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

We are all created to be miserable, and that we all know it, and all invent means of deceiving each other. And when one sees the truth, what is one to do?

We will never be friends, you know very well. We will be the happiest or the most miserable. Up to you... I only ask one thing: let me entertain expectations and continue to suffer as before. And if that's not possible, command me to disappear and disappear. You'll never see me if my presence is so annoying.

This foolish smile he could not forgive himself.

To Konstantin, the peasant was simply the chief partner in their common labor.

Vronsky is one of the sons of Count Kirill Ivanovitch Vronsky, and one of the finest specimens of the gilded youth of Petersburg.

We are asleep until we fall in Love!

Wealth brings a heavy purse; poverty, a light spirit.

This history of culture will explain to us the motives, the conditions of life, and the thought of the writer or reformer.

To live in the needs of the day, find forgetfulness.

Vronsky saw nothing and no one. He felt himself as a king, not because she had made an impression on Anna-he did not yet believe that-but because the impression she had made on him gave him happiness and pride.

We are forced to fall back on fatalism as an explanation of irrational events (that is to say, events the reasonableness of which we do not understand).

Wealth is a great sin in the eyes of God. Poverty is a great sin in the eyes of man.

This is tantamount to saying, my hand is weak. I cannot draw a straight line,?that is, a line which will be the shortest line between two given points,?and so, in order to make it more easy for myself, I, intending to draw a straight, will choose for my model a crooked line. The weaker my hand, the greater the need that my model should be perfect.

To love life is to love God. Harder and more blessed than all else is to love this life in one's sufferings, in undeserved sufferings.

Vronsky went into the car behind the conductor and at the entrance of the compartment he stopped to give way to a lady coming out. As usual tact man of the world, from one look to the outward appearance of this lady Vronsky judged in so certain that she belonged to high society. He apologized and was about to go in the car, but he felt the need to look at it again, not because she was very nice, not to the one that elegance and modest grace which could be seen in his whole person, but because in the expression leggiardo of the face, when she had passed by, there was something peculiarly caressing and tender. When he turned to look at her, she too turned her head. The sparkling gray eyes, which sembravan blacks for thick lashes, they stopped amicably, with a focus on his face, as if she recognized him, and immediately brought the crowd as he walked, as if looking for someone. Vronsky had time to notice the restrained animation that flashed on her face and fluttered between sparkling eyes and the faint smile that curved away her red lips. As if an abundance of something so colmasse his being, to be expressed outside of his control now in the twinkling of the eye, now in her smile. She had deliberately turned off the light in his eyes, but it shone against his will in the barely perceptible smile.

We can know only that we know nothing. And that is the highest degree of human wisdom.

Well Prince, so Genoa and Lucca are now just family estates of the Buonapartes. But I warn you, if you don't tell me that this means war, if you still try to defend the infamies and horrors perpetrated by that Antichrist? and I really believe he is Antichrist?I will have nothing more to do with you and you are no longer my friend, no longer my 'faithful slave', as you call yourself! But how are you? I see I have frightened you?sit down and tell me all the news.

Those are the men,' added Bolkonsky with a sigh which he could not suppress, as they went out of the palace, 'those are the men who decide the fate of nations.

To love one's neighbors, to love one's enemies, to love everything - to love God in all His manifestations - human love serves to love those dear to us but to love one's enemies we need divine love.

Vronsky, meanwhile, in spite of the complete realization of what he had so long desired, was not perfectly happy. He soon felt that the realization of his desires gave him no more than a grain of sand out of the mountain of happiness he had expected. It showed him the mistake men make in picturing to themselves happiness as the realization of their desires. For a time after joining his life to hers, and putting on civilian dress, he had felt all the delight of freedom in general, of which he had known nothing before, and of freedom in his love ? and he was content, but not for long. He was soon aware that there was springing up in his heart a desire for desires ? longing. Without conscious intention he began to clutch at every passing caprice, taking it for a desire and an object.

We cannot pretend that we do not see the armed policeman who marches up and down beneath our window to guarantee our security while we eat our luxurious dinner, or look at the new piece at the theater, or that we are unaware of the existence of the soldiers who will make their appearance with guns and cartridges directly our property is attacked. We know very well that we are only allowed to go on eating our dinner, to finish seeing the new play, or to enjoy to the end the ball, the Christmas fete, the promenade, the races or, the hunt, thanks to the policeman's revolver or the soldier's rifle, which will shoot down the famished outcast who has been robbed of his share, and who looks round the corner with covetous eyes at our pleasures, ready to interrupt them instantly, were not policeman and soldier there prepared to run up at our first call for help. And therefore just as a brigand caught in broad daylight in the act cannot persuade us that he did not lift his knife in order to rob his victim of his purse, and had no thought of killing him, we too, it would seem, cannot persuade ourselves or others that the soldiers and policemen around us are not to guard us, but only for defense against foreign foes, and to regulate traffic and fetes and reviews; we cannot persuade ourselves and others that we do not know that the men do not like dying of hunger, bereft of the right to gain their subsistence from the earth on which they live; that they do not like working underground, in the water, or in the stifling heat, for ten to fourteen hours a day, at night in factories to manufacture objects for our pleasure. One would imagine it impossible to deny what is so obvious. Yet it is denied.

Those joys were so small that they passed unnoticed, like gold in sand, and at bad moments she could see nothing but the pain, nothing but sand; but there were good moments too when she saw nothing but the joy, nothing but gold.

To say that a work of art is good, but incomprehensible to the majority of men, is the same as saying of some kind of food that it is very good but that most people can't eat it.

Wait, wait,' he began, interrupting Oblonsky. 'Aristocratism, you say. But allow me to ask, what makes up this aristocratism of Vronsky or whoever else it may be - such aristocratism that I can be scorned? You consider Vronsky an aristocrat, but I don't. A man whose father crept out of nothing by wiliness, whose mother, God knows who she didn't have liaisons with... No, excuse me, but I consider myself an aristocrat and people like myself, who can point to three or four honest generations in their families' past, who had a high degree of education (talent and intelligence are another thing), and who never lowered themselves before anyone, never depended on anyone, as my father lived, and my grandfather. And I know many like that. You find it mean that I count the trees in the forest, while you give away thirty thousand to Ryabinin; but you'll have rent coming in and I don't know what else, while I won't, and so I value what I've inherited and worked for... We're the aristocrats, and not someone who can only exist on hand-outs from the mighty of this world and can be bought for twenty kopecks.

We do not love people so much for the good they have done us, as for the good we do them

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"