For us in Russia communism is a dead dog. For many people in the West, it is still a living lion.
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- It is time in the West to defend not so much human rights as human obligations.
- You only have power over people so long as you don’t take everything away from them. But when you’ve robbed a man of everything he’s no longer in your power — he’s free again.
- One should never direct people towards happiness, because happiness too is an idol of the market-place. One should direct them towards mutual affection. A beast gnawing at its prey can be happy too, but only human beings can feel affection for each other, and this is the highest achievement they can aspire to.
- Literature that is not the breath of contemporary society, that dares not transmit the pains and fears of that society, that does not warn in time against threatening moral and social dangers — such literature does not deserve the name of literature; it is only a fa?ade. Such literature loses the confidence of its own people, and its published works are used as wastepaper instead of being read.
- I am of course confident that I will fulfill my tasks as a writer in all circumstances — from my grave even more successfully and more irrefutably than in my lifetime. No one can bar the road to truth, and to advance its cause I am prepared to accept even death. But may it be that repeated lessons will finally teach us not to stop the writer’s pen during his lifetime? At no time has this ennobled our history.
- Not everything has a name. Some things lead us into a realm beyond words.