Quotes from The Kreutzer Sonata

Leo Tolstoy ·  128 pages

Rating: (14.6K votes)


“It is amazing how complete is the delusion that beauty is goodness.”
― Leo Tolstoy, quote from The Kreutzer Sonata


“Music makes me forget my real situation. It transports me into a state which is not my own. Under the influence of music I really seem to feel what I do not feel, to understand what I do not understand, to have powers which I cannot have. Music seems to me to act like yawning or laughter; I have no desire to sleep, but I yawn when I see others yawn; with no reason to laugh, I laugh when I hear others laugh. And music transports me immediately into the condition of soul in which he who wrote the music found himself at that time.”
― Leo Tolstoy, quote from The Kreutzer Sonata


“Music makes me forget myself, my true condition, it carries me off into another state of being, one that isn't my own: under the influence of music I have the illusion of feeling things I don't really feel, of understanding things I don't understand, being able to do things I'm not able to do (...) Can it really be allowable for anyone who feels like it to hypnotize another person, or many other persons, and then do what he likes with them? Particularly if the hypnotist is the first unscrupulous individual who happens to come along?”
― Leo Tolstoy, quote from The Kreutzer Sonata


“It is amazing how complete is the delusion that beauty is goodness. A handsome woman talks nonsense, you listen and hear not nonsense but cleverness. She says and does horrid things, and you see only charm. And if a handsome woman does not say stupid or horrid things, you at once persuade yourself that she is wonderfully clever and moral.”
― Leo Tolstoy, quote from The Kreutzer Sonata


“I wanted to run after him, but remembered that it is ridiculous to run after one's wife's lover in one's socks; and I did not wish to be ridiculous but terrible.”
― Leo Tolstoy, quote from The Kreutzer Sonata



“Loving the same man or woman all your life, why, that's like supposing the same candle could last you all your life”
― Leo Tolstoy, quote from The Kreutzer Sonata


“Another's wife is a white swan, and ours is bitter wormwood.”
― Leo Tolstoy, quote from The Kreutzer Sonata


“I killed the wife when I first tasted sensual joys without love, and then it was that I killed my wife.”
― Leo Tolstoy, quote from The Kreutzer Sonata


“Este incredibil cât de completă este iluzia care ne face să credem că frumuseţea este în genere bunătate.”
― Leo Tolstoy, quote from The Kreutzer Sonata


“Music makes me forget myself, my real position; it transports me to some other position not my own. Under the influence of music it seems to me that I feel what I do not really feel, that I understand what I do not understand, that I can do what I cannot do. I explain it by the fact that music acts like yawning, like laughter: I am not sleepy, but I yawn when I see someone yawning; there is nothing for me to laugh at, but I laugh when I hear people laughing.

Music carries me immediately and directly into the mental condition in which the man was who composed it. My soul merges with his and together with him I pass from one condition into another, but why this happens I don't know.”
― Leo Tolstoy, quote from The Kreutzer Sonata



“«But you are talking of physical love. Do you not admit a love based upon a conformity of ideals, on a spiritual affinity?»

«Why not? But in that case it is not necessary to procreate together (excuse my brutality).»”
― Leo Tolstoy, quote from The Kreutzer Sonata


“They abolish the external form, they suppress the formal sales of slaves, and then they imagine and assure others that slavery is abolished. They are unwilling to see that it still exists, since people, as before, like to profit by the labor of others, and think it good and just. This being given, there will always be found beings stronger or more cunning than others to profit thereby. The same thing happens in the emancipation of woman. At bottom feminine servitude consists entirely in her assimilation with a means of pleasure. They excite woman, they give her all sorts of rights equal to those of men, but they continue to look upon her as an object of sensual desire, and thus they bring her up from infancy and in public opinion.”
― Leo Tolstoy, quote from The Kreutzer Sonata


“Te miri cum frumuseţea ne dă iluzia deplină a binelui. Când o femeie frumoasă îndrugă prostii, o asculţi şi nu-i observi prostia, ci tot ce-ţi spune ţi se pare inteligent. Vorbeşte şi se poartă oribil şi tu vezi în asta ceva drăgălaş. Dacă însă nici nu spune prostii nici nu face lucruri urâte şi mai e şi frumoasă, te convingi numaidecât că e un miracol de deşteptăciune şi de moralitate.

