“Well, I always know what I want. And when you know what you want--you go toward it. Sometimes you go very fast, and sometimes only an inch a year. Perhaps you feel happier when you go fast. I don't know. I've forgotten the difference long ago, because it really doesn't matter, so long as you move.”
“She smiled. She knew she was dying. But it did not matter any longer. She had known something which no human words could ever tell and she knew it now. She had been awaiting it and she felt it, as if it had been, as if she had lived it. Life had been, if only because she had known it could be, and she felt it now as a hymn without sound, deep under the little whole that dripped red drops into the snow, deeper than that from which the red drops came. A moment or an eternity- did it matter? Life, undefeated, existed and could exist. She smiled, her last smile, to so much that had been possible.”
“Because, you see, God—whatever anyone chooses to call God—is one's highest conception of the highest possible. And whoever places his highest conception above his own possibility thinks very little of himself and his life. It's a rare gift, you know, to feel reverence for your own life and to want the best, the greatest, the highest possible, here, now, for your very own. To imagine a heaven and then not to dream of it, but to demand it.”
“It's strange. There's your life. You begin it, feeling that it's something so precious and rare, so beautiful that it's like a sacred treasure. Now it's over, and it doesn't make any difference to anyone, and it isn't that they are indifferent, it's just that they don't know, they don't know what it means, that treasure of mine, and there's something about it that they should understand. I don't understand it myself, but there's something that should be understood by all of us. Only what is it? What?”
“Now look at me! Take a good look! I was born and I knew I was alive and I knew what I wanted. What do you think is alive in me? Why do you think I'm alive? Because I have a stomach and eat and digest the food? Because I breathe and work and produce more food to digest? Or because I know what I want, and that something which knows how to want—isn't that life itself? And who—in this damned universe—who can tell me why I should live for anything but for that which I want?”
“If you write a line of zeroes, it´s still nothing.”
“We'll meet again. We'll meet when years have passed, and years make such a difference, don't they?”
“Andrei, did you like the opera?"
"Andrei, do you see what you're missing?"
"I don't think I do, Kira. It's all rather silly. And useless."
"Can't you enjoy things that are useless, merely because they are beautiful?"
"No. But I enjoyed it."
"No. The way you listened to it.”
“It's a curse, you know, to be able to look higher than you're allowed to reach.”
“I loathe your ideals because I know no worse injustice than the giving of the undeserved.”
“It's because...you see, if we had souls, which we haven't, and if our souls met--yours and mine--they'd fight to the death. But after they had torn each other to pieces, to the very bottom, they'd see that they had the same root.”
“Kira, the highest thing in man is not his god. It's that in him which knows the reverence due a god. And you, Kira, are my highest reverence...”
“Well, if I asked people whether they believed in life, they'd never understand what I meant. It's a bad question. It can mean so much that it really means nothing. So I ask them if they believe in God. And if they say they do -- then, I know they don't believe in life. Because, you see, God -- whatever anyone chooses to call God -- is one's highest conception above his own possibility thinks very little of himself and his life. It's a rare gift, you know, to feel reverence for your own life and to want the best, the greatest, the highest possible, here, now, for your very own. To imagine a heaven and then not to dream of it, but to demand it.”
“To a life; which is reason unto itself.”
“It was beautiful and rare, and you have every right to despise me."
She stood pressed to the wall, not moving.
"When you came in, I thought 'Send her away.' But I knew that if you went away, I'd run after you. I thought 'I won't say a word.' But I knew that you'd know it before you left. I love you. I know you'd think kindlier of me if I said that I hate you.”
“That's a cute sentence: the years to come. Why are you so sure they're coming?”
“I think that when in doubt about the truth of an issue, it's safer and in better taste to select the least numerous of the adversaries.”
“Did it ever occur to you," asked Kira, "that I may be here for the very unusual, unnatural reason of wanting to learn a work I like only because I like it?”
“But those who were young had no thought left for spring and those who still thought were not young any longer.”
“Little notes of music trembled in hesitation, and burst, and rolled in quick, fine waves, like the thin, clear ringing of glass. Little notes leaped and exploded and laughed, laughed with a full, unconditional, consummate joy.
She did not know whether she was singing. Perhaps she was only hearing the music somewhere. But the music had been a promise; a promise at the dawn of her life. That which had been promised then, could not be denied to her now.”
“And what is the state but a servant and a convenience for a large number of people, just like the electric light and the plumbing system? And wouldn't it be preposterous to claim that men must exist for their plumbing, not the plumbing for the men?”
“sometimes, she felt pity for those countless nameless ones somewhere around them who, in a feverish quest, were searching for some answer, and in their search crushed others, perhaps even her; but she could not be crushed, for she had the answer.”
“Listen, here's something we can do: we can look at the moon, sometimes - and, you know, it's the same moon everywhere - and we would be looking at the same thing together that way, you see?”
“There were sharp little blows in the music, and waves of quick, fine notes that burst and rolled like the thin, clear ringing of broken glass. There were slow notes, as if the cords of the violins trembled in hesitation, tense with the fullness of sound, taking a few measured steps before the leap into the explosion of laughter.”
“And because she worshipped joy, Kira seldom laughed and did not go to see comedies in theaters. And because she felt a profound rebellion against the weighty, the tragic, the solemn, Kira had a solemn reverence for those songs of defiant gaiety.”
“But if I were given a choice - of all centuries - I'd select last the curse of being born in this one. And perhaps, if I weren't curious, I'd choose never to be born at all.”
“I always know what I want. And when you know what you want - you go toward it. Sometimes you go very fast, and sometimes only an inch a year. Perhaps you feel happier when you go fast. I don't know. I've forgotten the difference long ago, because it really doesn't matter, so long as you move.”
“The basic cause of totalitarianism is two ideas: men’s rejection of reason in favor of faith, and of self-interest in favor of self-sacrifice. If”
“I want to drink. I want a woman like you. I want to go down, as far as you can drag me.”
“Toil, comrade,” he said, “is the highest aim of our lives. Who does not toil, shall not eat.” The book was filled. The official applied his rubber stamp to the last page. The stamp bore a globe overshadowed by a crossed sickle and hammer.”
“I’d apparently misunderstood the sexual deprivation and borderline psychotic fantasies of this country’s romance-reading community.”
“She shook her head and said," If there's one thing I've learned in my life, it's that shitty things happen. You can't always stop them. They just happen. And yeah, you can let them destroy you, but what's the point? Might as well learn to deal with all those shitty things and move on."
"Is that what you did?"
"Yes." She paused. "And you will too. You just have to accept your loss and try your best to live out the rest of your life without letting the loss destroy you."
"Easier said than done," he muttered.
She laughed. "Who said life was easy?”
“A Very Short Song
Once, when I was young and true,
Someone left me sad-
Broke my brittle heart in two;
And that is very bad.
Love is for unlucky folk,
Love is but a curse.
Once there was a heart I broke;
And that, I think, is worse.”
“There were so many of these moments that could never be captured accurately, even in the camcorder, only in the heart.”
“He let Liam stand in front of him so he could lean on his bodyguard's shoulder. It was hard to stay standing...”
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