Brodsky Quotes

Top 100 famous quotes & sayings about Brodsky.

Famous Quotes About Brodsky

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Brodsky quotes by Joseph Brodsky
#1. I'm neither Catholic not Protestant. Protestant sounds good but I don't think I am. #Quote by Joseph Brodsky
Brodsky quotes by Joseph Brodsky
#2. I'm a bad Jew, a bad Russian, a bad everything. #Quote by Joseph Brodsky
Brodsky quotes by Joseph Brodsky
#3. Who included me among the ranks of the human race? #Quote by Joseph Brodsky
Brodsky quotes by Joseph Brodsky
#4. Believe your pain.' This awful bear hug is no mistake. Nothing that disturbs you is. Remember all along that there is no embrace in this world that won't finally unclasp. #Quote by Joseph Brodsky
Brodsky quotes by Joseph Brodsky
#5. The eye in this city acquires an autonomy similar to that of a tear. The only difference is that it doesn't sever itself from the body but subordinates it totally. After a while - on the third or fourth day here- the body starts to regard itself as merely the eye's carrier, as a kind of submarine to its now dilating, now squinting periscope. Of course, for all its targets, its explosions are invariably self-inflicted: it's own heart, or else your mind, that sinks; the eye pops up to the surface. This, of course, owes to local topography, to the streets - narrow, meandering like eels - that finally bring you to a flounder of a campo with a cathedral in the middle of it, barnacled with saints and flaunting its Medusa-like cupolas. No matter what you set out for as you leave the house here, you are bound to get lost in these long, coiling lanes and passageways that beguile you to see them through to follow them to their elusive end, which usually hits water, so that you can't even call it a cul-de-sac. On the map this city looks like two grilled fish sharing a plate, or perhaps like two nearly overlapping lobster claws ( Pasternak compared it to a swollen croissant); but it has no north, south, east, or west; the only direction it has is sideways. It surrounds you like frozen seaweed, and the more you dart and dash about trying to get your bearings, the more you get lost. The yellow arrow signs at intersections are not much help either, for they, too, curve. In fact, they don't #Quote by Joseph Brodsky
Brodsky quotes by Joseph Brodsky
#6. By failing to read or listen to poets, society dooms itself to inferior modes of articulation, those of the politician, the salesman, or the charlatan. In other words, it forfeits its own evolutionary potential. For what distinguishes us from the rest of the animal kingdom is precisely the gift of speech. Poetry is not a form of entertainment and in a certain sense not even a form of art, but it is our anthropological, genetic goal. Our evolutionary, linguistic beacon. #Quote by Joseph Brodsky
Brodsky quotes by Joseph Brodsky
#7. [T]he accumulation of things not spelled out, not properly articulated, may result in neurosis. #Quote by Joseph Brodsky
Brodsky quotes by Joseph Brodsky
#8. No matter how daring or cautious you may choose to be, in the course of your life you are bound to come into direct physical contact with what's known as Evil. I mean here not a property of the gothic novel but, to say the least, a palpable social reality that you in no way can control. No amount of good nature or cunning calculations will prevent this encounter. In fact, the more calculating, the more cautious you are, the greater is the likelihood of this rendezvous, the harder its impact. Such is the structure of life that what we regard as Evil is capable of a fairly ubiquitous presence if only because it tends to appear in the guise of good. You never see it crossing your threshold announcing itself: "Hi, I'm Evil!" That, of course, indicates its secondary nature, but the comfort one may derive from this observation gets dulled by its frequency. #Quote by Joseph Brodsky
Brodsky quotes by Joseph Brodsky
#9. A language is a more ancient and inevitable thing than any state. #Quote by Joseph Brodsky
Brodsky quotes by Joseph Brodsky
