Tolstoy Love Quotes

We've searched our database for all the quotes and captions related to Tolstoy Love. Here they are! All 100 of them:

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I think... if it is true that there are as many minds as there are heads, then there are as many kinds of love as there are hearts.
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Leo Tolstoy (Anna Karenina)
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Respect was invented to cover the empty place where love should be.
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Leo Tolstoy (Anna Karenina)
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Only people who are capable of loving strongly can also suffer great sorrow, but this same necessity of loving serves to counteract their grief and heals them.
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Leo Tolstoy
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When you love someone, you love the person as they are, and not as you'd like them to be.
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Leo Tolstoy
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I've always loved you, and when you love someone, you love the whole person, just as he or she is, and not as you would like them to be.
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Leo Tolstoy (Anna Karenina)
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Love. The reason I dislike that word is that it means too much for me, far more than you can understand." - Anna Karenina {Anna Karenina}
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Leo Tolstoy (Anna Karenina)
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A quiet secluded life in the country, with the possibility of being useful to people to whom it is easy to do good, and who are not accustomed to have it done to them; then work which one hopes may be of some use; then rest, nature, books, music, love for one's neighbor β€” such is my idea of happiness.
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Leo Tolstoy (Π‘Π΅ΠΌΠ΅ΠΉΠ½ΠΎΠ΅ счастиС)
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I always loved you, and if one loves anyone, one loves the whole person, just as they are and not as one would like them to be. -Dolly
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Leo Tolstoy (Anna Karenin)
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If you love me as you say you do,' she whispered, 'make it so that I am at peace.
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Leo Tolstoy (Anna Karenina)
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The whole world is divided for me into two parts: one is she, and there is all happiness, hope, light; the other is where she is not, and there is dejection and darkness...
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Leo Tolstoy (War and Peace)
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Love is life. All, everything that I understand, I understand only because I love. Everything is, everything exists, only because I love. Everything is united by it alone. Love is God, and to die means that I, a particle of love, shall return to the general and eternal source.
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Leo Tolstoy
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They've got no idea what happiness is, they don't know that without this love there is no happiness or unhappiness for us--there is no life.
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Leo Tolstoy (Anna Karenina)
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You can love a person dear to you with a human love, but an enemy can only be loved with divine love.
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Leo Tolstoy (War and Peace)
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But the law of loving others could not be discovered by reason, because it is unreasonable.
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Leo Tolstoy (Anna Karenina)
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It's hard to love a woman and do anything.
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Leo Tolstoy (Anna Karenina)
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We search for happiness everywhere, but we are like Tolstoy's fabled beggar who spent his life sitting on a pot of gold, under him the whole time. Your treasure--your perfection--is within you already. But to claim it, you must leave the buy commotion of the mind and abandon the desires of the ego and enter into the silence of the heart.
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Elizabeth Gilbert (Eat, Pray, Love: One Woman's Search for Everything)
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We are asleep until we fall in Love!
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Leo Tolstoy (War and Peace)
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Seize the moments of happiness, love and be loved! That is the only reality in the world, all else is folly. It is the one thing we are interested in here.
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Leo Tolstoy (War and Peace)
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He felt now that he was not simply close to her, but that he did not know where he ended and she began.
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Leo Tolstoy
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Everything I know, I know because of love.
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Leo Tolstoy (War and Peace)
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Love those you hate you.
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Leo Tolstoy (Anna Karenina)
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He was afraid of defiling the love which filled his soul.
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Leo Tolstoy (Anna Karenina)
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I wanted movement and not a calm course of existence. I wanted excitement and danger and the chance to sacrifice myself for my love.
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Leo Tolstoy
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To get rid of an enemy one must love him.
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Leo Tolstoy
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I'm like a starving man who has been given food. Maybe he's cold, and his clothes are torn, and he's ashamed, but he's not unhappy.
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Leo Tolstoy (Anna Karenina)
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He looked at her as a man might look at a faded flower he had plucked, in which it was difficult for him to trace the beauty that had made him pick and so destroy it
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Leo Tolstoy (Anna Karenina)
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He stepped down, avoiding any long look at her as one avoids long looks at the sun, but seeing her as one sees the sun, without looking.
