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Quotes of the day: Boris Pasternak

Published Friday, May 30, 2014 @ 12:00 AM EDT
May 30 2014

Boris Leonidovich Pasternak (February 10, 1890 – May 30, 1960) was a Russian poet, novelist, and literary translator. In his native Russia, Pasternak's anthology My Sister, Life, is one of the most influential collections ever published in the Russian language... Outside Russia, Pasternak is best known as the author of Doctor Zhivago. (Click here for full Wikipedia article)


All mothers are mothers of great people, and it is not their fault that life later disappoints them.

And remember: you must never, under any circumstances, despair. To hope and to act, these are our duties in misfortune.

As for the men in power, they are so anxious to establish the myth of infallibility that they do their utmost to ignore truth.

Even so, one step from my grave,
I believe that cruelty, spite,
The powers of darkness will in time
Be crushed by the spirit of light.

How wonderful to be alive... But why does it always hurt?

I don't like people who have never fallen or stumbled. Their virtue is lifeless and it isn't of much value. Life hasn't revealed its beauty to them.

I hate everything you say, but not enough to kill you for it.

I think a little philosophy should be added to life and art by way of seasoning, but to make it one's specialty seems to me as strange as eating nothing but horseradish.

In every generation there has to be some fool who will speak the truth as he sees it.

It is not the object described that matters, but the light that falls on it.

Literature is the art of discovering something extraordinary about ordinary people, and saying with ordinary words something extraordinary.

Love is not weakness. It is strong. Only the sacrament of marriage can contain it.

Man is born to live and not to prepare to live.

No bad man can be a good poet.

No deep and strong feeling, such as we may come across here and there in the world, is unmixed with compassion. The more we love, the more the object of our love seems to us to be a victim.

No single man makes history. History cannot be seen, just as one cannot see grass growing.

Only the solitary seek the truth, and they break with all those who don't love it sufficiently.

Surprise is the greatest gift which life can grant us.

The great majority of us are required to live a constant, systematic duplicity. Your health is bound to be affected by it if, day after day, you say the opposite of what you feel, you grovel before what you dislike and rejoice at what bring brings you nothing but misfortune.

They don’t ask much of you. They only want you to hate the things you love and to love the things you despise.

To be a woman is a great adventure; To drive men mad is a heroic thing.

What for centuries raised man above the beast is not the cudgel but the irresistible power of unarmed truth.

What is laid down, ordered, factual is never enough to embrace the whole truth: life always spills over the rim of every cup.

When a great moment knocks on the door of your life, it is often no louder than the beating of your heart, and it is very easy to miss it.

You are eternity's hostage. A captive of time.

Categories: Boris Pasternak, Quotes of the day


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