#10. In winter you wake up in this city, especially on Sundays, to the chiming of its innumerable bells, as though behind your gauze curtains a gigantic china teaset were vibrating on a silver tray in the pearl-gray sky. You fling the window open and the room is instantly flooded with this outer, peal-laden haze, which is part damp oxygen, part coffee and prayers. No matter what sort of pills, and how many, you've got to swallow this morning, you feel it's not over for you yet. No matter, by the same token, how autonomous you are, how much you've been betrayed, how thorough and dispiriting in your self-knowledge, you assume there is still hope for you, or at least a future. (Hope, said Francis Bacon, is a good breakfast but bad supper.) This optimism derives from the haze, from the prayer part of it, especially if it's time for breakfast. On days like this, the city indeed acquires a porcelain aspect, what with all its zinc-covered cupolas resembling teapots or upturned cups, and the tilted profile of campaniles clinking like abandoned spoons and melting in the sky. Not to mention the seagulls and pigeons, now sharpening into focus, now melting into air. I should say that, good though this place is for honeymoons, I've often thought it should be tried for divorces also - both in progress and already accomplished. There is no better backdrop for rapture to fade into; whether right or wrong, no egoist can star for long in this porcelain setting by crystal water, for it steals the sh #Quote by Joseph Brodsky
Brodsky quotes by Joseph Brodsky
#11. In poetic thought, the role of the subconscious is played by euphony. #Quote by Joseph Brodsky
Brodsky quotes by Norm Brodsky
#12. Buying market share by hiring your competitors' salespeople does nothing good for your reputation in the industry. Maybe you don't care when you're young and brash, but eventually you learn that reputation is a crucial business asset, worth much more over the long run than a few extra sales. #Quote by Norm Brodsky
Brodsky quotes by Joseph Brodsky
#13. Still, winter is an abstract season: it is low on colors, even in Italy, and big on the imperatives of cold and brief daylight. These things train your eye on the outside with an intensity greater than that of the electric bulb availing you of your own features in the evening. If this season doesn't necessarily quell your nerves, it still subordinates them to your instincts; beauty at low temperatures is beauty. #Quote by Joseph Brodsky
Brodsky quotes by Joseph Brodsky
#14. As failures go, attempting to recall the past is like trying to grasp the meaning of existence. Both make one feel like a baby clutching at a basketball: one's palms keep sliding off. #Quote by Joseph Brodsky
Brodsky quotes by Chuck Brodsky
#15. 'Cause we are each other's angels And we meet when it is time We keep each other going And we show each other signs #Quote by Chuck Brodsky
Brodsky quotes by Joseph Brodsky
#16. What gets left of a man amounts to a part. To his spoken part. To a part of speech #Quote by Joseph Brodsky
Brodsky quotes by Joseph Brodsky
#17. For the poet the credo or doctrine is not the point of arrival but is, on the contrary, the point of departure for the metaphysical journey. #Quote by Joseph Brodsky
Brodsky quotes by Joseph Brodsky
#18. In the end, like the Almighty Himself, we make everything in our image, for want of a more reliable model; our artifacts tell more about ourselves than our confessions. #Quote by Joseph Brodsky
Brodsky quotes by Joseph Brodsky
#19. In the West you have every opportunity for civilization to triumph. #Quote by Joseph Brodsky
Brodsky quotes by Jordanna Max Brodsky
#20. There are few sounds at night on the frozen sea besides the roar of the wind. No plants to rustle, no waves to crash upon the shore, no birds to caw. The white owl flies on hushed wings. The white fox walks with silent tread. Even Inuit move as softly as spirits, the snow too hard to yield and crunch beneath our boots. We hear little, but what we do hear is vital: the exploding breath of a surfacing seal, the shift and crack of drifting ice. But in the forest there is always sound. The trees, even in their shrouds of snow, are alive, and their voices--groans, creaks, screams--never cease. #Quote by Jordanna Max Brodsky
Brodsky quotes by Joseph Brodsky
#21. secrecy is a hotbed of vanity #Quote by Joseph Brodsky
Brodsky quotes by Joseph Brodsky
#22. Judge: And what is your occupation in general?
Brodsky: Poet, poet-translator.
