Monday, June 23, 2014

Nikolai Gogol

Read some of his work - written 200 years ago in a different space and time. And it still resonates with our realities. Wonder if any of my work will survive even half that time.

Quoting some of his quotes:
I am fated to journey hand in hand with my strange heroes and to survey the surging immensity of life, to survey it through the laughter that all can see and through the tears unseen and unknown by anyone.

But youth has a future. The closer he came to graduation, the more his heart beat. He said to himself: “This is still not life, this is only the preparation for life.

He who has talent in him must be purer in soul than anyone else. Another will be forgiven much, but to him it will not be forgiven. A man who leaves the house in bright, festive clothes needs only one drop of mud splashed from under a wheel, and people all surround him, point their fingers at him, and talk about his slovenliness, while the same people ignore many spots on other passers-by who are wearing everyday clothes. For on everyday clothes the spots do not show.

Everywhere, in whatever realm of life, whether among its callous, coarsely impoverished and messily moldering lower ranks, or among its monotonously gelid and tediously tidy upper strata, everywhere, if but once, a person will encounter a phenomenon on his journey that is unlike anything he has chanced to see heretofore and that, at least once will awake in him a feeling unlike any he is fated to feel for the rest of his life. Everywhere, across the sorrows, whatever they be, from which this life of ours is woven, a resplendent joy will gaily flash, just as sometimes a glittering equipage with golden trappings, picturesque steeds, and the gleam and sparkle of windows will suddenly and unexpectedly rush past some wretched little back-country village that has never seen anything but a rural cart, and long afterwards the muzhiks will stand, mouths agape, caps in hand, although the wondrous equipage has long since whirled off and disappeared from view. Such is the manner in which the pretty little blonde, suddenly and quite unexpectedly, has appeared in our story and has vanished in the same manner. If on this occasion some twenty-year-old youth had happened to be there instead of Chichikov, whether a hussar, or a student, or merely someone who had just embarked on the course of his life, then Lord! what would not have awakened, not have begun to stir, not have begun to speak within him! Long would he have remained standing, insensible, in one spot, eyes fixed vacantly upon the distance, oblivious to the road and to all the reprimands awaiting him and to the chastisements for tardiness, oblivious to himself, and his work, and the world, and everything that exists in the world.

But there is nothing enduring in the world, and therefore even joy in the second minute is already not as acute as in the first; in the third minute it becomes still weaker and finally merges unnoticeably with the usual condition of the soul, as a circle on the water, caused by the fall of a pebble, finally merges with the smooth surface.

Countless are, as the sand in the sea, the deep desires of men, and none resembles the other, and all of them, whether shameful, or great, in the beginning are obedient, but later become terrible masters over him.

For every man there are certain words that are as if closer and more intimate to him than any others. And often, unexpectedly, in some remote, forsaken backwater, some deserted desert, one meets a man whose warming conversation makes you forget the pathlessness of your paths, the homelessness of your nights, and the contemporary world full of people's stupidity, of deceptions for deceiving man. Forever and always an evening spent in this way will vividly remain with you, and all that was and that took place then will be retained by the faithful memory: who was there, and who stood where, and what he was holding--the walls, the corners, and every trifle.

No comments: