29+ quotes from Roadside Picnic by Arkady Strugatsky

Quotes from Roadside Picnic

Arkady Strugatsky ·  145 pages

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“The hypothesis of God, for instance, gives an incomparably absolute opportunity to understand everything and know absolutely nothing. Give man an extremely simplified system of the world and explain every phenomenon away on the basis of that system. An approach like that doesn't require any knowledge. Just a few memorized formulas plus so-called intuition and so-called common sense.”
― Arkady Strugatsky, quote from Roadside Picnic


“Мы будем делать Добро из Зла, потому что его больше не из чего делать.”
― Arkady Strugatsky, quote from Roadside Picnic


“A picnic. Picture a forest, a country road, a meadow. Cars drive off the country road into the meadow, a group of young people get out carrying bottles, baskets of food, transistor radios, and cameras. They light fires, pitch tents, turn on the music. In the morning they leave. The animals, birds, and insects that watched in horror through the long night creep out from their hiding places. And what do they see? Old spark plugs and old filters strewn around... Rags, burnt-out bulbs, and a monkey wrench left behind... And of course, the usual mess—apple cores, candy wrappers, charred remains of the campfire, cans, bottles, somebody’s handkerchief, somebody’s penknife, torn newspapers, coins, faded flowers picked in another meadow.”
― Arkady Strugatsky, quote from Roadside Picnic


“intelligence is the ability of a living creature to perform pointless or unnatural acts.”
― Arkady Strugatsky, quote from Roadside Picnic


“Or how about this hypothetical definition. Reason is a complex type of instinct that has not yet formed completely. This implies that instinctual behavior is always purposeful and natural. A million years from now our instinct will have matured and we will stop making the mistakes that are probably integral to reason. An then, if something should change in the universe, we will all become extinct - precisely because we will have forgotten how to make mistakes, that is, to try various approaches not stipulated by an inflexible program of permitted alternatives.”
― Arkady Strugatsky, quote from Roadside Picnic


“Xenology is an unnatural mixture of science fiction and formal logic. At its core is a flawed assumption—that an alien race would be psychologically human.”
― Arkady Strugatsky, quote from Roadside Picnic


“СЧАСТЬЕ ДЛЯ ВСЕХ, ДАРОМ, И ПУСТЬ НИКТО НЕ УЙДЕТ ОБИЖЕННЫЙ!”
― Arkady Strugatsky, quote from Roadside Picnic


“HAPPINESS FOR EVERYBODY, FREE, AND NO ONE WILL GO AWAY UNSATISFIED!”
― Arkady Strugatsky, quote from Roadside Picnic


“„Аз съм животно, нали виждаш, животно съм. Дума не мога да обеля, не ме научиха да приказвам, не умея да мисля, тези гадове не ми дадоха да се науча да мисля. Но ако ти наистина всичко можеш и всичко знаеш, и всичко разбираш… намери му цаката! Надникни в душата ми, знам, че там е всичко, което ти трябва. Сигурен съм! Та нали никога и на никого не съм продавал душата си! Тя си е моя, човешка! Ти, само изцеди от мене каквото искам, нали е изключено да искам нещо лошо!… Проклето да е дано, та аз нищо не мога да измисля освен тези неговите, детските думи: «Щастие за всички даром и нека никой да не бъде пренебрегнат!”
― Arkady Strugatsky, quote from Roadside Picnic


“The problem is we don’t notice the years pass, he thought. Screw the years—we don’t notice things change. We know that things change, we’ve been told since childhood that things change, we’ve witnessed things change ourselves many a time, and yet we’re still utterly incapable of noticing the moment that change comes—or we search for change in all the wrong places.”
― Arkady Strugatsky, quote from Roadside Picnic


“Гипотеза о Боге, например, дает ни с чем не сравнимую возможность абсолютно все понять, абсолютно ничего не узнавая…”
― Arkady Strugatsky, quote from Roadside Picnic


“How can I give up stalking when I have a family to feed? Get a job? I don't want to work for you, your work makes me puke, do you understand? This is the way I figure it: if a man works with you, he is always working for one of you, he is a slave and nothing else. And I always wanted to be myself, on my own, so that I could spit at you all, at your boredom and despair.”
― Arkady Strugatsky, quote from Roadside Picnic