Judge: And who recognized you to be a poet? Who put you in the ranks of poet?
Brodsky: No one. And who put me in the ranks of humanity?
Judge: Did you study it? ... How to be a poet? Did you attempt to finish an insitute of higher learning ... where they prepare ... teach
Brodsky: I did not think that it is given to one by education.
Judge: By what then?
Brodsky: I think that it is from God. #Quote by Joseph Brodsky
Brodsky quotes by Joseph Brodsky
#23. I don't have principles. I have nerves. #Quote by Joseph Brodsky
Brodsky quotes by Joseph Brodsky
#24. My poems getting published in Russia doesn't make me feel in any fashion, to tell you the truth. I'm not trying to be coy, but it doesn't tickle my ego. #Quote by Joseph Brodsky
Brodsky quotes by Joseph Brodsky
#25. Nobody knew literature and history better than these people, nobody could write better Russian than they, nobody despised our times more profoundly. For these characters civilization meant more than daily bread and a nightly hug. This wasn't, as it would seem, another lost generation. This was the only generation of Russians that had found itself, for whom Giotto and Mandelstam were more imperative than their own personal destinies. Poorly dressed yet somehow still elegant…broken, growing old, they still retained their love for the non-existent (or existing only in their balding heads) thing called 'civilization. #Quote by Joseph Brodsky
Brodsky quotes by Joseph Brodsky
#26. What we regard as Evil is capable of a fairly ubiquitous presence if only because it tends to appear in the guise of good. #Quote by Joseph Brodsky
Brodsky quotes by Joseph Brodsky
#27. The formula for prison is a lack of space counterbalanced by a surplus of time. This is what really bothers you, that you can't win. Prison is lack of alternatives, and the telescopic predictability of the future is what drives you crazy. #Quote by Joseph Brodsky
Brodsky quotes by Joseph Brodsky
#28. If they had wanted to punish me, they should have kept me in a communal apartment. Then I would have become a wreck. #Quote by Joseph Brodsky
Brodsky quotes by Joseph Brodsky
#29. In general, with things unpleasant, the rule is: The sooner you hit bottom, the faster you surface. #Quote by Joseph Brodsky
Brodsky quotes by Joseph Brodsky
#30. It is a virtue, I came to believe long ago, not to make a meal out of one's emotional life. There's always enough work to do, not to mention that there's world enough outside. #Quote by Joseph Brodsky
Brodsky quotes by Alexandra Brodsky
#31. Sexism justifies itself by commandeering our logic and, quietly, the limits of what is constrict our ideas of what should be. Misogyny comes to taste like air, feel like gravity: so common we barely notice it, so entrenched it's hard to conceive of a world without it. So #Quote by Alexandra Brodsky
Brodsky quotes by Joseph Brodsky
#32. Seventeen years ago, wading aimlessly through one campo after another, a pair of green boots brought me to the threshold of a smallish pink edifice. On its wall I saw a plaque saying that Antonio Vivaldi, prematurely born, was baptized in this church. In those days I was still reasonably red-haired; I felt sentimental about bumping into the place of baptism of that "red cleric" who has given me so much joy on so many occasions and in so many godforsaken parts of the world. And I seemed to recall that it was Olga Rudge who had organized the first-ever Vivaldi settimana in this city - as it happened, just a few days before World War II broke out. It took place, somebody told me, in the palazzo of the Countess Polignac, and Miss Rudge was playing the violin. As she proceeded with the piece, she noticed out of the corner of her eye that a gentleman had entered the salone and stood by the door, since all the seats were taken. The piece was long, and now she felt somewhat worried, because she was approaching a passage where she had to turn the page without interrupting her play. The man in the corner of her eye started to move and soon disappeared from her field of vision. The passage grew closer, and her nervousness grew, too. Then, at exactly the point where she had to turn the page, a hand emerged from the left, stretched to the music stand, and slowly turned the sheet. She kept playing and, when the difficult passage was over, lifted her eyes to the left to acknowledge her grat #Quote by Joseph Brodsky
