“Gentlemen, I am tormented by questions; answer them for me.”
“I swear, gentlemen, that to be too conscious is an illness - a real thorough-going illness.”
“What does reason know? Reason only knows what it has succeeded in learning…”
“Let it not be a beautiful face,’ I thought, ‘but to make up for that, let it be a noble, an expressive, and, above all, an extremely intelligent one.” (this one is so funny! I love it!!! I agree with it completely!!)
“Oh, gentlemen, perhaps I really regard myself as an intelligent man only because throughout my entire life I’ve never been able to start or finish anything. Granted, granted I’m a babbler, a harmless, irksome babbler, as we all are. But what’s to be done if the sole and express purpose of every intelligent man is babble—that is, a deliberate pouring from empty into void.”
“Of course boredom may lead you to anything. It is boredom sets one sticking golden pins into people, but all that would not matter. What is bad (this is my comment again) is that I dare say people will be thankful for the gold pins then.” (LOL)
“…despair can hold the most intense sorts of pleasure when one is strongly conscious of the hopelessness of one’s position…”
“…there is no explaining anything by reasoning and so it is useless to reason.”
“They did not strive to gain knowledge of life as we strive to understand it, because their lives were full. But their knowledge was higher and deeper than the knowledge we derive from our science; for our science seeks to explain what life is and strives to understand it in order to teach others how to live, while they knew how to live without science…
Oh, these people were not concerned whether I understood them or not; they loved me without it. But I knew too that they would never be able to understand me, and for that reason I hardly ever spoke to them of it.
It remained somehow beyond the grasp of my reason, and yet it sank unconsciously deeper and deeper into my heart. I often told them that I had had a presentiment of it years ago and that all that joy and glory has been perceived by me while I was still back there as a nostalgic yearning, bordering at times on unendurably poignant sorrow; that I had had a presentiment of all of them and of their glory in the dreams of my heart and the reveries of my soul; and that I could often not look at the setting sun without tears.
I was overpowered by the mere sensation of that dream and it alone survived in my sorely wounded heart.”
“It was from feeling oneself that one had reached the last barrier, that it was horrible, but that it could not be otherwise; that there was no escape for you; that you never could become a different man; that even if time and faith were still left you to change into something different you would most likely not wish to change; or if you did wish to, even then you would do nothing; because perhaps in reality there was nothing for you to change into.”
“The poor girl ws keeping that student’s letter as a precious treasure, and had run to fetch it, her only treasure, because she did not want me to go away without knowing that she, too, was honestly and genuinely loved; that she, too, was addressed respectfully. No doubt that letter was destined to lie in her box and lead to nothing. But none the less, I am certain that she would keep it all her life as a precious treasure, as her pride and justification, and now at such a minute she had thought of that letter and brought it with naive pride to raise herself in my eyes that I might see, that I, too, might think well of her.”
“a man is no example for a woman. It’s a different thing.” (take note!)
“Come, try, give any one of us, for instance, a little more independence, untie our hands, widen the spheres of our activity, relax the control and we…yes, I assure you…we should be begging to be under control again at once.” (true story)
“one must first learn to live oneself before one blames others” (my FAVORITE)
“You long for life and try to settle the problems of life by a logical tangle. And how tiresome, how insolent your outbursts are, and at the same time, how scared you are! You talk nonsense and are pleased with it; you say imprudent things and are constantly afraid of them and apologizing for them. You declare that you are afraid of nothing and at the same time try to ingratiate yourself with us. You declare that you are gnashing your teeth and at the same time you try to be witty so as to amuse us. You know that your witticisms are not witty, but you are evidently well satisfied with their literary value. You may perhaps really have suffered, but you have no respect whatsoever for your own suffering. You may be truthful in what you have said but you have no modesty; out of the pettiest vanity you bring your truth to public exposure, to the market place, to ignominity.” (IN-YOUR-FACE quote)
“Nature doesn’t ask your permission; it doesn’t care about your wishes, or whether you like its laws or not. You’re obliged to accept it as it is, and consequently all its results as well.”