“Look into my soul, I know - everything you need is in there. It has to be. Because I've never sold my soul to anyone! It's mine, it's human! Figure out yourself what I want - because I know it can't be bad! The hell with it all, I just can't think of a thing other than those words of his - HAPPINESS, FREE, FOR EVERYONE, AND LET NO ONE BE FORGOTTEN!”
― Arkady Strugatsky, quote from Roadside Picnic


“Пусна ме Зоната. Пусна ме подлата. Мръсница. Жив съм. Новаците не могат да разберат това. Никой освен сталкера не може да го разбере. И по бузите ми текат сълзи — от алкохола ли, от друго ли, не знам.”
― Arkady Strugatsky, quote from Roadside Picnic


“In some sense, we’re all cavemen—we can’t imagine anything more frightening than a ghost or a vampire. But the violation of the principle of causality—that’s actually much scarier than a whole herd of ghosts… or Rubinstein’s monsters… or is that Wallenstein?”

“Frankenstein.”
― Arkady Strugatsky, quote from Roadside Picnic


“a man who is well brought-up may read anything. The only people who boggle at what is perfectly natural are those who are the worst swine and the finest experts in filth. In their utterly contemptible pseudo-morality they ignore the contents and madly attack individual words.”
― Arkady Strugatsky, quote from Roadside Picnic


“I lock myself in the stall, take out the flask, unscrew it, and attach myself to it like a leech. I’m sitting on the bench, my heart is empty, my head is empty, my soul is empty, gulping down the hard stuff like water. Alive. I got out. The Zone let me out. The damned hag. My lifeblood. Traitorous bitch. Alive. The novices can’t understand this. No one but a stalker can understand. And tears are pouring down my face—maybe from the booze, maybe from something else. I suck the flask dry; I’m wet, the flask is dry. As usual, I need just one more sip. Oh well, we’ll fix that. We can fix anything now. Alive. I light a cigarette and stay seated. I can feel it—I’m coming around.”
― Arkady Strugatsky, quote from Roadside Picnic


“There’s a need to understand, but that doesn’t require knowledge. The God hypothesis, for example, allows you to have an unparalleled understanding of absolutely everything while knowing absolutely nothing … Give a man a highly simplified model of the world and interpret every event on the basis of this simple model. This approach requires no knowledge. A few rote formulas, plus some so-called intuition, some so-called practical acumen, and some so-called common sense.”
― Arkady Strugatsky, quote from Roadside Picnic


“Ето например вече от доста години усещам едно такова притеснение, някак си не се чувствувам уютно. Добре, те дойдоха и веднага си заминаха. А ако дойдат отново и им скимне да останат?”
― Arkady Strugatsky, quote from Roadside Picnic


“— Пикник! Представете си гора, междуселски път, полянка. Автомобилът се отбива от междуселския път на полянката, от автомобила слизат младежи, които свалят бутилки, кошници с храна, момичета, транзистори, фото– и кинокамери… Палят огън, разпъват палатки, пускат музика. А на сутринта си заминават. Зверовете, птиците и насекомите, които цяла нощ с ужас са наблюдавали случилото се, изпълзяват от своите скривалища. И какво виждат? На тревата локва от автомобилно масло, разлят бензин, разхвърлени негодни свещи и маслени филтри. Търкалят се парцали, изгорели крушки, някой е изтървал френски ключ. От протекторите на гумите е останала кал, полепнала от някакво неизвестно блато… е, и, сам разбирате, следи от огъня, огризки от ябълки, обвивки от бонбони, консервени кутии, празни бутилки, нечия носна кърпа, нечие джобно ножче, стари изпокъсани вестници, монети, увяхнали цветя от други поляни…”
― Arkady Strugatsky, quote from Roadside Picnic


“— Може да ви се стори смешно, но доста малко. Открихме много чудеса. В някои случаи се научихме дори да използваме тези чудеса за своите нужди. Даже свикнахме с тях… Маймуната натиска червеното копче и получава банан, натиска бялото и получава портокал, но без копчетата тя не знае как да се сдобие с банани и портокали. И не разбира какво отношение имат копчетата към бананите и портокалите.”
― Arkady Strugatsky, quote from Roadside Picnic


