The illusion which exalts us is dearer to us than ten thousand truths.
Wisdom…. comes not from age, but from education and learning.
Three o’clock in the morning. The soft April night is looking at my windows and caressingly winking at me with its stars. I can’t sleep, I am so happy.
And only now, when he was gray-haired, had he fallen in love properly, thoroughly, for the first time in his life.
And what does it mean — dying? Perhaps man has a hundred senses, and only the five we know are lost at death, while the other ninety-five remain alive.
In displaying the psychology of your characters, minute particulars are essential. God save us from vague generalizations!”, May 10, 1886)
A woman can become a man’s friend only in the following stages – first an acquantaince, next a mistress, and only then a friend.
The past,’ he thought, ‘is linked with the present by an unbroken chain of events flowing one out of another.’ And it seemed to him that he had just seen both ends of that chain; that when he touched one end the other quivered.
There is nothing more awful, insulting, and depressing than banality.
Science and art,… they seek the truth and the meaning of life, they seek God, [and] the soul, and when they are harnessed to passing needs and activities,… then they only complicate and encumber life.
Dear and most respected bookcase! I welcome your existence, which has for over one hundred years been devoted to the radiant ideals of goodness and justice.
His reading suggested a man swimming in the sea among the wreckage of his ship, and trying to save his life by greedily clutching first at one spar and then at another.
Country life has its advantages,’ he used to say. ‘You sit on the veranda drinking tea and your ducklings swim on the pond, and everything smells good. . . and there are gooseberries.
I have no will of my own. Never did. Limp and lily-livered, I always obey – is it possible that’s attractive to women?
They say philosophers and wise men are indifferent. Wrong. Indifference is a paralysis of the soul, a premature death.
The role of the artist is to ask questions, not answer them.
There will come a time when everybody will know why, for what purpose, there is all this suffering, and there will be no more mysteries. But now we must live … we must work, just work!
And you know once a man has fished, or watched the thrushes hovering in flocks over the village in the bright, cool, autumn days, he can never really be a townsman, and to the day of his death he will be drawn to the country.
We shall find peace. We shall hear angels, we shall see the sky sparkling with diamonds.
Once a man gets a fixed idea, there’s nothing to be done.
The sufferings which may be observed nowadays – they are so widespread and so vast – but people speak nevertheless about a certain moral improvement which society has achieved…
No psychologist should pretend to understand what he does not understand… Only fools and charlatans know everything and understand nothing.
If you want to work on your acting, work on yourself.
Medicine is my lawful wife, and literature is my mistress. When I get fed up with one, I spend the night with the other
Except for two or three older writers, all modern literature seems to me not literature but some sort of handicraft, which exists only so as to be encouraged, though one is reluctant to use its products.
Medicine is my lawful wife, and literature is my mistress. When I get fed up with one, I spend the night with the other. Though it is irregular, it is less boring this way, and besides, neither of them loses anything through my infidelity.
But then there’s loneliness. However you might philosophise about it, loneliness is a terrible thing, my dear fellow… Although in reality, of course, it’s absolutely of no importance!
I’ve never been in love. I’ve dreamt of it day and night, but my heart is like a fine piano no one can play because the key is lost.
MASHA: Isn’t there some meaning?TOOZENBACH: Meaning? … Look out there, it’s snowing. What’s the meaning of that?
HELENA. What a fine day! Not too hot. [A pause.]VOITSKI. A fine day to hang oneself.
For God’s sake, have some self-respect and do not run off at the mouth if your brain is out to lunch.
I long to embrace, to include in my own short life, all that is accessible to man.
The geniuses of all ages and of all lands speak different languages but the same flame burns in them all. Oh, if you only knew what unearthly happiness my soul feels now from being able to understand them.
Going to see plays isn’t what you people should do. Try looking at yourselves a little more often and see what gray lives you all lead. How much of what you say is unnecessary.
And the existence is tedious, anyway; it is a senseless, dirty business, this life.
True happiness is impossible without solitude. The fallen angel probably betrayed God because he longed for solitude, which angels do not know.