“You see, gentlemen, reason is an excellent thing, there’s no disputing that, but reason is nothing but reason and satisfies only the rational side of man’s nature, while will is a manifestation of the whole life, that is, of the whole human life including reason and all the impulses. And although our life, in this manifestation of it, is often worthless, yet it is life and not simply extracting square roots. Here I, for instance, quite naturally want to live, in order to satisfy all my capacities for life, and not simply my capacity for reasoning, that is, not simply one twentieth of my capacity for life. What does reason know? Reason only knows what it has succeeded in learning (some things, perhaps, it will never learn; this is a poor comfort, but why not say so frankly?) and human nature acts as a whole, with everything that is in it, consciously or unconsciously, and, even if it goes wrong, it lives.”
“A developed and decent man cannot be vain without a boundless exactingness towards himself and without despising himself at moments to the point of hatred.”
“Real life oppressed me with its novelty so much that I could hardly breathe.”
“In the first place I spent most of my time at home, reading. I tried to stifle all that was continually seething within me by means of external impressions. And the only external means I had was reading. Reading, of course, was a great help—exciting me, giving me pleasure and pain. But at times it bored me fearfully. One longed for movement in spite of everything, and I plunged all at once into dark, underground, loathsome vice of the pettiest kind. My wretched passions were acute, smarting, from my continual, sickly irritability I had hysterical impulses, with tears and convulsions. I had no resource except reading, that is, there was nothing in my surroundings which I could respect and which attracted me. I was overwhelmed with depression, too; I had an hysterical craving for incongruity and for contrast, and so I took to vice. I have not said all this to justify myself …. But, no! I am lying. I did want to justify myself. I make that little observation for my own benefit, gentlemen. I don’t want to lie. I vowed to myself I would not.” (I feel like this at the moment)
“What does a decent chap talk about with the greatest possible pleasure?
Answer: about himself.” (SO TRUE :( )
“I have no self-respect. But can a man of acute sensibility respect himself at all?”
“Sometimes I’d hate to talk to anyone, and at other times I’d not only talk to people, but would even take it into my head to be friends with them.”
“One circumstance tormented me then: Namely, that no one else was like me, and I was like no one else. I am only one, and they are all.”
“Love is a holy mystery and ought to be hidden from all other eyes, whatever happens. That makes it holier and better. They respect one another more, and much is built on respect. And if once there has been love, if they have been married for love, why should love pass away? Surely one can keep it! It is rare that one cannot keep it.
And if the husband is kind and straightforward, why should not love last? The first phase of married love will pass, it is true, but then there will come a love that is better still. Then there will be the union of souls, they will have everything in common, there will be no secrets between them. And once they have children, the most difficult times will seem to them happy, so long as there is love and courage.
Even toil will be a joy, you may deny yourself bread for your children and even that will be a joy, They will love you for it afterwards; so you are laying by for your future.
As the children grow up you feel that you are an example, a support for them; that even after you die your children will always keep your thoughts and feelings, because they have received them from you, they will take on your semblance and likeness. So you see this is a great duty.” ( :’) )
“For though your mind is active enough, your heart is darkened with corruption, and without a pure heart there can be no full or genuine sensibility.”
“There are certain things in a man’s past which he does not divulge to everybody but, perhaps, only to his friends. Again there are certain things he will not divulge even to his friends; he will divulge them perhaps only to himself, and that, too, as a secret. But, finally, there are things which he is afraid to divulge even to himself, and every decent man has quite an accumulation of such things in his mind. I can put it even this way: the more decent a man is, the larger will the number of such things be.”
“I was a coward and a slave. I say this without the slightest embarrassment. Every decent man of our age must be a coward and a slave.”
There are many more I’d love to share… but I’m tired of typing it down! :p