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Leo Tolstoy (Anna Karenina)
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We walked to meet each other up at the time of our love and then we have been irresistibly drifting in different directions, and there's no altering that.
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Leo Tolstoy (Anna Karenina)
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He could not be mistaken. There were no other eyes like those in the world. There was only one creature in the world who could concentrate for him all the brightness and meaning of life. It was she. It was Kitty.
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Leo Tolstoy (Anna Karenina)
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Here's my advice to you: don't marry until you can tell yourself that you've done all you could, and until you've stopped loving the women you've chosen, until you see her clearly, otherwise you'll be cruelly and irremediably mistaken. Marry when you're old and good for nothing...Otherwise all that's good and lofty in you will be lost.
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Leo Tolstoy (War and Peace)
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We love people not so much for the good they've done us, as for the good we've done them.
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Leo Tolstoy (War and Peace)
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And those who only know the non-platonic love have no need to talk of tragedy. In such love there can be no sort of tragedy.
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Leo Tolstoy (Anna Karenina)
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Energy rests upon love; and come as it will, there's no forcing it.
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Leo Tolstoy (Anna Karenina)
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-Why are you so sad? - Because you speak to me in words and I look at you with feelings.
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Leo Tolstoy
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One can no more approach people without love than one can approach bees without care. Such is the quality of bees...
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Leo Tolstoy
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There it is!' he thought with rapture. 'When I was already in despair, and when it seemed there would be no end- there it is! She loves me. She's confessed it.
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Leo Tolstoy (Anna Karenina)
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I've always loved you, and when you love someone, you love the whole person, as they are, and not as you'd like them to be.
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Leo Tolstoy (Anna Karenina)
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There are as many kinds of love, as there are hearts
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Leo Tolstoy (Anna Karenina)
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I want movement, not a calm course of existence. I want excitement and danger and the chance to sacrifice myself for my love. I feel in myself a superabundance of energy which finds no outlet in our quiet life.
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Leo Tolstoy
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One can live magnificently in this world if one knows how to work and how to love.
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Leo Tolstoy
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He looked at her as a man looks at a faded flower he has gathered, with difficulty recognizing in it the beauty for which he picked and ruined it. And in spite of this he felt that then, when his love was stronger, he could, if he had greatly wished it, have torn that love out of his heart; but now when as at that moment it seemed to him he felt no love for her, he knew that what bound him to her could not be broken.
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Leo Tolstoy (Anna Karenina)
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And where love ends, hate begins
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Leo Tolstoy (Anna Karenina)
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Yes, love, ...but not the love that loves for something, to gain something, or because of something, but that love that I felt for the first time, when dying, I saw my enemy and yet loved him. I knew that feeling of love which is the essence of the soul, for which no object is needed. And I know that blissful feeling now too. To love one's neighbours; to love one's enemies. To love everything - to Love God in all His manifestations. Some one dear to one can be loved with human love; but an enemy can only be loved with divine love. And that was why I felt such joy when I felt that I loved that man. What happened to him? Is he alive? ...Loving with human love, one may pass from love to hatred; but divine love cannot change. Nothing, not even death, can shatter it. It is the very nature of the soul. And how many people I have hated in my life. And of all people none I have loved and hated more than her.... If it were only possible for me to see her once more... once, looking into those eyes to say...
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Leo Tolstoy (War and Peace)
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If so many men, so many minds, certainly so many hearts, so many kinds of love.
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Leo Tolstoy
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Life is everything. Life is God. Everything shifts and moves, and this movement is God. And while there is life, there is delight in the self-awareness of the divinity. To love life is to love God. The hardest and most blissful thing is to love this life in one's suffering, in the guiltlessness of suffering.
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Leo Tolstoy (War and Peace)
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In all human sorrow nothing gives comfort but love and faith, and that in the sight of Christ's compassion for us no sorrow is trifling.
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Leo Tolstoy (Anna Karenina)
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We are what we love to read, and when we admit to loving a book, we admit that the book represents some aspect of ourselves truly, whether it is that we are suckers for romance or pining for adventure or secretly fascinated by crime.
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Nina Sankovitch (Tolstoy and the Purple Chair: My Year of Magical Reading)
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Ah, if everyone was as sensitive as you! There's no girl who hasn't gone through that. And it's all so unimportant!
