Boris Pasternak

Boris Pasternak

Russian writer

Lived from: 1890-1960

Category: Writers (Contemporary)

Quotes: Boris Pasternak

Quotes 1 till 15 of 42.

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  • Boris Pasternak
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    A candle burned on the table, a candle burned... he whispered to himself — the beginning of something confused, formless; he hoped that it would take shape of itself. But nothing more came to him.
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    All customs and traditions, all our way of life, everything to do with home and order, has crumbled into dust in the general upheaval and reorganization of society. The whole human way of life has been destroyed and ruined. All that's left is the naked human soul stripped to the last shred, for which nothing has changed because it was always cold and shivering and reaching out to its nearest neighbor, as cold and lonely as itself.
    Source: Doctor Zhivago (1958) Ch. 13
  • Boris Pasternak
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    Am I a gangster or a murderer?
    Of what crime do I stand
    Condemned? I made the whole world weep
    At the beauty of my land.
    Source: Selected Poems (1983)
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    Art always serves beauty, and beauty is the joy of possessing form, and form is the key to organic life since no living thing can exist without it.
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    Art has two constant, two unending concerns: It always meditates on death and thus always creates life. All great, genuine art resembles and continues the Revelation of St John.
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    Art is interested in life at the moment when the ray of power is passing through it.
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    As far as modern writing is concerned, it is rarely rewarding to translate it, although it might be easy. Translation is very much like copying paintings.
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    As for the men in power, they are so anxious to establish the myth of infallibility that they do their utmost to ignore truth.
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    As in an explosion, I would erupt with all the wonderful things I saw and understood in this world.
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    At the moment of childbirth, every woman has the same aura of isolation, as though she were abandoned, alone.
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    Considering the meaning this award has been given in the society to which I belong, I must reject this undeserved prize which has been presented to me. Please do not receive my voluntary rejection with displeasure.
    Source: Telegram naar Nobelcomite (29-10-1958)
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    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.
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    Everything established, settled, everything to do with home and order and the common round, has crumbled into dust and been swept away in the general upheaval and reorganization of the whole of society.
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    Gregariousness is always the refuge of mediocrities, whether they swear by Soloviev or Kant or Marx. Only individuals seek the truth, and they shun those whose sole concern is not the truth.
    Source: Doctor Zhivago
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    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.
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