Milioane de oameni, generaţii de robi cad victimă muncii silnice din fabrici numai pentru a satisface capriciile femeilor. Femeile, aidoma unor regine, ţin nouăzeci la sută din omenire în captivitatea lor şi în sclavia muncii grele… Ele se răzbună, acţionând asupra simţurilor noastre, prinzându-ne în mrejele lor. Da, totul purcede de aici. Femeile au făurit din ele însele o atât de puternică armă de acţionare asupra simţurilor, încât bărbatul nu se poate purta calm faţă de femeie. E de ajuns bărbatul să se apropie de femeie ca să cadă pradă vrăjii ei şi să-şi piardă capul. Şi odinioară mă simţeam totdeauna prost, stingherit când vedeam o doamnă gătită de bal; acum, însă mă cuprinde de-a dreptul groaza, văd în ea pur şi simplu o primejdie pentru oameni, o nelegiuire, şi-mi vine să chem Poliţia, să strig după ajutor.

Căci numai noi, bărbaţii, nu ştim şi, fiindcă nu vrem să ştim, pe câtă vreme femeile ştiu foarte bine că cea mai sublimă, cea mai poetică dragoste, cum îi spunem noi, nu depinde de însuşirile morale ale femeii, ce de apropierea fizică şi totodată de pieptănătură, de culoarea şi croiala rochiei.

Oamenii se căsătoresc fără să vadă în căsătorie altceva decât o împerechere şi rezultatul este fie înşelăciunea, fie silnicia. Înşelăciunea e mai uşor de suportat. Bărbatul şi soţia înşeală numai lumea, lăsând să se creadă că ar fi monogami, când în realitate trăiesc poligamie sau poliandrie. Şi asta e destul de greu, dar mai merge. Când însă – şi lucru acesta se întâmplă cel mai adesea – soţul şi soţia şi-au asumat obligaţia formală de a trăi toată viaţa împreună şi chiar din a doua lună a căsniciei încep a se urî unul pe altul, doresc să se despartă şi totuşi stau laolaltă, atunci ajung la acel infern îngrozitor, care-i duce la beţie, care-i face să se împuşte, să se omoare sau să-şi otrăvească fiecare viaţa lui şi pe a celuilalt”
― Leo Tolstoy, quote from The Kreutzer Sonata


“As soon as a young man advances toward a woman, directly he falls under the influence of this opium, and loses his head. Long ago I felt ill at ease when I saw a woman too well adorned,—whether a woman of the people with her red neckerchief and her looped skirt, or a woman of our own society in her ball-room dress. But now it simply terrifies me. I see in it a danger to men, something contrary to the laws; and I feel a desire to call a policeman, to appeal for defence from some quarter, to demand that this dangerous object be removed.”
― Leo Tolstoy, quote from The Kreutzer Sonata


“[...] la schiavitù non è altro che il profitto di pochi del lavoro della massa. Perché la schiavitù possa essere abolita è necessario che gli uomini non sfruttino più le fatiche delle masse e che considerino vergognoso e vile tale sfruttamento. Intanto si fa in modo che venga nascosta la forma esteriore della schiavitù e che venga abolito il mercato degli schiavi; così facendo tendiamo a persuaderci che non esiste più la schiavitù e non vediamo e non vogliamo vedere che invece continua a esistere, dal momento che tutti gli uomini continuano a credere che sia giusto sfruttare le fatiche altrui. E poiché quest'opinione resiste, ci saranno sempre quelli più furbi e più forti che si credono in diritto di farlo. La stessa cosa accade con l'emancipazione della donna. Essa viene resa schiava perché ne possiamo approfittare a nostro piacere, e crediamo che ciò sia giusto. Ed ecco che le considerano libere, concedono loro gli stessi diritti degli uomini, ma continuano a pensarle come oggetto di piacere. Con questi principi vengono educate fin dall'infanzia e così vengono considerate in società. Ed esse saranno sempre schiave umiliate e corrotte, e altrettanto corrotto è l'uomo, il loro padrone.”
― Leo Tolstoy, quote from The Kreutzer Sonata