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Leo Tolstoy (Anna Karenina)
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Then we should find some artificial inoculation against love, as with smallpox.
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Leo Tolstoy (Anna Karenina)
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He knew she was there by the joy and terror that took possession of his heart [...] Everything was lit up by her. She was the smile that brightened everything around.
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Leo Tolstoy (Anna Karenina)
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It's not those who are handsome we love, but those we love who are handsome.
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Leo Tolstoy (War and Peace)
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On July 2, McCandless finished reading Tolstoy's "Family Happiness", having marked several passages that moved him: "He was right in saying that the only certain happiness in life is to live for others... I have lived through much, and now I think I have found what is needed for happiness. A quiet secluded life in the country, with the possibility of being useful to people to whom it is easy to do good, and who are not accustomed to have it done to them; then work which one hopes may be of some use; then rest, nature, books , music, love for one's neighbor - such is my idea of happiness. And then, on top of all that, you for a mate, and children, perhaps - what more can the heart of a man desire?" ...
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Jon Krakauer (Into the Wild)
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I think that to find out what love is really like, one must first make a mistake and then put it right.
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Leo Tolstoy (Anna Karenina)
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It's like scarlet fever: one has to get it over." "Then one should invent a way of inoculating love, like vaccination.
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Leo Tolstoy (Anna Karenina)
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All, everything that I understand, I understand only because I love.
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Leo Tolstoy
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I have lived through much, and now I think I have found what is needed for happiness. A quiet secluded life in the country, with the possibility of being useful to people to whom it is easy to do good, and who are not accustomed to have it done to them; then work which one hopes may be of some use; then rest, nature, books , music, love for one's neighbor - such is my idea of happiness. And then, on top of all that, you for a mate, and children, perhaps - what more can the heart of a man desire?
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Leo Tolstoy (Π‘Π΅ΠΌΠ΅ΠΉΠ½ΠΎΠ΅ счастиС)
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They ought to find out how to vaccinate for love, like smallpox.
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Leo Tolstoy (Anna Karenina)
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It's not so much that he can't fall in love, but he has not the weakness necessary.
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Leo Tolstoy (Anna Karenina)
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I wanted movement and not a calm course of existence. I wanted excitement and the chance to sacrifice myself for my love. I felt it in myself a superabundance of energy which found no outlet in our quiet life.
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Leo Tolstoy (Π‘Π΅ΠΌΠ΅ΠΉΠ½ΠΎΠ΅ счастиС)
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But one thing I beg of you, look on me as your friend; and if you want some help, advice, or simply want to open your heart to someone- not now, but when things are clearer in your heart- think of me.' He took her hand and kissed it. 'I shall be happy, if I am able...' Pierre was confused. 'Don't speak to me like that; I'm not worth it!' cried Natasha... 'Hush, hush your whole life lies before you,' he said to her. 'Before me! No! All is over for me,' she said, with shame and humiliation. 'All over?' he repeated. 'If I were not myself, but the handsomest, cleverest, best man in the world, and if I were free I would be on my knees this minute to beg for your hand and your love.
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Leo Tolstoy (War and Peace)
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Count Vronsky: I love you! Anna Karenina: Why? Count Vronsky: You can't ask Why about love!
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Leo Tolstoy (Anna Karenina)
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It will pass, it will all pass, we're going to be so happy! If our love could grow any stronger it would grow stronger because there is something horrifying in it,
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Leo Tolstoy
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Ω°"The Most difficult thing but an essential one – is to love Life, to love it even while one suffers, because Life is all, Life is God, and to love Life means to love God.
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Leo Tolstoy
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Hell is the inability to love.
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Leo Tolstoy
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And all people live, not by reason of any care they have for themselves, but by the love for them that is in other people.
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Leo Tolstoy
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Books. People have no idea how beautiful books are. How they taste on your fingers. How bright everything is when you light it with words.
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Rachel Kadish (Tolstoy Lied: A Love Story)
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What's all this love of arguing? No one ever convinces anyone else.
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Leo Tolstoy (Anna Karenina)
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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.
