Leo Tolstoy

Russian author remembered for two great novels (1828-1910)

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A Frenchman is self-assured because he regards himself personally both in mind and body as irresistibly attractive to men and women. An Englishman is self-assured as being a citizen of the best-organized state in the world and therefore, as an Englishman, always knows what he should do and knows that all he does as an Englishman is undoubtedly correct. An Italian is self-assured because he is excitable and easily forgets himself and other people. A Russian is self-assured just because he knows nothing and does not want to know anything, since he does not believe that anything can be known. The German's self-assurance is worst of all, stronger and more repulsive than any other, because he imagines that he knows the truth -- science -- which he himself has invented but which is for him the absolute truth.
A man is like a fraction whose numerator is what he is and whose denominator is what he thinks of himself. The larger the denominator the smaller the fraction.
A writer is dear and necessary for us only in the measure of which he reveals to us the inner workings of his very soul.
All happy families resemble one another, but each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.
And all people live, Not by reason of any care they have for themselves, But by the love for them that is in other people.
Art is not a handicraft, it is the transmission of feeling the artist has experienced.
As long as there are slaughterhouses, there will be battlefields.
Christianity, with its doctrine of humility, of forgiveness, of love, is incompatible with the state, with its haughtiness, its violence, its punishment and its wars.
Crude, immoral, vulgar and senseless.
Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing himself.
Everything that I understand, I understand only because I love.
Happy families are all alike every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.
Historians are like deaf people who go on answering questions that no one has asked them.
I know that most men, including those at ease with problems of the greatest complexity, can seldom accept even the simplest and most obvious truth if it be such as would oblige them to admit the falsity of conclusions which they have delighted in explaining to colleagues, which they have proudly taught to others, and which they have woven, thread by thread, into the fabric of their lives.
I know that most men, including those at ease with problems of the greatest complexity, can seldom accept even the simplest and most obvious truth if it be such as would oblige them to admit the falsity of conlusions which they have delighted in explaining to colleages, which they have proudly taught to others, and which they have woven, thread by thread, into the fabric of their lives.
I sit on a man's back, choking him and making him carry me, and yet assure myself and others that I am very sorry for him and wish to ease his lot by all possible means -- except by getting off his back.
If one has no vanity in this life of ours, there is no sufficient reason for living.
In the name of God, stop a moment, cease your work, look around you.
Joy can be real only if people look on their life as a service, and have a definite object in life outside themselves and their personal happiness.
Love is life. All, everything that I understand, I understand only because I love. Everything is, everything exists, only because I love. Everything is united by it alone. Love is God, and to die means that I, a particle of love, shall return to the general and eternal source.
Music is the shorthand of emotion.
Nietzsche was stupid and abnormal.
One ought only to write when one leaves a piece of ones flesh in the ink-pot each time one dips one's pen.
The Brahmins say that in their books there are many predictions of times in which it will rain. But press those books as strongly as you can, you can not get out of them a drop of water. So you can not get out of all the books that contain the best precepts the smallest good deed.
The changes in our life must come from the impossibility to live otherwise than according to the demands of our conscience not from our mental resolution to try a new form of life.
The chief difference between words and deeds is that words are always intended for men for their approbation, but deeds can be done only for God.
The more we live by our intellect, the less we understand the meaning of life.
The sole meaning of life is to serve humanity.
The strongest of all warriors are these two -- Time and Patience.
The two most powerful warriors are patience and time.
True life is lived when tiny changes occur.
Truth, like gold, is to be obtained not by its growth, but by washing away from it all that is not gold.
We lost because we told ourselves we lost.
What a strange illusion it is to suppose that beauty is goodness.

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