Leo Tolstoy’s “Anna Karenina” Quotes (101 Quotes)


    And not only the pride of intellect, but the stupidity of intellect. And, above all, the dishonesty, yes, the dishonesty of intellect. Yes, indeed, the dishonesty and trickery of intellect.


    I ... having filled my life with the spiritual blessings Christianity gave me, brimful of these blessings and living by them, I, like a child, not understanding them, destroy them -- that is, I wish to destroy that by which I live.


    She had no need to ask why he had come. She knew as certainly as if he had told her that he was here to be where she was.



    And so liberalism had become a habit of Stepan Arkadyevitch's, and he liked his newspaper, as he did his cigar after dinner, for the slight fog it diffused in his brain.

    Every man, knowing to the smallest detail all the complexity of the conditions surrounding him, involuntarily assumes that the complexity of these conditions and the difficulty of comprehending them are only his personal, accidental peculiarity, and never thinks that others are surrounded by the same complexity as he is.

    I always loved you, and if one loves anyone, one loves the whole person, just as they are and not as one would like them to be. -Dolly


    She was in that highly-wrought state when the reasoning powers act with great rapidity: the state a man is in before a battle or a struggle, in danger, and at the decisive moments of life - those moments when a man shows once and for all what he is worth, that his past was not lived in vain but was a preparation for these moments.

    There are no conditions to which a person cannot grow accustomed, especially if he sees that everyone around him lives in the same way.

    And the light by which she had read the book filled with troubles, falsehoods, sorrow, and evil, flared up more brightly than ever before, lighted up for her all that had been in darkness, flickered, began to grow dim, and was quenched forever.


    I ask one thing only: I ask for the right to hope, to suffer as I do. But if even that cannot be, command me to disappear, and I disappear. You shall not see me if my presence is distasteful to you.


    Sight-seeing, aside from the fact that everything had been seen already, could not have for him--and intelligent Russian--the inexplicable importance attached to it by the English.

    There are people who, on meeting a successful rival, no matter in what, are at once disposed to turn their backs on everything good in him, and to see only what is bad. There are people, on the other hand, who desire above all to find in that lucky rival the qualities by which he has outstripped them, and seek with a throbbing ache at heart only what is good.


    Friends we shall never be, you know that yourself. Whether we shall be the happiest or the wretchedest of people--that's in your hands.

    I do value my work awfully; but in reality only consider this: all this world of ours is nothing but a speck of mildew, which has grown up on a tiny planet. And for us to suppose we can have something great - ideas, work - it's all dust and ashes.

    I've always loved you, and when you love someone, you love the whole person, just as he or she is, and not as you would like them to be.

    Something magical has happened to me: like a dream when one feels frightened and creepy, and suddenly wakes up to the knowledge that no such terrors exist. I have wakened up.

    There was no answer, except the general answer life gives to all the most complex and insoluble questions. That answer is: one must live for the needs of the day, in other words, become oblivious.

    Anna spoke not only naturally and intelligently, but intelligently and casually, without attaching any value to her own thoughts, yet giving great value to the thoughts of the one she was talking to.

    He could not be mistaken. There were no other eyes like those in the world. There was only one creature in the world who could concentrate for him all the brightness and meaning of life. It was she. It was Kitty.

    I don't want to prove anything; I merely want to live, to do no one harm but myself. I have the right to do that, haven't I?

    Just think! This whole world of ours is only a speck of mildew sprung up on a tiny planet, yet we think we can have something great - thoughts,, actions! They are all but grains of sand

    Sometimes she did not know what she feared, what she desired: whether she feared or desired what had been or what would be, and precisely what she desired, she did not know.

    There was no solution, save that universal solution which life gives to all questions, even the most complex and insolvable: One must live in the needs of the day--that is, forget oneself.


    He felt that all his hitherto dissipated and dispersed forces were gathered and directed with terrible energy towards one blissful goal.

    I have discovered nothing. I have only found out what I knew. I understand the force that in the past gave me life, and now too gives me life. I have been set free from falsity, I have found the Master.

    Levin scowled. The humiliation of his rejection stung him to the heart, as though it were a fresh wound he had only just received. But he was at home, and at home the very walls are a support.

    Speak to her now? But that's just why I'm afraid to speak-because I'm happy now, happy in hope, anyway… . And then?… . But I must! I must! I must! Away with weakness!

    These joys were so trifling as to be as imperceptible as grains of gold among the sand, and in moments of depression she saw nothing but the sand; yet there were brighter moments when she felt nothing but joy, saw nothing but the gold.

    As often happens between men who have chosen different pursuits, each, while in argument justifying the other's activity, despised it in the depth of his heart.

    He had never thought the question over clearly, but vaguely imagined that his wife had long suspected him of being unfaithful to her and was looking the other way. It even seemed to him that she, a worn-out, aged, no longer beautiful woman, not remarkable for anything, simple, merely a kind mother of a family, ought in all fairness to be indulgent. It turned out to be quite the opposite.

    I often think that men don't understand what is noble and what is ignorant, though they always talk about it.

    My life now, my whole life, regardless of all that may happen to me, every minute of it, is not only not meaningless, as it was before, but has the unquestionable meaning of the good which it is in my power to put into it!


    These loaves, pigeons, and two little boys seemed unearthly. It all happened at the same time: a little boy ran over to a pigeon, glancing over at Levin with a smile; the pigeon flapped its wings and fluttered, gleaming in the sunshine among the snowdust quivering in the air, while the smell of freshly baked bread was wafted out of a little window as the loaves were put out. All this together was so extraordinarily wonderful that Levin burst out laughing and crying for joy.

    At that instant he knew that all his doubts, even the impossibility of believing with his reason, of which he was aware in himself, did not in the least hinder his turning to God. All of that now floated out of his soul like dust. To whom was he to turn if not to Him in whose hands he felt himself, his soul, and his love?


    If there are as many minds as there are men, then there are as many kinds of love as there are hearts.


    Stepan Arkadyevitch had not chosen his political opinions or his views; these political opinions and views had come to him of themselves, just as he did not choose the shapes of his hat and coat, but simply took those that were being worn.

    They've got no idea what happiness is, they don't know that without this love there is no happiness or unhappiness for us--there is no life.


    He looked at her as a man looks at a faded flower he has gathered, with difficulty recognizing in it the beauty for which he picked and ruined it. And in spite of this he felt that then, when his love was stronger, he could, if he had greatly wished it, have torn that love out of his heart; but now when as at that moment it seemed to him he felt no love for her, he knew that what bound him to her could not be broken.


    More Leo Tolstoy Quotations (Based on Topics)


    Life - Man - Love - Happiness - World - People - God - Mind - Truth - Christianity - Death & Dying - War & Peace - Good & Evil - Time - Reasoning - Joy & Excitement - Work & Career - History - Beauty - View All Leo Tolstoy Quotations

    More Leo Tolstoy Quotations (By Book Titles)


    - Anna Karenina
    - War and Peace

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