Shabelsky: O mind of genius, you think up things for everyone and teach everyone, but why not for once teach me… Teach me, great brain, show me the way out…
I understand that in our work – doesn’t matter whether it’s acting or writing – what’s important isn’t fame or glamour, none of the things I used to dream about, it’s the ability to endure.
When asked, “Why do you always wear black?”, he said, “I am mourning for my life.
For the salvation of his soul the Muslim digs a well. It would be a fine thing if each of us were to leave behind a school, or a well, or something of the sort, so that life would not pass by and retreat into eternity without a trace.
Podtyagin considers whether to take offence or not — and decides to take offence.
LUBOV. I’m quite sure there wasn’t anything at all funny. You oughtn’t to go and see plays, you ought to go and look at yourself. What a grey life you lead, what a lot you talk unnecessarily.
Formerly, when I would feel a desire to understand someone, or myself, I would take into consideration not actions, in which everything is relative, but wishes. Tell me what you want and I’ll tell you who you are.
If Makar Denisych was just a clerk or a junior manager, then no one would have dared talk to him in such a condescending, casual tone, but he is a ‘writer’, and a talentless medio
To torment and tantalize oneself with hopes of possible fortune is so sweet, so thrilling!
…a writer should not so much write as embroider on paper; the work should be painstaking, laborious.
The world is, of course, nothing but our conception of it.
What is there flattering, amusing, or edifying in their carving your name on a tombstone, then time rubbing off the inscription together with the gilding?
Happiness does not exist, nor should it, and if there is any meaning or purpose in life, they are not in our peddling little happiness, but in something reasonable and grand. Do good!
The Lie which elates us is dearer than a thousand sober truths
[W]hen people are ashamed they hold aloof, above all from those nearest to them, and are unreserved with strangers
Lice consume grass, rust consumes iron, and lying the soul!
Borkin: Ladies and gentlemen, why are you so glum? Sitting there like a jury after it’s been sworn in! … Let’s think up something. What would you like? Forfeits, tug of war, catch, dancing, fireworks?
Don’t forget either, you unhappy man, that voluntary confinement is a great deal harder to bear than compulsory.
The teacher must be an actor, an artist,passionately in love with his work.
When an actor has money he doesn’t send letters but telegrams.
Any idiot can face a crisis – it’s this day-to-day living that wears you out.
Any idiot can face a crisis-it’s day to day living that wears you out.
Any idiot can face a crisis – it’s this day-to-day living that wears you out.
If you cry “Forward ” you must make plain in what direction to go.
Men are made for happiness and anyone who is completely happy has a right to say to himself: “I am doing God’s will on earth.”
Perhaps the feelings that we experience when we are in love represent a normal state. Being in love shows a person who he should be.
Medicine is my lawful wife. Literature is my mistress.
A man and a woman marry because both of them don’t know what to do with themselves.
Posterity will say as usual: “In the past things were better the present is worse than the past.”
The State is not God. It has not the right to take away what it cannot restore when it wants to.
Lebedev: …There’ll be a scandal, the tongues of the whole district will buzz with gossip, but it’s better to go through a scandal, isn’t it, than to destroy yourself for your whole life.
Love, friendship and respect do not unite people as much as a common hatred for something.
Don’t tell me the moon is shining show me the glint of light on broken glass.
Let us learn to appreciate there will be times when the trees will be bare, and look forward to the time when we may pick the fruit.
Life does not agree with philosophy: There is no happiness that is not idleness, and only what is useless is pleasurable.
Knowledge is of no value unless you put it into practice.
The thirst for powerful sensations takes the upper hand both over fear and over compassion for the grief of others.
Medicine is my lawful wife and literature my mistress; when I get tired of one, I spend the night with the other.
Doctors are just the same as lawyers; the only difference is that lawyers merely rob you, whereas doctors rob you and kill you too.
When you’re thirsty and it seems that you could drink the entire ocean that’s faith when you start to drink and finish only a glass or two that’s science.
Faith is an aptitude of the spirit. It is, in fact, a talent: you must be born with it.
You must trust and believe in people or life becomes impossible.
Money, like vodka, turns a person into an eccentric.
People don’t notice whether it’s winter or summer when they’re happy.
Any idiot can face a crisis – it’s day to day living that wears you out.
We learn about life not from plusses alone, but from minuses as well.