One of the most brilliant Russian writers of the twentieth century, Yevgeny Zamyatin belongs to the tradition in Russian literature represented by Gogol, Leskov, Bely, Remizov, and, in certain aspects of their work, also by Babel and Bulgakov. It is a tradition, paradoxically, of experimenters and innovators. Perhaps the principal quality that unites them is their approach to reality and its uses in art - the refusal to be bound by literal fact, the interweaving of reality and fantasy, the transmutation of fact into poetry, often grotesque, oblique, playful, but always expressive of the writer's unique vision of life in his own, unique terms.
In matters of conscience and basic convictions it is unlawful and pernicious for anyone to forcibly intrude upon another's beliefs; therefore, because I am a man of rational convictions, I will not go out and demolish churches, drown monks, or rip down icons from my friends' walls because in so doing I will not spread my convictions; human beings must be educated, not coerced, I am not the enemy, I am not the tyrant of the conscience of true believers.
These ordained atheists cultivate their egoism, the source of every atheist's activity, but they defile it and it becomes repulsive whereas the egoism of good atheists is a beautiful principle. They preach raging sermons not because they fear for the eternal damnation of their fold, but because they fear for the eternal damnation of their gold; before every sermon they feel their pockets to see if there's a hole, and if there is, they mend it with a sermon instead of a patch.
As his hands fell upon the keyboard, it was still possible to believe a beautiful harmony had been formed at random, in spite of him. But a second later the music came surging out, the power of it sweeping away all doubts, voices, sounds, wiping away the fixed grins and exchanged glances, pushing back the walls, dispersing the light of the reception room out into the nocturnal immensity of the sky beyond the windows.He did not feel as if he were playing. He was advancing through a night, breathing in its delicate transparency, made up as it was of an infinite number of facets of ice, of leaves, of wind. He no longer felt any pain. No fear about what would happen. No anguish or remorse. The night through which he was advancing expressed this pain, this fear, and the irremediable shattering of the past, but this had all become music and now only existed through its beauty.
I don't know what you have thought of. Everyone thinks to the extent of his depravity... #HenriettaLedyanova. #ItalianPassion
You are like the winged goddess from Greek mythology. As beautiful and soaring like an angel as her. #MilanoVeneziani. #ItalianPassion:
You've got something that I don't have. Innocence. Ur eyes express it, & I can read everything in them. #MilanoVeneziani. #ItalianPassion
You are like the winged goddess from Greek mythology. As beautiful and soaring like an angel as her. #MilanoVeneziani. #ItalianPassion
Although I think the word pleasure is unknown to you. More precisely, its practical meaning. #MilanoVeneziani. #ItalianPassion
I cannot perceive that you're still a girl. Ur kisses don't seem so innocent. They just drive me crazy! #MilanoVeneziani. #ItalianPassion
But man is a fickle and disreputable creature and perhaps, like a chess-player, is interested in the process of attaining his goal rather than the goal itself.
Florence, listen to me carefully.... Take whatever that agent offers you. Give him what he wants, and don’t ask too many questions. Get yourself an exit visa as soon as you can. Then leave! Disappear. Forget this wretched place
Who is she, after all? Not a member of the Party. Not even a Russian...What can she do, really, but watch the ginger-haired sacrificial lamb get slaughtered? One wrong move and Florence herself might be on the chopping block herself
The immediate difficulty, Florence realised while riding the high rail back to Brooklyn, was how to break the news to her parents, even if she could convince them that being a chaperone to six foreign men was a legitimate occupation for a twenty-three-year-old girl. What choice did she have? A paycheck could not win a girl’s independence
All is in a man's hands and he lets it all slip from cowardice, that's an axiom. It would be interesting to know what it is men are most afraid of. Taking a new step, uttering a new word is what they fear most… .
Margarita was never short of money. She could buy whatever she liked. Her husband had plenty of interesting friends. Margarita never had to cook. Margarita knew nothing of the horrors of living in a shared flat. In short... was she happy? Not for a moment.
Now life is given in exchange for pain and fear, and that's the basis of the whole deception. Now man is still not what he should be. There will e a new man, happy and proud. Whoever doesn't care whether he lives or doesn't live, he himself will be God. And that other God will no longer be.''So, that other God does exist, in your opinion?''He doesn't exist, but he does exist. In the stone there' no pain, but in the fear of the stone there is pain. God is the pain of the fear of death. Whoever conquers pain and fear will himself become God.
In nothing is the difference between the Americans and the Soviets so marked as in the attitude, not only toward writers, but of writers toward their system. For in the Soviet Union the writer's job is to encourage, to celebrate, to explain, and in every way to carry forward the Soviet system. Whereas in America, and in England, a good writer is the watch-dog of society. His job is to satirize its silliness, to attack its injustices, to stigmatize its faults. And this is the reason that in America neither society nor government is very fond of writers. The two are completely opposite approaches toward literature.
