Yevgeny Zamyatin Quotes
A man is like a novel: until the very last page you don't know how it will end. Otherwise it wouldn't be worth reading.
All of life in its complexity and beauty is forever minted in the gold of words.
All truths are erroneous. This is the very essence of the dialectical process: today's truths become errors tomorrow; there is no final number.
All women are lips, nothing but lips.
An error is more useful than truth: truth is a thought suffering from arteriosclerosis.
And everyone must lose his mind, everyone must! The sooner the better! It is essential -- I know it.
And happiness ... Well, after all, desires torment us, don't they? And, clearly, happiness is when there are no more desires, not one ... What a mistake, what ridiculous prejudice it's been to have marked happiness always with a plus sign. Absolute happiness should, of course, carry a minus sign -- the divine minus.
And tomorrow - who knows what happens? Do you get it? I don't know and no one knows - it's all unknown! You understand, that this is the end to the Known? This is the new, the improbable, the unpredictable.
Art functions pyramidally: all new achievements are based on the utilization of everything that has been accumulated below, at the foundations of the pyramid. Revolutions do not occur here; this field, more than any other, is governed by evolution. And we must know what has been done before us in the field of verbal art. This does not mean that you must follow in trodden paths: you must contribute something of your own. A work of art is of value only when it is original, both in content and in form. But in order to leap upward, it is necessary to take off from the ground. It is essential that there be a ground.
At night numbers must sleep; it is their duty, just as it is their duty to work in the daytime. Not sleeping at night is a criminal offense.
By complex ways, by looking deep into the dark well of the human soul, full of filth, somewhere at the very bottom of it Chekhov at last found his faith. And this faith turned out to be faith in man, in the power of human progress. And man became his god.
Children are the boldest philosophers. They enter life naked, not covered by the smallest fig leaf of dogma, absolutes, creeds. This is why every question they ask is so absurdly naive and so frighteningly complex.
Children are the only brave philosophers. And brave philosophers are, inevitably, children.
Crossing out is an art that is, perhaps, even more difficult than writing. It requires the sharpest eye to decide what is superfluous and must be removed. And it requires ruthlessness toward yourself -- the greatest ruthlessness and self-sacrifice. You must know how to sacrifice parts in the name of the whole.
Darkness. The door into the neighboring room is not quite shut. A strip of light stretches through the crack in the door across the ceiling. People are walking about by lamplight. Something has happened. The strip moves faster and faster and the dark walls move further and further apart, into infinity. This room is London and there are thousands of doors. The lamps dart about and the strips dart across the ceiling. And perhaps it is all delirium ...
Don't forget that we lawyers, we're a higher breed of intellect, and so it's our privilege to lie. It's as clear as day. Animals can't even imagine lying: if you were to find yourself among some wild islanders, they too would only speak the truth until they learned about European culture.
Ever since he repented of religion and shaved off his clerical beard and mustache, he has had the constant feeling that he has taken off his trousers, and that his nose protrudes altogether indecently and must at all cost be covered.
Every genuine poet is necessarily a Columbus. America existed for centuries before Columbus but it was only Columbus who was able to track it down.
Explosions are not comfortable.
Her smile was a bite, and I was its target.
Yevgeny Zamyatin Profile
February 1, 1884
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