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

What is to be done? There was no solution, but the universal solution which life gives to all questions, even the most complex and insoluble. The answer is: one must live in the needs of the day -- that is, forget oneself.

When he was dressed, Stepan Arkadyevitch sprinkled some scent on himself, pulled down his shirt-cuffs, distributed into his pockets his cigarettes, pocketbook, matches, and watch with its double chain and seals, and shaking out his handkerchief, feeling himself clean, fragrant, healthy, and physically at ease, in spite of his unhappiness, he walked with a slight swing on each leg into the dining-room, where coffee was already waiting for him, and beside the coffee, letters and papers from the office.

Where there is law there is injustice.

Without the support from religion--remember, we talked about it--no father, using only his own resources, would be able to bring up a child.

What a terrible thing war is, what a terrible thing!

What you are looking at me? Both love, as his vanity satisfaction.

When I came to you out of all that dust and heat and toil, I positively smelt violets at once. But not the sweet violet - you know, that early dark violet that smells of melting snow and spring grass.

Which is worse? the wolf who cries before eating the lamb or the wolf who does not.

Woman is deprived of rights from lack of education, and the lack of education results from the absence of rights. We must not forget that the subjection of women is so complete, and dates from such ages back that we are often unwilling to recognize the gulf that separates them from us.

What am I coming for? he repeated, looking straight into her eyes. You know that I have come to be where you are, he said; I can't help it.

What you spoke of just now was a mistake, not love.

When it is impossible to stretch the very elastic threads of historical ratiocination any farther, when actions are clearly contrary to all that humanity calls right or even just, the historians produce a saving conception of ?greatness.? ?Greatness,? it seems, excludes the standards of right and wrong. For the ?great? man nothing is wrong, there is no atrocity for which a ?great? man can be blamed.

While I recognize that the best Srdarany Sbkray and narrow-minded people and have been abstracted. Must be hard to believe that the narrowness of man that is very important. This will only embolden Sardari... good character who strive to reward their good deeds in this world to see. But many of our political institutions fulfill these intentions, bright open ends. What should I do in this situation? No, we're not going to go this way.

Woman is more impressionable than man. Therefore in the Golden Age they were better than men. Now they are worse.

What are wanted for the Indian as for the Englishman, the Frenchman, the German, and the Russian, are not Constitutions and Revolutions, nor all sorts of Conferences and Congresses, nor the many ingenious devices for submarine navigation and aerial navigation, nor powerful explosives, nor all sorts of conveniences to add to the enjoyment of the rich, ruling classes; nor new schools and universities with innumerable faculties of science, nor an augmentation of papers and books, nor gramophones and cinematographs, nor those childish and for the most part corrupt stupidities termed art ? but one thing only is needful: the knowledge of the simple and clear truth which finds place in every soul that is not stupefied by religious and scientific superstitions ? the truth that for our life one law is valid ? the law of love, which brings the highest happiness to every individual as well as to all mankind. Free your minds from those overgrown, mountainous imbecilities which hinder your recognition of it, and at once the truth will emerge from amid the pseudo-religious nonsense that has been smothering it: the indubitable, eternal truth inherent in man, which is one and the same in all the great religions of the world. It will in due time emerge and make its way to general recognition, and the nonsense that has obscured it will disappear of itself, and with it will go the evil from which humanity now suffers.

Whatever answers faith gives, regardless of which faith, or to whom the answers are given, such answers always give an infinite meaning to the finite existence of man; a meaning that is not destroyed by suffering, deprivation or death. This means that only in faith can we find the meaning and possibility of life. I realized that the essential meaning of faith lies not only in the ?manifestations of things unseen?, and so on, or in revelation (this is only a description of one of the signs of faith); nor is it simply the relationship between man and God (it is necessary to define faith, then God, and not God through faith); nor is it an agreement with what one has been told, although this is what faith is commonly understood to be. Faith is a knowledge of the meaning of human life, the consequence of which is that man does not kill himself but lives. Faith is the force of life. If a man lives, then he must believe in something. If he did not believe that there was something he must live for he would not live. If he does not see and comprehend the illusion of the finite he will believe in the finite. If he does understand the illusion of the finite, he is bound to believe in the infinite. Without faith it is impossible to live.

When Levin thought what he was and what he was living for, he could find no answer to the questions and was reduced to despair; but when he left off questioning himself about it, it seemed as though he knew both what he was and what he was living for, acting and living resolutely and without hesitation.

While imprisoned in the shed Pierre had learned not with his intellect but with his whole being, by life itself, that man is created for happiness, that happiness is within him, in the satisfaction of simple human needs, and that all unhappiness arises not from privation but from superfluity. And now during these last three weeks of the march he had learned still another new, consolatory truth- that nothing in this world is terrible. He had learned that as there is no condition in which man can be happy and entirely free, so there is no condition in which he need be unhappy and lack freedom. He learned that suffering and freedom have their limits and that those limits are very near together....

Women are the pivot around which everything revolves.

Three days later the little princess was buried, and Prince Andrew went up the steps to where the coffin stood, to give her the farewell kiss. And there in the coffin was the same face, though with closed eyes. Ah, what have you done to me? it still seemed to say, and Prince Andrew felt that something gave way in his soul and that he was guilty of a sin he could neither remedy nor forget.

Today, nobody sees, or wishes to see, that in our time the enslavement of the majority of men is based on money taxes, levied on land and otherwise, which are collected by government from the subjects.

Was it by reason that I attained the knowledge that I must love my neighbor and not throttle him? They told me so when I was a child, and I gladly believed it, because they told me what was already in my soul. But who discovered it? Not reason! Reason has discovered the struggle for existence and the law that I must throttle all those who hinder the satisfaction of my desires. That is the deduction reason makes. But the law of loving others could not be discovered by reason, because it is unreasonable.

We love people not so much for the good they've done us, as for the good we've done them.

To claim that the supernatural and irrational form the basic characteristics of religion is much the same as noticing only the rotten apples and then claiming that the basic features of the fruit named apple are a flaccid bitterness and a harmful effect produced in the stomach.

True religion is that relationship, in accordance with reason and knowledge which man establishes with the infinite world around him, and which binds his life to that infinity and guides his actions.

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"