“Women, especially those who have passed through the school of marriage, know very well that conversations upon elevated subjects are only conversations, and that man seeks and desires the body and all that ornaments the body.”
― Leo Tolstoy, quote from The Kreutzer Sonata


“Every man experiences what you call love for every pretty woman and least of all for his wife. That is what the proverb says, and it is a true one. "Another's wife is a swan, but one's own is bitter wormwood.”
― Leo Tolstoy, quote from The Kreutzer Sonata


“Se poate afla cu ușurință cât fier și ce metale se găsesc în soare și în stele,dar să scoți la iveală ticăloșia noastră e greu,îngrozitor de greu...”
― Leo Tolstoy, quote from The Kreutzer Sonata


“Perhaps you think I'm losing the thread of my thought? Not a bit of it! I'm still telling you the story of how I murdered my wife, They asked me in court how I killed her, what I used to do it with. Imbeciles! They thought I killed her that day, the fifth of October, with a knife. It wasn't that day I killed her, it was much earlier. Exactly in the same way as they're killing their wives now, all of them...”
― Leo Tolstoy, quote from The Kreutzer Sonata


“What is music? What does it do to us? And why does it do to us what it does? People say that music has an uplifting effect on the soul: what rot! It isn’t true. It’s true that it has an effect, it has a terrible effect on me, at any rate, but it has nothing to do with any uplifting of the soul. Its effect on the soul is neither uplifting nor degrading — it merely irritates me.”
― Leo Tolstoy, quote from The Kreutzer Sonata



“Non si pone come regola, non si prescrive di essere casti; la castità è di per sé un ideale, o a dirla in breve una delle sue condizioni. E un ideale è davvero ideale soltanto quando la sua effettuazione è possibile soltanto nell'idea, nel pensiero; quando il suo raggiungimento ha davanti a sé l'infinito, cioè quando sono infinite le possibilità di effettuarlo. Perché se un ideale non soltanto potesse essere raggiunto, ma anche potessimo immaginarci di raggiungerlo, cesserebbe di essere ideale.

(dal post-scriptum dell'autore)”
― Leo Tolstoy, quote from The Kreutzer Sonata


“The main thing, and the thing which such people as he do not understand," rejoined the lady, "is that only love consecrates marriage, and that the real marriage is that which is consecrated by love.”
― Leo Tolstoy, quote from The Kreutzer Sonata


“In the city the wretched feel less sad. One can live there a hundred years without being noticed, and be dead a long time before anybody will notice it.”
― Leo Tolstoy, quote from The Kreutzer Sonata


“Never had I heard from my elders that what I thus did was bad. It is true that there are the ten commandments of the Bible; but the commandments are made only to be recited before the priests at examinations, and even then are not as exacting as the commandments in regard to the use of ut in conditional propositions.”
― Leo Tolstoy, quote from The Kreutzer Sonata


“Ah! you wish us to be only objects of sensuality? All right; by the aid of sensuality we will bend you beneath our yoke,' say the woman.”
― Leo Tolstoy, quote from The Kreutzer Sonata



“Women have made of themselves such a weapon to act upon the senses that a young man, and even an old man, cannot remain tranquil in their presence. Watch a popular festival, or our receptions or ball-rooms. Woman well knows her influence there. You will see it in her triumphant smiles.”
― Leo Tolstoy, quote from The Kreutzer Sonata


“Este uimitor cât de răspândită este iluzia că frumusețea echivalează cu binele.”
― Leo Tolstoy, quote from The Kreutzer Sonata


“Înainte mă simțeam stingher,chiar panicat,când vedeam o femeie dichisită,în rochie de bal,dar acum mi-e de-a dreptul groază,văd în ea ceva periculos pentru bărbați,ceva ce contravine legilor și îmi vine să chem poliția,să cer protecție împotriva pericolului,să cer ca obiectul periculos să fie luat de acolo,îndepărtat.”
― Leo Tolstoy, quote from The Kreutzer Sonata


“Animalele par să știe că progenitura le perpetuează specia și respectă o anumită lege în acest sens.Numai omul nu știe asta și nici nu vrea.Singura lui grijă este să guste din cât mai multe plăceri.”
― Leo Tolstoy, quote from The Kreutzer Sonata


About the author

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