The flower, as he saw it, ruled over evil; it absorbed in itself all innocently shed blood (that is why it is so red) all tears and all the gall of humanity. It was an awful and mysterious being, the antitheses of God, an Ahriman presenting a most unassuming and innocent appearance. It was necessary to break it off and kill it. But this was not all; it was also necessary not to permit it at its death to discharge its evil upon the world.
Since the moment when, at the sight of his beloved and dying brother, Levin for the first time looked at the questions of life and death in the light of the new convictions, as he called them, which between the ages of twenty and thirty-four had imperceptibly replaced the beliefs of his childhood and youth, he had been less horrified by death than by life without the least knowledge of whence it came, what it is for, why, and what it is, Organisms, their destruction, the indestructibility of matter, the law of the conservation of energy, development—the terms that had superseded these beliefs—were very useful for mental purposes; but they gave no guidance for life, and Levin suddenly felt like a person who has exchanged a thick fur coat for a muslin garment and who, being out in the frost for the first time, becomes clearly convinced, not by arguments, but with the whole of his being, that he is as good as naked and that he must inevitably perish miserably.
Vronsky meanwhile, in spite of the complete fulfilment of what he had so long desired, was not completely happy. 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 error men make by imagining that happiness consists in the gratification of their wishes. When first he united his life with hers and donned civilian clothes, he felt the delight of freedom in general, such as he had not before known, and also the freedom of love—he was contented then, but not for long. Soon he felt rising in his soul a desire for desires—boredom. Involuntarily he began to snatch at every passing caprice, mistaking it for a desire and a purpose.
God save us from seeing a Russian revolt, senseless and merciless. Those who plot impossible upheavals among us, are either young and do not know our people, or are hard-hearted men who do not care a straw either about their own lives or those of others.
Seeing that I would never manage to fall asleep, I arose, lit a candle, and after dressing went outside.Beneath the dull glow of the winter moon the snow glowed like pale blue china. The sidewalks sparkled weakly beneath the rays of the flickering street lamps; the benumbed streets slumbered forlornly. I walked, passing one corner after the other, and suddenly found myself on the edge of town. Further, beyond the square, an endless expanse began to glisten with a somber silverness.I stopped just before the gates. My intent gaze could distinguish nothing in the distant white expanse. Before me rose the imposing bank of the Volga like a gigantic snowdrift. So barren and uninviting was this deserted view resembling eternity that my heart contracted.I turned to the right and approached quite close to the monastery enclosure. From behind the bronze gates, glimmered a dense net of crosses and gravestones. The ancient eyes of the church gazed forbiddingly down on me, and with an eerie feeling I thought of the monks sleeping at this moment in tomb-like cells together with corpses. Were any of them thinking of the hour of death on this night?(Lamia)
And it has always been a mystery, and I've marveled a thousand times at this ability of man (and, it seems, of the Russian man above all) to cherish the highest ideal in his soul alongside the greatest baseness, and all that in perfect sincerity. --The Adolescent (or, The Raw Youth)
I believe you!' the artiste exclaimed finally and extinguishes his gaze. 'I do! These eyes are not lying! How many times have I told you that your basic error consists in underestimating the significance of the human eye. Understand that the tongue can conceal the truth, but the eyes - never! A sudden question is put to you, you don't even flinch, in one second you get hold of yourself and know what you must say to conceal the truth, and you speak quite convincingly, and not a wrinkle on your face moves, but - alas - the truth which the question stirs up from the bottom of your soul leaps momentarily into your eyes, and it's all over! They see it, and you're caught!
Nezhdanov's heart began to beat violently and he lowered his eyes involuntarily. This girl, who had fallen in love with a homeless wretch like him, who trusted him, who was ready to follow him, to go with him towards one and the same goal — this wonderful girl — Marianna — at that moment was, for Nezhdanov, the embodiment of everything good and just on earth; the embodiment of that love, that of a family, sister or wife, which he had not experienced; the embodiment of homeland, happiness, struggle and freedom.
[P]erhaps the burrows in which our lives were spent really were dark and dirty, and perhaps we ourselves were well suited to these burrows, but in the blue sky above our heads, up among the thinly scattered stars, there were special, artificial points of gleaming light, creeping unhurriedly through the constellations, points created here out of steel, semiconductors, and electricity, and now flying through space. And every one of us, even the blue-faced alcoholic we had passed on the way here, huddling like a toad in a snowdrift, even Mitiok's brother, and of course Mitiok and I — we all had our own little embassy up there in the cold pure blueness.
Son: Father, you are my father. You sired me. I have sired no one because I left the primordial. I left you, I studied, I suffered, and my visions were pure. Before me, my father, new horizons were opened.Father: Yes, I am your father. I sired you and nowhere did I go. Where I was in the beginning, there I remained. I dwell in the old home, my estate is as it was. I spawned, I lived with your mother. Then I lived with peasant women and girls, spawning. I surrounded myself with chickens, roosters, turkeys. My poultry lay dozens of eggs a day. But I studied nothing, never did I suffer. My horizons remain the same, oh just the same. These spaces, ancient, veritably Russian, assembled around us are all — all just the same.(Adam)