Friday, July 10, 2009
Favorite Quotes from War and Peace
I thought about putting this post over on my boring book blog (Vita et Veritas) but then I thought Nah! These are way too much fun!
I just read War and Peace, and was delighted with it. There were a couple of parts where his philosophical thoughts and description of military process had me skimming the page instead of reading, but not enough to get me down. I actually loved the way he combined the story and the philosophy; his writing spoke to me. This makes the 3rd Tolstoy piece I've read, and though I've liked them all (the other 2 were Anna Karenina and parts of The Kruetzer Sonata) this is my favorite. In fact, I think this makes the list of all-time favorites (yes folks, right up there with Jane Austen). And without further ado, here are a few of my favorite quotes:
"All we can know is that we know nothing. And that's the height of human wisdom."
At such moments Princess Mary would think how intellectual work dries men up.
"Your mother's milk has hardly dried on your lips and you want to go into the army!"
"Ah, my friend, it has of late become hard for me to live. I see that I have begun to understand too much. And it doesn't do for man to taste of the tree of knowledge of good and evil..."
Toward the end of the evening, however, as the wife's face grew more flushed and animated, the husband's became more and more melancholy and solemn, as though there were but a given amount of animation between them and as the wife's share increased the husband's diminished.
His words and actions flowed from him as evenly, inevitably, and spontaneously as fracgrance exhales from a flower.
For us with the standard of good and evil given us by Christ, no human actions are incommensurable.
But despite the fact that the doctors treated him, bled him, and gave him medicines to drink, he recovered.
Sometimes it seemed to him that other people were all as pleased as he was himself and merely tried to hide that pleasure by pretending to be busy with other interests.
...and by loving people without cause he discovered indubitable causes for loving them.