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Leo Tolstoy (War and Peace)
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Love hinders death. Love is life. All, everything that I understand, I understand because I love. Everything is united by it alone. Love is God, and to die means that I, a particle of love, shall return to the general and eternal source." These thoughts seemed to him comforting. But they were only thoughts. Something was lacking in them, they were not clear, they were too one-sidedly personal and brain-spun. And there was the former agitation and obscurity.
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Leo Tolstoy (War and Peace)
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Never, never marry, my friend. Here’s my advice to you: don’t marry until you can tell yourself that you’ve done all you could, and until you’ve stopped loving the woman you’ve chosen, until you see her clearly, otherwise you’ll be cruelly and irremediably mistaken. Marry when you’re old and good for nothing…Otherwise all that’s good and lofty in you will be lost.
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Leo Tolstoy (War and Peace)
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The true meaning of Christ's teaching consists in the recognition of love as the supreme law of life, and therefore not admitting any exceptions.
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Leo Tolstoy
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The whole trouble lies in that people think that there are conditions excluding the necessity of love in their intercourse with man, but such conditions do not exist. Things may be treated without love; one may chop wood, make bricks, forge iron without love, but one can no more deal with people without love than one can handle bees without care.
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Leo Tolstoy (Resurrection)
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How strange it was to think that he, who such a short time ago dared not believe in the happiness of her loving him, now felt unhappy because she loved him too much!
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Leo Tolstoy (Anna Karenina)
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I think that in order to know love one must make a mistake and then correct it.
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Leo Tolstoy (Anna Karenina)
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The goal of the artist is not to solve a question irrefutably, but to force people to love life in all its countless, inexhaustible manifestations.
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Leo Tolstoy
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Loving the same man or woman all your life, why, that's like supposing the same candle could last you all your life
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Leo Tolstoy (The Kreutzer Sonata)
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Leo Tolstoy's life has been devoted to replacing the method of violence for removing tyranny or securing reform by the method of nonΒ­resistance to evil. He would meet hatred expressed in violence by love expressed in selfΒ­suffering.
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Mahatma Gandhi (Gandhi: An Autobiography)
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If there is a God and future life, there is truth and good, and man's highest happiness consists in striving to attain them. We must live, we must love, and we must believe that we live not only today on this scrap of earth, but have lived and shall live
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Leo Tolstoy (War and Peace)
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She put both her hands on his shoulders and gazed at him long, with a deep look of ecstasy and yet searchingly. She scrutinized his face to make up for the time she had not seen him. She compared, as she did at every interview with him, the image her fancy painted of him (incomparably finer than, and impossible in actual existence) with his real self
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Leo Tolstoy (Anna Karenina)
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What is precious is not the reward but the work. And I wish you to understand that. If you work and study in order to get a reward, the work will seem hard to you; but when you work, if you love the work, you will find your reward in that.
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Leo Tolstoy (Anna Karenina)
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Love hinders death. Love is life. All, everything that I understand. I understand only because I love. Everything is, everything exists, only because I love. Everything is united by it alone. Love is God, and to die means that I, a particle of love, shall return to the general and eternal source.
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Leo Tolstoy (War and Peace)
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I was wrong when I said that I did not regret the past. I do regret it; I weep for that past love which can never return. Who is to blame, I do not know. Love remains, but not the old love; its place remains, but it all wasted away and has lost all strength and substance; recollections are still left, and gratitude; but...
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Leo Tolstoy (Π‘Π΅ΠΌΠ΅ΠΉΠ½ΠΎΠ΅ счастиС)
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A wound in the soul, coming from the rending of the spiritual body, strange as it may seem, gradually closes like a physical wound. And once a deep wound heals over and the edges seem to have knit, a wound in the soul, like a physical wound, can be healed only by the force of life pushing up from inside. This was the way Natasha's wound healed. She thought her life was over. But suddenly her love for her mother showed her that the essence of life - love - was still alive in her. Love awoke, and life awoke.
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Leo Tolstoy (War and Peace)
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Pierre's insanity consisted in the face that he did not wait, as before, for personal reasons, which he called people's merits, in order to love them, but love overflowed his heart, and loving people without reason, he discovered the unquestionable reasons for which it was worth loving them.
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Leo Tolstoy (War and Peace)
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At that instant he knew that all his doubts, even the impossibility of believing with his reason, of which he was aware in himself, did not in the least hinder his turning to God. All of that now floated out of his soul like dust. To whom was he to turn if not to Him in whose hands he felt himself, his soul, and his love?
