28+ quotes from The Death of Ivan Ilych by Leo Tolstoy

Quotes from The Death of Ivan Ilych

Leo Tolstoy ·  86 pages

Rating: (62.5K votes)


“Can it be that I have not lived as one ought?" suddenly came into his head. "But how not so, when I've done everything as it should be done?”
― Leo Tolstoy, quote from The Death of Ivan Ilych


“Morning or night, Friday or Sunday, made no difference, everything was the same: the gnawing, excruciating, incessant pain; that awareness of life irrevocably passing but not yet gone; that dreadful, loathsome death, the only reality, relentlessly closing in on him; and that same endless lie. What did days, weeks, or hours matter?”
― Leo Tolstoy, quote from The Death of Ivan Ilych


“He sought his former accustomed fear of death and did not find it. "Where is it? What death?" There was no fear because there was no death.

In place of death there was light.”
― Leo Tolstoy, quote from The Death of Ivan Ilych


“The example of a syllogism that he had studied in Kiesewetter's logic: Caius is a man, men are mortal, therefore Caius is mortal, had throughout his whole life seemed to him right only in relation to Caius, but not to him at all.”
― Leo Tolstoy, quote from The Death of Ivan Ilych


“the very fact of the death of someone close to them aroused in all who heard about it, as always, a feeling of delight that he had died and they hadn't.”
― Leo Tolstoy, quote from The Death of Ivan Ilych


“Always the same. Now a spark of hope flashes up, then a sea of despair rages, and always pain; always pain, always despair, and always the same. When alone he had a dreadful and distressing desire to call someone, but he knew beforehand that with others present it would be still worse.”
― Leo Tolstoy, quote from The Death of Ivan Ilych


“Death is finished, he said to himself. It is no more!”
― Leo Tolstoy, quote from The Death of Ivan Ilych


“And he has to live like this on the edge of destruction, alone, with nobody at all to understand or pity him”
― Leo Tolstoy, quote from The Death of Ivan Ilych


“False. Everything by which you have lived and live now is all a deception, a lie, concealing both life and death from you.”
― Leo Tolstoy, quote from The Death of Ivan Ilych


“They had supper and went away, and Ivan Ilyich was left alone with the consciousness that his life was poisoned and was poisoning the lives of others, and that this poison did not weaken but penetrated more and more deeply into his whole being.

With this consciousness, and with physical pain besides the terror, he must go to bed, often to lie awake the greater part of the night. Next morning he had to get up again, dress, go to the law courts, speak, and write; or if he did not go out, spend at home those twenty-four hours a day each of which was a torture. And he had to live thus all alone on the brink of an abyss, with no one who understood or pitied him.”
― Leo Tolstoy, quote from The Death of Ivan Ilych


“Ivan Iylich saw that he was dying, and was in continual despair.
At the bottom of his heart Ivan Ilyich knew that he was dying; but so far from growing used to the idea, he simply did not grasp it - he was utterly unable to grasp it.
The example of the syllogism that he had learned in Kiseveter's logic - Caius is a man, men are mortal, therefore Caius is mortal - had seemed to him all his life correct only as regards Caius, but not at all regards himself. In that case it was a question of Caius, a man, an abstract man, and it was perfectly true, but he was not Caius, and was not an abstract man; he had always been a creature quite, quite different from all the others.”
― Leo Tolstoy, quote from The Death of Ivan Ilych


“Ivan Ilych had been a colleague of the gentlemen present and was liked by them all. He had been ill for some weeks with an illness said to be incurable. His post had been kept open for him, but there had been conjectures that in case of his death Alexeev might receive his appointment, and that either Vinnikov or Shtabel would succeed Alexeev. So on receiving the news of Ivan Ilych's death the first thought of each of the gentlemen in that private room was of the changes and promotions it might occasion among themselves or their acquaintances.”
― Leo Tolstoy, quote from The Death of Ivan Ilych


“It is impossible that all men have been doomed to suffer this awful horror!”
― Leo Tolstoy, quote from The Death of Ivan Ilych


“... the mere fact of the death of a near acquaintance aroused, as usual, in all who heard of it the complacent feeling that, "it is he who is dead and not I.”
― Leo Tolstoy, quote from The Death of Ivan Ilych


“Always the same. Now a spark of hope flashes up, then a sea of despair rages, and always pain; always pain, always despair, and always the same.”
― Leo Tolstoy, quote from The Death of Ivan Ilych


“In reality it was just what is usually seen in the houses of people of moderate means who want to appear rich, and therefore succeed only in resembling otherslike themselves: there are damasks, dark wood, plants, rugs, and dull and polished bronzes -- all the things people of a certain class have in order to resemble other people of that class. His house was so like the others that it would never have been noticed, but to him it all seemed to be quite exceptional.”
― Leo Tolstoy, quote from The Death of Ivan Ilych


