Peace" and "Anna Karenina"