Brodsky quotes by Joseph Brodsky
#33. There are far more a worst crimes than burning books ... Not reading them. #Quote by Joseph Brodsky
Brodsky quotes by Joseph Brodsky
#34. Why, then, do you go there at such a season?" my editor asked me once, sitting in a Chinese restaurant in New York, with his gay English charges. "Yes, why do you ?" they echoed their prospective benefactor. "What is it like there in winter ?" I thought of telling them about acqua alta; about the various shades of gray in the window as one sits for breakfast in one's hotel, enveloped by silence and the mealy morning pall of newlyweds' faces; about pigeons accentuating every curve and cornice of the local Baroque in their dormant affinity for architecture; about a lonely monument to Francesco Querini and his two huskies carved out of Istrian stone, similar, I think, in its hue, to what he saw last, dying, on his ill-fated journey to the North Pole, now listening to the Giardini's rustle of evergreens in the company of Wagner and Carducci; about a brave sparrow perching on the bobbing blade of a gondola against the backdrop of a sirocco-roiled damp infinity. No, I thought, looking at their effete but eager faces; no, they won't do. "Well, I said, "it's like Greta Garbo swimming. #Quote by Joseph Brodsky
Brodsky quotes by Joseph Brodsky
#35. Poetry is not only the most concise way of conveying the human experience; it also offers the highest possible standards for any linguistic operation. #Quote by Joseph Brodsky
Brodsky quotes by Joseph Brodsky
#36. This is the generation whose first cry of life was the Hungarian uprising. #Quote by Joseph Brodsky
Brodsky quotes by Norm Brodsky
#37. Entrepreneurs are not born…it's really a mindset If the entrepreneur follows certain time-tested rules, They can avoid a lot of the pitfalls that most of us make. #Quote by Norm Brodsky
Brodsky quotes by Joseph Brodsky
#38. For a writer, only one form of patriotism exists: his attitude toward language. #Quote by Joseph Brodsky
Brodsky quotes by Joseph Brodsky
#39. Every individual ought to know at least one poet from cover to cover: if not as a guide through the world, then as a yardstick for the language. #Quote by Joseph Brodsky
Brodsky quotes by Joseph Brodsky
#40. Because every book of art, be it a poem or a cupola, is understandably a self-portrait of its author, we won't strain ourselves too hard trying to distinguish between the author's persona and the poem's lyrical hero. As a rule, such distinctions are quite meaningless, if only because a lyrical hero is invariably an author's self-projection. #Quote by Joseph Brodsky
Brodsky quotes by Joseph Brodsky
#41. Susan, Susan -- Poetry: aviation! Prose: infantry. [to Susan Sontag] #Quote by Joseph Brodsky
Brodsky quotes by Joseph Brodsky
#42. It's a maddening thing in itself to look at an old poem of yours." - #Quote by Joseph Brodsky
Brodsky quotes by Joseph Brodsky
#43. Love is more powerful than separation, but
the latter is more lasting. #Quote by Joseph Brodsky
Brodsky quotes by Joseph Brodsky
#44. No matter under what circumstances you leave it, home does not cease to be home. No matter how you lived there - well or poorly. #Quote by Joseph Brodsky
Brodsky quotes by Joseph Brodsky
#45. A poet is a combination of an instrument and a human being in one person, with the former gradually taking over the latter. The sensation of this takeover is responsible for timbre; the realization of it, for destiny. #Quote by Joseph Brodsky
Brodsky quotes by Joseph Brodsky
#46. How delightful to find a friend in everyone. #Quote by Joseph Brodsky
Brodsky quotes by Joseph Brodsky
#47. The real history of consciousness starts with one's first lie. #Quote by Joseph Brodsky
Brodsky quotes by Joseph Brodsky
#48. Buenas noches.
