Philosophical Meandering

Literary and philosophical quotes

It is impossible to explain why Eugene chose Liza Annenskaya, as it is always impossible to explain why a man chooses this and not that woman. There were many reasons - positive and negatives… . But the chief reason was that his acquaintance with her began at the time when he was ripe for marriage. He fell in love because he knew that he would marry.

- “The Devil” by Leo Tolstoy

It is generally supposed that Conservatives are usually old people, and that those in favour of change are the young. That is not quite correct. Usually Conservatives are young people: those who want to live but who do not think about how to live, and have not time to think, and therefore take as a model for themselves a way of life that they have seen.

- “The Devil” by Leo Tolstoy

Our conception of life is inseparably bound up with the conception of a continual striving after an unattainable ideal.

—Afterword by the author to “The Kreutzer Sonata” by Leo Tolstoy

… children (who in our society are considered an obstacle to enjoyment - an unlucky accident, as it were) are educated not with a view to the problem which they will be one day called on to face and to solve, but solely with an eye to the pleasure which they may be made to yield to their parents. The consequence is, that the children of human beings are brought up for all the world like the young of animals, the chief care of their parents being not to train them to such work as is worthy of men and women, but to … make them spruce, sleek, well fed, and comely… . They rig them out in all manner of fantastic costumes, wash them, over-feed them, and refuse to make them work.

- the Afterword by the author to “The Kreutzer Sonata” by Leo Tolstoy

When people say they don’t remember what they do in a fit of fury, it is rubbish, falsehood. I remembered everything and did not for a moment lose consciousness of what I was doing. The more frenzied I became the more brightly the light of consciousness burnt in me, so that I could not help knowing everything I did. I knew what I was doing every second.

- “The Kreutzer Sonata” by Leo Tolstoy