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Leo Tolstoy (Anna Karenin)
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All were happy -- plants, birds, insects and children. But grown-up people -- adult men and women -- never left off cheating and tormenting themselves and one another. It was not this spring morning which they considered sacred and important, not the beauty of God's world, given to all creatures to enjoy -- a beauty which inclines the heart to peace, to harmony and to love.
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Leo Tolstoy (Resurrection)
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Where did I get it from? Was it by reason that I attained to the knowledge that I must love my neighbour 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.
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Leo Tolstoy (Anna Karenina)
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All his life the example of a syllogism he had studied in Kiesewetter's logic - "Caius is a man, men are mortal, therefore Caius is mortal" - had seemed to him to be true only in relation to Caius the man, man in general, and it was quite justified , but he wasn't Caius and he wasn't man in general, and he had always been something quite, quite special apart from all other beings; he was Vanya, with Mama, with Papa, with Mitya and Volodya, with his toys and the coachman, with Nyanya, then with Katenka, with all the joys, sorrows, passions of childhood, boyhood, youth. Did Caius know the smell of the striped leather ball Vanya loved so much?: Did Caius kiss his mother's hand like that and did the silken folds of Caius's mother's dress rustle like that for him? Was Caius in love like that? Could Caius chair a session like that? And Caius is indeed mortal and it's right that he should die, but for me, Vanya, Ivan Ilych, with all my feelings and thoughts - for me it's quite different. And it cannot be that I should die. It would be too horrible.
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Leo Tolstoy (The Death of Ivan Ilych)
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In order to carry through any undertaking in family life, there must necessarily be either complete division between the husband and wife, or loving agreement. When the relations of a couple are vacillating and neither one thing nor the other, no sort of enterprise can be undertake. Many families remain for years in the same place, though both husband and wife are sick of it, simply because there is neither complete division nor agreement between them.
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Leo Tolstoy (Anna Karenina)
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I'm grateful to my readers. Readers who buy and support authors, especially career authors, are the patrons who fund art, genius, innovation, and creativity. Out of all the books published, there will emerge the next Plato, Socrates, Einstein, Da Vinci, Shakespeare, Benjamin Franklin, Edison, Churchill, Tolstoy, and Tolkien. My readers help with my creative process because they help create the positive and supportive environment that allows me to keep writing the books and series my readers love. Thank You!" - Kailin Gow, Strong.
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Kailin Gow
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Though men in their hundreds of thousands had tried their hardest to disfigure that little corner of the earth where they had crowded themselves together, paving the ground with stones so that nothing could grow, weeding out every blade of vegetation, filling the air with the fumes of coal and gas, cutting down trees and driving away every beast and every bird -- spring, however, was still spring, even in the town. The sun shone warm, the grass, wherever it had not been scraped away, revived and showed green not only on the narrow strips of lawn on the boulevards but between the paving-stones as well, and the birches, the poplars and the wild cherry-trees were unfolding their sticky, fragrant leaves, and the swelling buds were bursting on the lime trees; the jackdaws, the sparrows and the pigeons were cheerfully getting their nests ready for the spring, and the flies, warmed by the sunshine, buzzed gaily along the walls. All were happy -- plants, birds, insects and children. But grown-up people -- adult men and women -- never left off cheating and tormenting themselves and one another. It was not this spring morning which they considered sacred and important, not the beauty of God's world, given to all creatures to enjoy -- a beauty which inclines the heart to peace, to harmony and to love. No, what they considered sacred and important were their own devices for wielding power over each other.
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Leo Tolstoy (Resurrection)
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I think love, both kinds of love, which you remember Plato defines in his "Symposium" - both kinds of love serve a touchstone for men. Some men understand only the one, some only the other. Those who understand only the non-platonic love need not speak of tragedy. For such love there can be no tragedy. "Thank you kindly for the pleasure, good bye," and that's the whole tragedy. And for the platonic love there can be no tragedy either, because there everything is clear and pure.