“What tormented Ivan Ilych most was the deception, the lie, which for some reason they all accepted, that he was not dying but was simply ill, and that he only need keep quiet and undergo a treatment and then something very good would result.”
― Leo Tolstoy, quote from The Death of Ivan Ilych


“So that's what it is!" he suddenly exclaimed aloud. "What joy!”
― Leo Tolstoy, quote from The Death of Ivan Ilych


“Ca era dimineata ori seara, vineri ori duminica ― ii era totuna; era la fel, aceeasi durere surda, chinuitoare, care nu-l lasa o clipa; mereu constiinta vietii care se stinge fara putinta de impotrivire, dar care mai dainuie; moartea care se apropia, cumplita si hada ― numai ea singura era realitatea, iar celelalte toate...minciuna. La ce bun sa mai tii socoteala zilelor, saptamanilor, ceasurilor ?”
― Leo Tolstoy, quote from The Death of Ivan Ilych


“факт смерти близкого знакомого вызвал во всех, узнавших про нее, как всегда, чувство радости о том, что умер он, а не я.”
― Leo Tolstoy, quote from The Death of Ivan Ilych


“There was no deceiving himself: something terrible, new, and more important than anything before in his life, was taking place within him of which he alone was aware.”
― Leo Tolstoy, quote from The Death of Ivan Ilych


“In reality it was just what is usually
seen in the houses of people of moderate
means who want to appear rich, and therefore succeed only in resembling others
like themselves: there are damasks,
dark wood, plants, rugs, and dull and
polished bronzes -- all the things people of
a certain class have in order to
resemble other people of that class. His
house was so like the others that it
would never have been noticed, but to him it
all seemed to be quite exceptional.”
― Leo Tolstoy, quote from The Death of Ivan Ilych


“No hay felicidad en la existencia, no hay más que relámpagos de felicidad.”
― Leo Tolstoy, quote from The Death of Ivan Ilych


“When the examination was over, the doctor looked at his watch, and then Praskovya Fyodorovna informed Ivan Ilyich that it must of course be as he liked, but she had sent today for a celebrated doctor, and that he would examine him, and have a consultation with Mihail Danilovich (that was the name of his regular doctor). 'Don't oppose it now, please. This I'm doing entirely for my own sake,' she said ironically, meaning it to be understood that she was doing it all for his sake, and was only saying this to give him no right to refuse her request. He lay silent, knitting his brows. He felt that he was hemmed in by such a tangle of falsity that it was hard to disentangle anything from it. Everything she did for him was entirely for her own sake, and she told him she was doing for her own sake what she actually was doing for her own sake as something so incredible that he would take it as meaning the opposite.”
― Leo Tolstoy, quote from The Death of Ivan Ilych


“Oare nu e limpede, pentru toti in afara de mine, ca ma sfarsesc ? Si nu e vorba decat de saptamani, de zile ― poate chiar acum mor. A fost lumina si-acum e intuneric. Am fost aici si-acum plec acolo! Unde ?" Il trecura fiori, respiratia i se opri. Nu auzea decat bataile inimii. "N-am sa mai exist ― si-atunci ce-o sa fie? N-o sa fie nimic. Unde am sa fiu cand n-am sa mai exist? Cum? Chiar moartea? Nu, nu vreau!" Se ridica din pat, vru sa aprinda lumanarea, bajbai cu mainile tremuratoare, scapa lumanarea si sfesnicul pe jos si cazu din nou in pat, pe perna. "De ce ? Totuna e, isi spuse, privind cu ochii deschisi in intuneric. Moartea. Da, moartea. Si nimeni din ei nu stie si nici nu vrea sa stie, si nu le e mila. Ei canta! (auzea ca din departare, de dupa usa, glasuri si refrene.) Lor le e totuna, dar si ei o sa moara. Natangii! Eu mai devreme, ei mai tarziu; dar si ei o sa pateasca la fel. Acum se veselesc. Dobitocii!”
― Leo Tolstoy, quote from The Death of Ivan Ilych


“Avea conștiința că viața îi este otrăvită,că otrăvește și viața celorlalți și că otrava asta nu scade,ci îi pătrunde tot mai adânc întreaga-i ființă.”
― Leo Tolstoy, quote from The Death of Ivan Ilych


“It occurred to him that his scarcely perceptible attempts to struggle against what was considered good by the most highly placed people, those scarcely noticeable impulses which he had immediately suppressed, might have been the real thing, and all the rest false.”
― Leo Tolstoy, quote from The Death of Ivan Ilych


“What tormented Ivan Ilyich most was the deception, the lie, which for some reason they all accepted, that he was not dying but was simply ill, and the only need keep quiet and undergo a treatment and then something very good would result.”
― Leo Tolstoy, quote from The Death of Ivan Ilych


About the author

Leo Tolstoy
Born place: in Yasnaya Polyana, Tula, Russian Empire
Born date September 9, 1828
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