Don't mind the roaches. #Quote by Joseph Brodsky
Brodsky quotes by Joseph Brodsky
#49. I grew up in the sort of cultural milieu that always regarded conversations about the political discourse as tremendously low-brow. #Quote by Joseph Brodsky
Brodsky quotes by Joseph Brodsky
#50. Aesthetic sense is the twin of one's instinct for self-preservation and is more reliable than ethics. #Quote by Joseph Brodsky
Brodsky quotes by Joseph Brodsky
#51. [Suicide] is the essence of self-portraiture. #Quote by Joseph Brodsky
Brodsky quotes by Joseph Brodsky
#52. As a form of moral insurance, at least, literature is much more dependable than a system of beliefs or a philosophical doctrine. Since there are no laws that can protect us from ourselves, no criminal code is capable of preventing a true crime against literature; though we can condemn the material suppression of literature - the persecution of writers, acts of censorship, the burning of books - we are powerless when it comes to its worst violation: that of not reading the books. For that crime, a person pays with his whole life; if the offender is a nation, it pays with its history. #Quote by Joseph Brodsky
Brodsky quotes by Jordanna Max Brodsky
#53. Why would I continue life as a man trapped in a girl's body when I could just as easily fly into the heavens or run with the wolves? #Quote by Jordanna Max Brodsky
Brodsky quotes by Joseph Brodsky
#54. In the end, there's always this city. As long as it exists, I don't believe that I, or for that matter, anyone, can be mesmerized or blinded by romantic tragedy. #Quote by Joseph Brodsky
Brodsky quotes by Joseph Brodsky
#55. The government, the state, they're just objects of jokes rather than serious consideration. I can't possibly take them seriously. #Quote by Joseph Brodsky
Brodsky quotes by Joseph Brodsky
#56. Try not to pay attention to those who will try to make life miserable for you. There will be a lot of those
in the official capacity as well as the self-appointed. Suffer them if you can't escape them, but once you have steered clear of them, give them the shortest shrift possible. Above all, try to avoid telling stories about the unjust treatment you received at their hands; avoid it no matter how receptive your audience may be. Tales of this sort extend the existence of your antagonists ... #Quote by Joseph Brodsky
Brodsky quotes by Joseph Brodsky
#57. Poems, novels - these things belong to the nation, to the culture and the people. They've been stolen from the people and now the stolen things are being returned to their owners, but I don't think their owners should be grateful to receive them. #Quote by Joseph Brodsky
Brodsky quotes by Chuck Brodsky
#58. We are each other's angels, we meet when it is time. #Quote by Chuck Brodsky
Brodsky quotes by Joseph Brodsky
#59. Every life has a file, if you will. #Quote by Joseph Brodsky
Brodsky quotes by Joseph Brodsky
#60. Now to die of grief
would mean, I'm afraid, to die
belatedly, while latecomers
are unwelcome, particularly in the future ... #Quote by Joseph Brodsky
Brodsky quotes by Joseph Brodsky
#61. Man is what he reads. #Quote by Joseph Brodsky
Brodsky quotes by Joseph Brodsky
#62. Everything can change in Petersburg except its weather. And its light. It's the northern light, pale and diffused, one in which both memory and eye operate with unusual sharpness. In this light, and thanks to the directness and length of the streets, a walker's thoughts travel farther than his destination ... #Quote by Joseph Brodsky
Brodsky quotes by Joseph Brodsky
#63. Mandelstam was, one is tempted to say, a modern Orpheus: sent to hell, he never returned, while his widow dodged across one-sixth of the earth's surface, clutching the saucepan with his songs rolled up inside, memorizing them by night in the event they were found by Furies with a search warrant. These are our metamorphoses, our myths. #Quote by Joseph Brodsky
Brodsky quotes by Joseph Brodsky
#64. After having exhausted all the arguments on behalf of evil, one utters the creed's dictums with nostalgia rather than with fervor. #Quote by Joseph Brodsky