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Leo Tolstoy (Anna Karenina)
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So you see,' said Stepan Arkadyich, 'you're a very wholesome man. That is your virtue and your defect. You have a wholesome character, and you want all of life to be made up of wholesome phenomena, but that doesn't happen. So you despise the activity of public service because you want things always to correspond to their aim, and that doesn't happen. You also want the activity of the individual man always to have an aim, that love and family life always be one. And that doesn't happen. All the variety, all the charm, all the beauty of life are made up of light and shade.
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Leo Tolstoy (Anna Karenina)
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According to the biblical tradition the absence of work -- idleness -- was a condition of the first man's state of blessedness before the Fall. The love of idleness has been preserved in fallen man, but now a heavy curse lies upon him, not only because we have to earn our bread by the sweat of our brow, but also because our sense of morality will not allow us to be both idle and at ease. Whenever we are idle a secret voice keeps telling us to feel guilty. If man could discover a state in which he could be idle and still feel useful and on the path of duty, he would have regained one aspect of that primitive state of blessedness. And there is one such state of enforced and irreproachable idleness enjoyed by an entire class of men -- the military class. It is this state of enforced and irreproachable idleness that forms the chief attraction of military service, and it always will.
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Leo Tolstoy (Π’ΠΎΠΉΠ½Π° ΠΈ ΠΌΠΈΡ€)
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Involuntarily it appeared to me that there, somewhere, was someone who amused himself by watching how I lived for thirty or forty years: learning, developing, maturing in body and mind, and how, having with matured mental powers reached the summit of life from which it all lay before me, I stood on that summit -- like an arch-fool -- seeing clearly that there is nothing in life, and that there has been and will be nothing. And he was amused... But whether that "someone" laughing at me existed or not, I was none the better off. I could give no reasonable meaning to any single action or to my whole life. I was only surprised that I could have avoided understanding this from the very beginning -- it has been so long known to all. Today or tomorrow sickness and death will come (they had come already) to those I love or to me; nothing will remain but stench and worms. Sooner or later my affairs, whatever they may be, will be forgotten, and I shall not exist. Then why go on making any effort?... How can man fail to see this? And how go on living? That is what is surprising! One can only live while one is intoxicated with life; as soon as one is sober it is impossible not to see that it is all a mere fraud and a stupid fraud! That is precisely what it is: there is nothing either amusing or witty about it, it is simply cruel and stupid.
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Leo Tolstoy (A Confession)
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76. David Hume – Treatise on Human Nature; Essays Moral and Political; An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding 77. Jean-Jacques Rousseau – On the Origin of Inequality; On the Political Economy; Emile – or, On Education, The Social Contract 78. Laurence Sterne – Tristram Shandy; A Sentimental Journey through France and Italy 79. Adam Smith – The Theory of Moral Sentiments; The Wealth of Nations 80. Immanuel Kant – Critique of Pure Reason; Fundamental Principles of the Metaphysics of Morals; Critique of Practical Reason; The Science of Right; Critique of Judgment; Perpetual Peace 81. Edward Gibbon – The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire; Autobiography 82. James Boswell – Journal; Life of Samuel Johnson, Ll.D. 83. Antoine Laurent Lavoisier – TraitΓ© Γ‰lΓ©mentaire de Chimie (Elements of Chemistry) 84. Alexander Hamilton, John Jay, and James Madison – Federalist Papers 85. Jeremy Bentham – Introduction to the Principles of Morals and Legislation; Theory of Fictions 86. Johann Wolfgang von Goethe – Faust; Poetry and Truth 87. Jean Baptiste Joseph Fourier – Analytical Theory of Heat 88. Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel – Phenomenology of Spirit; Philosophy of Right; Lectures on the Philosophy of History 89. William Wordsworth – Poems 90. Samuel Taylor Coleridge – Poems; Biographia Literaria 91. Jane Austen – Pride and Prejudice; Emma 92. Carl von Clausewitz – On War 93. Stendhal – The Red and the Black; The Charterhouse of Parma; On Love 94. Lord Byron – Don Juan 95. Arthur Schopenhauer – Studies in Pessimism 96. Michael Faraday – Chemical History of a Candle; Experimental Researches in Electricity 97. Charles Lyell – Principles of Geology 98. Auguste Comte – The Positive Philosophy 99. HonorΓ© de Balzac – PΓ¨re Goriot; Eugenie Grandet 100. Ralph Waldo Emerson – Representative Men; Essays; Journal 101. Nathaniel Hawthorne – The Scarlet Letter 102. Alexis de Tocqueville – Democracy in America 103. John Stuart Mill – A System of Logic; On Liberty; Representative Government; Utilitarianism; The Subjection of Women; Autobiography 104. Charles Darwin – The Origin of Species; The Descent of Man; Autobiography 105. Charles Dickens – Pickwick Papers; David Copperfield; Hard Times 106. Claude Bernard – Introduction to the Study of Experimental Medicine 107. Henry David Thoreau – Civil Disobedience; Walden 108. Karl Marx – Capital; Communist Manifesto 109. George Eliot – Adam Bede; Middlemarch 110. Herman Melville – Moby-Dick; Billy Budd 111. Fyodor Dostoevsky – Crime and Punishment; The Idiot; The Brothers Karamazov 112. Gustave Flaubert – Madame Bovary; Three Stories 113. Henrik Ibsen – Plays 114. Leo Tolstoy – War and Peace; Anna Karenina; What is Art?; Twenty-Three Tales 115. Mark Twain – The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn; The Mysterious Stranger 116. William James – The Principles of Psychology; The Varieties of Religious Experience; Pragmatism; Essays in Radical Empiricism 117. Henry James – The American; The Ambassadors 118. Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche – Thus Spoke Zarathustra; Beyond Good and Evil; The Genealogy of Morals;The Will to Power 119. Jules Henri PoincarΓ© – Science and Hypothesis; Science and Method 120. Sigmund Freud – The Interpretation of Dreams; Introductory Lectures on Psychoanalysis; Civilization and Its Discontents; New Introductory Lectures on Psychoanalysis 121. George Bernard Shaw – Plays and Prefaces
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Mortimer J. Adler (How to Read a Book: The Classic Guide to Intelligent Reading)
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There is an old Eastern fable about a traveler who is taken unawares on the steppes by a ferocious wild animal. In order to escape the beast the traveler hides in an empty well, but at the bottom of the well he sees a dragon with its jaws open, ready to devour him. The poor fellow does not dare to climb out because he is afraid of being eaten by the rapacious beast, neither does he dare drop to the bottom of the well for fear of being eaten by the dragon. So he seizes hold of a branch of a bush that is growing in the crevices of the well and clings on to it. His arms grow weak and he knows that he will soon have to resign himself to the death that awaits him on either side. Yet he still clings on, and while he is holding on to the branch he looks around and sees that two mice, one black and one white, are steadily working their way round the bush he is hanging from, gnawing away at it. Sooner or later they will eat through it and the branch will snap, and he will fall into the jaws of the dragon. The traveler sees this and knows that he will inevitably perish. But while he is still hanging there he sees some drops of honey on the leaves of the bush, stretches out his tongue and licks them. In the same way I am clinging to the tree of life, knowing full well that the dragon of death inevitably awaits me, ready to tear me to pieces, and I cannot understand how I have fallen into this torment. And I try licking the honey that once consoled me, but it no longer gives me pleasure. The white mouse and the black mouse – day and night – are gnawing at the branch from which I am hanging. I can see the dragon clearly and the honey no longer tastes sweet. I can see only one thing; the inescapable dragon and the mice, and I cannot tear my eyes away from them. And this is no fable but the truth, the truth that is irrefutable and intelligible to everyone. The delusion of the joys of life that had formerly stifled my fear of the dragon no longer deceived me. No matter how many times I am told: you cannot understand the meaning of life, do not thinking about it but live, I cannot do so because I have already done it for too long. Now I cannot help seeing day and night chasing me and leading me to my death. This is all I can see because it is the only truth. All the rest is a lie. Those two drops of honey, which more than all else had diverted my eyes from the cruel truth, my love for my family and for my writing, which I called art – I no longer found sweet.
