The Diary of a Superfluous Man by Ivan Turgenev

  • Nature! Nature! I love thee so, but I came forth from thy womb good for nothing—not fit even for life. 6463
  • While a man is living he is not conscious of his own life
  • And you tall birch-trees, with long hanging branches, from beyond which came floating a peasant’s mournful song, broken by the uneven jolting of the cart, I send you my last farewell!
  • Sentimental out-breaks are like liquorice; when first you suck it, it’s not bad, but afterwards it leaves a very nasty taste in the mouth.
  • I’m dying, and at the point of death I really think one may be excused a desire to find out what sort of a queer fish one really was after all.
  • They say that by a blind man the color red is imagined as the sound of a trumpet.
  • The misfortune of solitary and timid people—who are timid from self-consciousness—is just that, though they have eyes and indeed open them wide, they see nothing, or see everything in a false light, as though through colored spectacles. Their own ideas and speculations trip them up at every step.
  • Solitary people like me, I say again, are as incapable of understanding what is going on within them as what is taking place before their eyes. And, besides, is love a natural feeling? Is it natural for man to love? Love is a sickness; and for sickness there is no law.
  • As a rule fellows like me anticipate everything in the world, except what is bound to occur in the natural order of things.
  • When suffering reaches the point of making our whole being creak and groan, like an overloaded cart, it ought to cease to be ridiculous … but no! laughter not only accompanies tears to the end, to exhaustion, to the impossibility of shedding more—it even rings and echoes, where the tongue is dumb, and complaint itself is dead….
  • I fully realized how much happiness a man can extract from the contemplation of his own unhappiness. O men! pitiful race, indeed!
  • I did not even dream of her love. I desired only her affection, I desired to gain her confidence, her respect, which, we are assured by persons of experience, forms the surest basis for happiness in marriage….
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