Brodsky quotes by Joseph Brodsky
#65. Ah, how much more soothing
(that is to say, if one should get the choice)
to be wiped off the earth by hell-bound fiends
than by neurotics. #Quote by Joseph Brodsky
Brodsky quotes by Joseph Brodsky
#66. ...and love, as an act, lacks a verb #Quote by Joseph Brodsky
Brodsky quotes by Joseph Brodsky
#67. In Russia, the moment a person opens his mouth you know where he's from. There's the uniformity of experience of an individual in Russia. When you're about 7 years old you get into school and you get put in this factory or this bureaucracy or whatever. The options are computable. Here it's tremendously diverse. #Quote by Joseph Brodsky
Brodsky quotes by Joseph Brodsky
#68. Scratch on, my pen: let's mark the white the way it marks us. #Quote by Joseph Brodsky
Brodsky quotes by Joseph Brodsky
#69. There are worse crimes than burning books. One of them is not reading them. #Quote by Joseph Brodsky
Brodsky quotes by Joseph Brodsky
#70. Every writing career starts as a personal quest for sainthood, for self-betterment. Sooner or later, and as a rule quite soon, a man discovers that his pen accomplishes a lot more than his soul. #Quote by Joseph Brodsky
Brodsky quotes by Joseph Brodsky
#71. In the morning this light breasts your windowpane and, having pried your eye open like a shell, runs ahead of you, strumming its lengthy rays - like a hot-footed schoolboy running his stick along the iron grate of the park or garden - along arcades, colonnades, red-brick chimneys, saints and lions. "Depict! Depict!" it cries to you, either mistaking you for some Canaletto or Carpaccio or Guardi, or because it doesn't trust your retina's ability to retain what it makes available, not to mention your brain's capacity to absorb it. Perhaps art is simply an organism's reaction against its retentive limitations. At any rate, you obey the command and grab your camera, supplementing both your brain cells and your pupil. Should this city ever be short of cash, it can go straight to Kodak for assistance - or else tax its products savagely. By the same token, as long as this place exists, as long as winter light shines upon it, Kodak shares are the best investment. #Quote by Joseph Brodsky
Brodsky quotes by Joseph Brodsky
#72. Boredom speaks the language of time, and it is to teach you the most valuable lesson in your life
... the lesson of your utter insignificance. It is valuable to you, as well as to those you are to rub shoulders with. 'You are finite,' time tells you in a voice of boredom, 'and whatever you do is, from my point of view, futile.' As music to your ears, this, of course, may not count; yet the sense of futility, of limited significance even of your best, most ardent actions is better than the illusion of their consequence and the attendant self-satisfaction. #Quote by Joseph Brodsky
Brodsky quotes by Joseph Brodsky
#73. When the eye fails to find beauty-alias solace-it commands the body to create it, or, failing that, adjusts itself to perceive virtue in ugliness. #Quote by Joseph Brodsky
Brodsky quotes by Joseph Brodsky
#74. Tragedy, as you know, is always a fait accompli, whereas terror always has to do with anticipation, with man's recognition of hisown negative potential
with his sense of what he is capable of. #Quote by Joseph Brodsky
Brodsky quotes by Joseph Brodsky
#75. As to the state, from my point of view, the measure of a writer's patriotism is not oaths from a high platform, but how he writes in the language of the people among whom he lives . #Quote by Joseph Brodsky
Brodsky quotes by Joseph Brodsky
#76. Life - the way it really is - is a battle not between good and bad, but between bad and worse #Quote by Joseph Brodsky
Brodsky quotes by Joseph Brodsky
#77. I'm 100 percent Jewish by blood, but by education I'm nothing. By affiliation I'm nothing. #Quote by Joseph Brodsky
Brodsky quotes by Joseph Brodsky
#78. It's rather an exhilarating feeling. It's 6 or 7 when you get up and go out into the fields wearing your Wellingtons or high boots. You know that at this very hour half the nation does the same thing, which gives you, with the benefit of hindsight, a satisfaction in doing those things, too, a knowledge, a sense of the nation. I was a city boy until then. #Quote by Joseph Brodsky
