Boris Pasternak Quotes (53 Quotes)


    A conscious attempt to fall asleep is sure to produce insomnia, to try to be conscious of one's own digestion is a sure way to upset the stomach. Consciousness is a poison when we apply it to ourselves. Consciousness is a light directed outward. it's like the headlights on a locomotive-turn them inward and you'd have a crash.

    Progress in science is governed by the laws of repulsion, every step forward is made by refutation of prevalent errors and false theories. Forward steps in art are governed by the law of attraction, are the result of imitation of and admiration for beloved predecessors.

    A literary creation can appeal to us in all sorts of ways-by its theme, subject, situations, characters. But above all it appeals to us by the presence in it of art. It is the presence of art in Crime and Punishment that moves us deeply rather than the story of Raskolnikov's crime.


    And if he were really to do good he would have needed in addition to his principles, a heart capable of violating them - a heart which knows only of particular not of general cases and which achieves greatness in little actions.



    And now listen carefully. You in others-this is your soul. This is what you are. This is what your consciousness has breathed and lived on and enjoyed throughout your life-your soul, your immortality, your life in others. And what now? You have always been in others and you will remain in others. And what does it matter to you if later on that is called your memory? This will be you-the you that enters the future and becomes a part of it.

    You and I, it's as though we have been taught to kiss in heaven and sent down to earth together, to see if we know what we were taught.

    And then the two basic ideals of modern man- without them he is unthinkable- the idea of free personality and the idea of life as sacrafice

    You come out; it is still dark. The door creaks, or perhaps you sneeze, or the snow crunches under your foot, and hares start up from the far cabbage patch and leap away, leaving the snow criss-crossed with tracks. In the distance dogs begin to howl and it takes a long time before the quieten down. The cocks have finished their crowing and have nothing left to say. Then dawn breaks.


    As before the collapse, the setting sun brushed the tiles, brought out the warm brown glow on the wallpaper, and hung the shadow of the birch on the wall as if it were a woman's scarf.

    But the division in him was a sorrow and a torment, and he became accustomed to it only as one gets used to an unhealed and frequently reopened wound.

    Farewell, my great one, my own, farewell, my pride, farewell, my swift, deep, dear river, how I loved your daylong splashing, how I loved to plunge into your cold waves.


    I don't think I could love you so much if you had nothing to complain of and nothing to regret. I don't like people who have never fallen or stumbled. Their virtue is lifeless and of little value. Life hasn't revealed it's beauty to them.



    It?s a good thing when a man is different from your image of him. Is shows he isn?t a type. If he were, it would be the end of him as a man. But if you can?t place him in a category, it means that at least a part of him is what a human being ought to be. He has risen above himself, he has a grain of immortality.

    Oh, how one wishes sometimes to escape from the meaningless dullness of human eloquence, from all those sublime phrases, to take refuge in nature, apparently so inarticulate, or in the wordlessness of long, grinding labor, of sound sleep, of true music, or of a human understanding rendered speechless by emotion!

    Oh, what a love it was, utterly free, unique, like nothing else on earth! Their thoughts were like other people's songs.


    No deep and strong feeling, such as we may come across here and there in the world, is unmixed with compassion. The more we love, the more the object of our love seems to us to be a victim.

    Poetry is a rich, full-bodied whistle, cracked ice crunching in pails, the night that numbs the leaf, the duel of two nightingales, the sweet pea that has run wild, Creation's tears in shoulder blades.

    In view of the meaning given to this honor in the community to which I belong, I should abstain from the undeserved prize that has been awarded to me. Do not meet my voluntary refusal with ill will.

    The whole of life is symbolic because the whole of it has meaning.

    I come here to speak poetry. It will always be in the grass. It will also be necessary to bend down to hear it. It will always be too simple to be discussed in assemblies.

    One day Lara went out and did not come back.... She died or vanished somewhere, forgotten as a nameless number on a list which was afterwards mislaid.

    I don't like people who have never fallen or stumbled. Their virtue is lifeless and it isn't of much value. Life hasn't revealed its beauty to them.

    What for centuries raised man above the beast is not the cudgel but the irresistible power of unarmed truth.

    I have been writing in spurts, bit by bit. It is incredibly difficult. Everything is corroded, broken, dismantled everything is covered with hardened layers of accumulated insensitivity, deafness, entrenched routine. It is disgusting.

    That's metaphysics, my dear fellow. It's forbidden me by my doctor, my stomach won't take it.

    Literature is the art of discovering something extraordinary about ordinary people, and saying with ordinary words something extraordinary.

    I think that if the beast who sleeps in man could be held down by threats of any kind, whether of jail or retribution, then the highest emblem of humanity would be the lion tamer, not the prophet who sacrified himself.

    Art always serves beauty, and beauty is the joy of possessing form, and form is the key to organic life since no living thing can exist without it.

    They don't ask much of you. They only want you to hate the things you love and to love the things you despise.

    Love is not weakness. It is strong. Only the sacrament of marriage can contain it.

    At the moment of childbirth, every woman has the same aura of isolation, as though she were abandoned, alone.

    Even so, one step from my grave, I believe that cruelty, spite, The powers of darkness will in time, Be crushed by the spirit of light.

    Art is interested in life at the moment when the ray of power is passing through it.

    As in an explosion, I would erupt with all the wonderful things I saw and understood in this world.

    You fall into my arms. You are the good gift of destruction's path, When life sickens more than disease. And boldness is the root of beauty. Which draws us together.


    Everything established, settled, everything to do with home and order and the common round, has crumbled into dust and been swept away in the general upheaval and reorganization of the whole of society.

    Immensely grateful, touched, proud, astonished, abashed.

    Work is the order of the day, just as it was at one time, with our first starts and our best efforts. Do you remember? Therein lies its delight. It brings back the forgotten; one's stores of energy, seemingly exhausted, come back to life.


    Art has two constant, two unending concerns: It always meditates on death and thus always creates life. All great, genuine art resembles and continues the Revelation of St John.

    As for the men in power, they are so anxious to establish the myth of infallibility that they do their utmost to ignore truth.

    As far as modern writing is concerned, it is rarely rewarding to translate it, although it might be easy. Translation is very much like copying paintings.


    More Boris Pasternak Quotations (Based on Topics)


    Life - Art - Man - Literature - Truth - Mind - Vice & Virtue - Power - Time - Immortality - Society & Civilization - Poetry - World - Love - Emotions - Value - Thought & Thinking - Beauty - Health - View All Boris Pasternak Quotations

    More Boris Pasternak Quotations (By Book Titles)


    - Doctor Zhivago

    Related Authors


    Sidney Sheldon - Salman Rushdie - Pearl S. Buck - Nathaniel Hawthorne - Naguib Mahfouz - Louisa May Alcott - Katherine Dunn - J. D. Salinger - Amy Tan - Alexander Dumas


Page 1 of 2 1 2

Authors (by First Name)

A - B - C - D - E - F - G - H - I - J - K - L - M
N - O - P - Q - R - S - T - U - V - W - X - Y - Z

Other Inspiring Sections

Login to your account below

Fill the forms bellow to register

Retrieve your password

Please enter your username or email address to reset your password.