“Man is born in order to think (there he is, Kirill, finally!). Except that I don't believe that. I've never believed it, and I still don't believe it, and what man is born for -I have no idea. He's born, that's all. Scrapes by as best he can.”
― Arkady Strugatsky, quote from Roadside Picnic


“You’re absolutely right. Our little town is a hole. It always has been and still is. But now it is a hole into the future. We’re going to dump so much through this hole into your lousy world that everything will change in it. Life will be different. It’ll be fair. Everyone will have everything that he needs. Some hole, huh? Knowledge comes through this hole. And when we have the knowledge, we’ll make everyone rich, and we’ll fly to the stars, and go anywhere we want. That’s the kind of hole we have here”
― Arkady Strugatsky, quote from Roadside Picnic


“Science fiction lends itself readily to imaginative subversion of any status quo. Bureaucrats and politicians, who can’t afford to cultivate their imaginations, tend to assume it’s all ray-guns and nonsense, good for children. A writer may have to be as blatantly critical of utopia as Zamyatin in We to bring the censor down upon him. The Strugatsky brothers were not blatant, and never (to my limited knowledge) directly critical of their government’s policies. What they did, which I found most admirable then and still do now, was to write as if they were indifferent to ideology—something many of us writers in the Western democracies had a hard time doing. They wrote as free men write.”
― Arkady Strugatsky, quote from Roadside Picnic


“INTERVIEWER: You probably mean stalkers? DR. PILLMAN: I’m not familiar with the term. INTERVIEWER: That’s what the residents of Harmont call the desperate young men who, despite the grave risks, sneak into the Zone and smuggle out whatever they find. It’s quite the new career.”
― Arkady Strugatsky, quote from Roadside Picnic


“He gives me a look, and I see that he’s in no mood for jokes. He’s right—this is no joke. But when you’re leaving for the Zone, it’s one of two things: you start bawling, or you crack jokes—and I’m sure as hell not crying. I take a look at Kirill. He’s holding up OK, only mouthing something silently, as if praying. “Praying?” I ask. “Pray, pray! The farther into the Zone, the closer to heaven.” “What?” he says. “Pray!” I yell. “Stalkers cut in line at the gates of heaven!”
― Arkady Strugatsky, quote from Roadside Picnic


“For some reason he suddenly remembered that Hamfist Kitty’s real name was Raphael. The nickname Hamfist came from his monstrous bony fists, bluish red and bare, that protruded from the thick fur covering his arms as if from a pair of sleeves. And he named himself Kitty in complete confidence that this was the traditional name of the great Mongolian kings. Raphael.”
― Arkady Strugatsky, quote from Roadside Picnic


“Сволочные холмики, стоят, гниды, торчат, как стервячьи ягодицы, а эта лощинка между ними… Он ухмыльнулся. Известно, что между ягодицами бывает. Ах, сволочная лощинка, вот она-то самая сволочь и есть. Сука.”
― Arkady Strugatsky, quote from Roadside Picnic


“He had never experienced anything like this before outside the Zone. And it had happened in the
Zone only two or three times. It was as though he were in a different world. A million odors cascaded in
on him at once—sharp, sweet, metallic, gentle, dangerous ones, as crude as cobblestones, as delicate
and complex as watch mechanisms, as huge as a house and as tiny as a dust particle. The air became
hard, it developed edges, surfaces, and corners, like space was filled with huge, stiff balloons, slippery
pyramids, gigantic prickly crystals, and he had to push his way through it all, making his way in a dream
through a junk store stuffed with ancient ugly furniture … It lasted a second. He opened his eyes, and
everything was gone. It hadn't been a different world—it was this world turning a new, unknown side to
him. This side was revealed to him for a second and then disappeared, before he had time to figure it out.”
― Arkady Strugatsky, quote from Roadside Picnic


About the author

Arkady Strugatsky
Born place: in Batumi, Georgian SSR, TSFSR, USSR
Born date August 28, 1925
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