Brodsky quotes by Joseph Brodsky
#79. A man should know about himself two or three things: whether he is a coward; whether he is an honest man or given to lies; whether he is an ambitious man. One should define oneself first of all in those terms, and only then in terms of culture, race, creed. #Quote by Joseph Brodsky
Brodsky quotes by Adam Levin
#80. While I did that, my own eyes got wet, not fakely, and I blinked the wetness away because it was not my privilege to be sad. Leonard Brodsky was the one who was hurt, and I was the one who'd hurt him, and it didn't matter that I hadn't wanted to hurt him or that I didn't know how I'd hurt him. It didn't matter that I knew not what I did to him. It didn't need a name to be wrong. It didn't need reasons I could understand. Verbosity is like the iniquity of idolatry. #Quote by Adam Levin
Brodsky quotes by Joseph Brodsky
#81. In general, dividing literature into prose and poetry began with the appearance of prose, for only in prose could such a division be expressed. By its nature, by its essence, art is hierarchical, automatically, and in this hierarchy, poetry stands above prose. If only because poetry is older. Poetry really is a very strange thing, because it belongs to a troglodyte as well as to a snob. It can be produced in the Stone Age and in the most modern salon, whereas prose requires a developed society, a developed structure, certain established classes, if you like. Here you could start reasoning like a Marxist without even being wrong. The poet works from the voice, from the sound. For him, content is not as important as is ordinarily believed. For a poet, there is almost no difference between phonetics and semantics. Therefore, only very rarely does the poet give any thought to who in fact comprises his audience. That is, he does so much more rarely than the prose writer. #Quote by Joseph Brodsky
Brodsky quotes by Joseph Brodsky
#82. On the whole, love comes with the speed of light; separation, with that of sound. #Quote by Joseph Brodsky
Brodsky quotes by Joseph Brodsky
#83. I am quite prepared to die here [in NY]. It doesn't matter at all. I don't know better places, or perhaps if I do I am not prepared to make a move. #Quote by Joseph Brodsky
Brodsky quotes by Joseph Brodsky
#84. For darkness restores what light cannot repair. #Quote by Joseph Brodsky
Brodsky quotes by Anthony Burgess
#85. What's all this about sin, eh?'
'That,' I said, very sick. 'Using Ludwig van like that. He did no harm to anyone. Beethoven just wrote music.' And then I was really sick and they had to bring a bowl that was in the shape of like a kidney.
'Music,' said Dr. Brodsky, like musing. 'So you're keen on music. I know nothing about it myself. It's a useful emotional heightener, that's all I know. Well, well. What do you think about that, eh, Branom?'
'It can't be helped,' said Dr. Branom. 'Each man kills the thing he loves ... #Quote by Anthony Burgess
Brodsky quotes by Joseph Brodsky
#86. Russian talk of political evil is as natural as eating ... #Quote by Joseph Brodsky
Brodsky quotes by Joseph Brodsky
#87. And geography blended
with time equals destiny. #Quote by Joseph Brodsky
Brodsky quotes by Joseph Brodsky
#88. It really does look like musical sheets, frayed at the edges, constantly played, coming to you in tidal scores, in bars of canals with innumerable obbligati of bridges, mullioned windows, or curved crownings of Coducci cathedrals, not to mention the violin necks of gondolas. In fact, the whole city, especially at night, resembles a gigantic orchestra, with dimly lit music stands of palazzi, with a restless chorus of waves, with the falsetto of a star in the winter sky. #Quote by Joseph Brodsky
Brodsky quotes by Joseph Brodsky
#89. If one's fated to be born in Caesar's Empire, let him live aloof, provincial, by the seashore ... #Quote by Joseph Brodsky
Brodsky quotes by Joseph Brodsky
#90. A bird may twitter a better song.
