I am naked and a beggar and an atom in the vortex of humanity. — Fyodor Dostoyevsky, The Idiot. (Modern Library; New edition edition, April 8, 2003) Originally published 1869. Advertisements
Let my heiress have full rights, Live in my house, sing songs that I composed. Yet how slowly my strength ebbs, How the tortured breast craves air. The love of my friends, my enemies’ rancor And the yellow roses in my bushy garden, And a lover’s burning tenderness—all this I bestow upon you, messenger of… Continue reading Anna Akhmatova
I can see the sun, but even if I cannot see the sun, I know that it exists. And to know that the sun is there – that is living. — Fyodor Dostoyevsky, The Brothers Karamazov. (Farrar, Straus and Giroux; 12th edition June 14, 2002) Originally published November 1880.
Author’s Prayer If I speak for the dead, I must leave this animal of my body, I must write the same poem over and over for the empty page is a white flag of their surrender. If I speak of them, I must walk on the edge of myself, I must live as a blind… Continue reading Ilya Kaminsky
And meanwhile, outside the door, waits my faithful, my lonely night… — Vladimir Nabokov, from “A Letter that Never Reached Russia,” The Stories of Vladimir Nabokov (Alfred A. Knopf, 1995)
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. — Leo Tolstoy, Anna Karenina. (Norilana Books February 16, 2008) Originally published 1873.
You came into my life — not as one comes to visit … but as one comes to a kingdom where all the rivers have been waiting for your reflection, all the roads, for your steps. — Vladimir Nabokov, Letters to Véra, ed. and transl. Olga Voronina and Brian Boyd (Alfred A. Knopf, 2014)