“He wanted and needed their love, but felt none towards them. He now had neither love nor humility nor purity”

Leo Tolstoy

“Every man had his personal habits, passions, and impulses toward goodness, beauty, and truth.”

Leo Tolstoy

“Whatever our fate is or may be, we have made it and do not complain of it."

Leo Tolstoy

“Art should cause violence to be set aside and it is only art that can accomplish this.”

Leo Tolstoy

“There is no greatness where there is not simplicity, goodness, and truth.”

Leo Tolstoy

“[Pierre] involuntarily started comparing these two men, so different and at the same time so similar, because of the love he had for both of them, and because both had lived and both had died.”

Leo Tolstoy

“He got up, wishing to go around, but the aunt handed him the snuffbox right over Helene, behind her back. Helene moved forward so as to make room and, smiling, glanced around. As always at soirees, she was wearing a gown in the fashion of the time, quite open in front and back. Her bust, which had always looked like marble to Pierre, was now such a short distance from him that he could involuntarily make out with his nearsighted eyes the living loveliness of her shoulders and neck, and so close to his lips that he had only to lean forward a little to touch her. He sensed the warmth of her body, the smell of her perfume, and the creaking of her corset as she breathed. He saw not her marble beauty, which made one with her gown, he saw and sensed all the loveliness of her body, which was merely covered by clothes. And once he had seen it, he could not see otherwise, as we cannot return to a once-exposed deception.”

Leo Tolstoy

“The same talk, the same thoughts, and always about the same things! And they are all satisfied and confident that it should be so, and will go on living like that till they die.”

Leo Tolstoy

“Natasha, with a vigorous turn from her heel on to her toe, walked over to the middle of the room and stood still... Natasha took the first note, her throat swelled, her bosom heaved, a serious expression came into her face. She was thinking of no one and of nothing at that moment, and from her smiling mouth poured forth notes, those notes that anyone can produce at the same intervals, and hold for the same length of time, yet a thousand times leave us cold, and the thousand and first time they set us thrilling and weeping.”

Leo Tolstoy

“And indeed, if Evgeny Irtenev was mentally ill, then all people are just as mentally ill, and the most mentally ill are undoubtably those who see signs of madness in others that they do not see in themselves.”

Leo Tolstoy

“Faith is neither hope nor trust, but a particular spiritual state. Faith is man’s awareness that his position in the world obliges him to perform certain actions. A person acts according to his faith, not as the catechism says because he believes in things unseen as in things seen, nor because he wishes to achieve things hoped for, but simply because having defined his position in the world it is natural for him to act according to it.”

Leo Tolstoy

“All the girls in the world were divided into two classes: one class included all the girls in the world except her, and they had all the usual human feelings and were very ordinary girls; while the other class -herself alone- had no weaknesses and was superior to all humanity.”

Leo Tolstoy

“If we admit that human life can be ruled by reason, then all possibility of life is destroyed.”

Leo Tolstoy

“The business of art lies just in this, -- to make that understood and felt which, in the form of an argument, might be incomprehensible and inaccessible.

Leo Tolstoy

“The pleasure lies not in discovering truth, but in searching for it.”

Leo Tolstoy


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