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Leo Tolstoy (A Confession and Other Religious Writings)
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no disease suffered by a live man can be known, for every living person has his own peculiarities and always has his own peculiar, personal, novel, complicated disease, unknown to medicine -- not a disease of the lungs, liver, skin, heart, nerves, and so on mentioned in medical books, but a disease consisting of one of the innumerable combinations of the maladies of those organs. This simple thought could not occur to the doctors (as it cannot occur to a wizard that he is unable to work his charms) because the business of their lives was to cure, and they received money for it and had spent the best years of their lives on that business. But above all that thought was kept out of their minds by the fact that they saw they were really useful [...] Their usefulness did not depend on making the patient swallow substances for the most part harmful (the harm was scarcely perceptible because they were given in small doses) but they were useful, necessary, and indispensable because they satisfied a mental need of the invalid and those who loved her -- and that is why there are, and always will be, pseudo-healers, wise women, homoeopaths, and allopaths. They satisfied that eternal human need for hope of relief, for sympathy, and that something should be done, which is felt by those who are suffering.
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Leo Tolstoy
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You both love Tolstoy and Dostoyevsky, Hawthorne and Melville, Flaubert and Stendahl, but at that stage of your life you cannot stomach Henry James, while Gwyn argues that he is the giant of giants, the colossus who makes all other novelists look like pygmies. You are in complete harmony about the greatness of Kafka and Beckett, but when you tell her that Celine belongs in their company, she laughs at you and calls him a fascist maniac. Wallace Stevens yes, but next in line for you is William Carlos Williams, not T.S. Eliot, whose work Gwyn can recite from memory. You defend Keaton, she defends Chaplin, and while you both howl at the sight of the Marx Brothers, your much-adored W.C. Fields cannot coax a single smile from her. Truffaut at his best touches you both, but Gwyn finds Godard pretentious and you don't, and while she lauds Bergman and Antonioni as twin masters of the universe, you reluctantly tell her that you are bored by their films. No conflicts about classical music, with J.S. Bach at the top of the list, but you are becoming increasingly interested in jazz, while Gwyn still clings to the frenzy of rock and roll, which has stopped saying much of anything to you. She likes to dance, and you don't. She laughs more than you do and smokes less. She is a freer, happier person than you are, and whenever you are with her, the world seems brighter and more welcoming, a place where your sullen, introverted self can almost begin to feel at home.
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Paul Auster (Invisible (Rough Cut))
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There is an Eastern fable, told long ago, of a traveller overtaken on a plain by an enraged beast. Escaping from the beast he gets into a dry well, but sees at the bottom of the well a dragon that has opened its jaws to swallow him. And the unfortunate man, not daring to climb out lest he should be destroyed by the enraged beast, and not daring to leap to the bottom of the well lest he should be eaten by the dragon, seizes s twig growing in a crack in the well and clings to it. His hands are growing weaker and he feels he will soon have to resign himself to the destruction that awaits him above or below, but still he clings on. Then he sees that two mice, a black one and a white one, go regularly round and round the stem of the twig to which he is clinging and gnaw at it. And soon the twig itself will snap and he will fall into the dragon's jaws. The traveller sees this and knows that he will inevitably perish; but while still hanging he looks around, sees some drops of honey on the leaves of the twig, reaches them with his tongue and licks them. So I too clung to the twig of life, knowing that the dragon of death was inevitably awaiting me, ready to tear me to pieces; and I could not understand why I had fallen into such torment. I tried to lick the honey which formerly consoled me, but the honey no longer gave me pleasure, and the white and black mice of day and night gnawed at the branch by which I hung. I saw the dragon clearly and the honey no longer tasted sweet. I only saw the unescapable dragon and mice, and I could not tear my gaze from them. and this is not a fable but the real unanswerable truth intelligible to all. The deception of the joys of life which formerly allayed my terror of the dragon now no longer deceived me. No matter how often I may be told, "You cannot understand the meaning of life so do not think about it, but live," I can no longer do it: I have already done it too long. I cannot now help seeing day and night going round and bringing me to death. That is all I see, for that alone is true. All else is false. The two drops of honey which diverted my eyes from the cruel truth longer than the rest: my love of family, and of writing -- art as I called it -- were no longer sweet to me. "Family"... said I to myself. But my family -- wife and children -- are also human. They are placed just as I am: they must either live in a lie or see the terrible truth. Why should they live? Why should I love them, guard them, bring them up, or watch them? That they may come to the despair that I feel, or else be stupid? Loving them, I cannot hide the truth from them: each step in knowledge leads them to the truth. And the truth is death.
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Leo Tolstoy (A Confession)