"I do not like rolled-up manuscripts. Some of them are heavy and smeared with time, like the trumpet of the archangel."
— Osip Mandelstam, ”The Egyptian Stamp” (via thesoviette)
"Americans are trying to find a soul - the rhythm of America. They are starting to deduce an American walk from the tentative steps of the ancient Indians on the footpaths of an empty Manhattan."
— Vladimir Mayakovsky, My Discovery of America (via omensetters)
"I lit a cigarette; you know how it is when your mind starts to spin round in the same circle of insoluble problems—you smoke. I smoked one cigarette after another, in an endeavor to cloud my intelligence and make the problems go away."
— The Kreutzer Sonata, Leo Tolstoy (via g0ldsoundz)
"‘But of course. Everyone must look out for himself, and the best time is had by those who’re best able to deceive themselves.’"
— Svidrigailov, in Fyodor Dostoevsky’s Crime and Punishment (via thewuest)
"For contemporary judgment does not recognize that much depth of soul is needed to light up the picture drawn from contemptible life and elevate it into a pearl of creation; for contemporary judgment does not recognize that lofty ecstatic laughter is worthy to stand beside the lyrical impulse, and that a whole abyss separates it from the antics of the street-fair clown! This contemporary judgment does not recognize; and will turn it all into a reproach and abuse of the unrecognized writer; with no sharing, no response, no sympathy, like a familyless wayfarer, he will be left alone in the middle of the road. Grim is his path, and bitterly will he feel his solitude."
— Nikolai Gogol, Dead Souls (via fortunatelyunfourtunately)
"What a wonderful day! Can’t choose whether to drink tea or to hang myself."
— Anton Chekhov (via russian-literature)
"Like a poster on an enormous length of fabric stretched over a city street, there hung in the air…the diffuse, greatly magnified phantom of an astonishing, adored head. And the head wept, and the increasing rain kissed it and poured over it."
— Boris Pasternak,Dr. Zhivago (via teawithbears)
"People who have an official, professional relation to other men’s sufferings – for instance, judges, police officers, doctors – in course of time, through habit, grow so callous that they cannot, even if they wish it, take any but a formal attitudes to their clients; in this respect they are not different from the peasant who slaughters sheep and calves in the backyard, and does not notice the blood."
— Ward No. 6, Anton Chekhov (via kapalaluan)
"A dust-covered patch to the right of the cemetery.
Beyond that, a river of unfolding blue.
“Get thee to a nunnery,” you said, “Or marry
An idiot — It’s up to you.”
That’s the sort of thing princes always say,
But I won’t forget it as I grow older.
May your words keep flowing as centuries wear away,
Like an ermine mantle tossed over someone’s shoulder."
— Anna Akhmatova, “While Reading Hamlet” tr. Lyn Coffin (via invinculis)
Your name is a—bird in my hand,
a piece of ice on my tongue.
The lips’ quick opening.
Your name—four letters.
A ball caught in flight,
a silver bell in my mouth.
A stone thrown into a silent lake
is—the sound of your name.
The light click of hooves at night
Your name at my temple
—sharp click of a cocked gun.
kiss on my eyes,
the chill of closed eyelids.
Your name—a kiss of snow.
Blue gulp of icy spring water.
With your name—sleep deepens.
— Marina Tsvetaeva, “POEMS FOR BLOK” (via livingforestfullofsongbirds)