But should you consider abortion wrong
or that the quacks ask too high a fee,
come to this wall, and see. #Quote by Joseph Brodsky
Brodsky quotes by Joseph Brodsky
#91. Love itself is the most elitist of passions. It acquires its stereoscopic substance and perspective only in the context of culture, for it takes up more place in the mind than it does in bed. Outside of that setting it falls flat into one-dimensional fiction. #Quote by Joseph Brodsky
Brodsky quotes by Joseph Brodsky
#92. The Constitution doesn't mention rain. #Quote by Joseph Brodsky
Brodsky quotes by Joseph Brodsky
#93. Local fog in Venice has a name: nebbia. It obliterates all reflections ... and everything that has a shape: buildings, people, colonnades, bridges, statues. Boat services are canceled, airplanes neither arrive, nor take off for weeks, stores are closed and mail ceases to litter one's threshold. The effect is as though some raw hand had turned all those enfilades inside out and wrapped the lining around the city... the fog is thick, blinding, and immobile... this is a time for reading, for burning electricity all day long, for going easy on self-deprecating thoughts of coffee, for listening to the BBC World Service, for going to bed early. In short, a time for self-oblivion, induced by a city that has ceased to be seen. Unwittingly, you take your cue from it, especially if, like it, you've got company. Having failed to be born here, you at least can take some pride in sharing its invisibility... #Quote by Joseph Brodsky
Brodsky quotes by Joseph Brodsky
#94. I do not believe in political movements. I believe in personal movement, that movement of the soul when a man who looks at himself is so ashamed that he tries to make some sort of change - within himself, not on the outside. #Quote by Joseph Brodsky
Brodsky quotes by Joseph Brodsky
#95. [T]he longer you stay skeptical, doubtful, intellectually uncomfortable, the better it is for you. #Quote by Joseph Brodsky
Brodsky quotes by Daniella Brodsky
#96. Tasting scotch was an intense experience; it didn't have the lovely layering of wines, #Quote by Daniella Brodsky
Brodsky quotes by Joseph Brodsky
#97. I always adhered to the idea that God is time, or at least that His spirit is ... In any case, I always thought that if the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the water, the water was bound to reflect it. Hence my sentiment for water, for its folds, wrinkles. and ripples, and - as I am a Northerner - for its grayness. I simply think that water is the image of time, and every New Year's Eve, in somewhat pagan fashion, I try to find myself near water, preferably near a sea or an ocean, to watch the emergence of a new helping, a new cupful of time from it. #Quote by Joseph Brodsky
Brodsky quotes by Joseph Brodsky
#98. The fact that we are living does not mean we are not sick. #Quote by Joseph Brodsky
Brodsky quotes by Joseph Brodsky
#99. When Thomas Mann arrived in California from Germany, they asked him about German literature. And he said, 'German literature is where I am.' It's really a bit grand, but if a German can afford it, I can afford it. #Quote by Joseph Brodsky
Brodsky quotes by Joseph Brodsky
#100. What concerns me is that man, unable to articulate, to express himself adequately, reverts to action. Since the vocabulary of action is limited, as it were, to his body, he is bound to act violently, extending his vocabulary with a weapon where there should have been an adjective. #Quote by Joseph Brodsky
Brodsky quotes by Joseph Brodsky
#101. For boredom speaks the language of time, and it is to teach you the most valuable lesson of your life - the lesson of your utter insignificance. #Quote by Joseph Brodsky
Brodsky quotes by Joseph Brodsky
#102. What I like about cities is that everything is king size, the beauty and the ugliness. #Quote by Joseph Brodsky
Brodsky quotes by Joseph Brodsky
#103. Perhaps art is simply an organism's reaction against its retentive limitations. #Quote by Joseph Brodsky
Brodsky quotes by Adam Levin
#104. And Desormie dragged the back of his hand back and forth across his mouth twice. And Brodsky coughed fakely to mask his laughter. And there was no more paste in the mouth-corners of Desormie. And Brodsky would not have to stare at paste while they talked in his office. That was nice of me.

I went to the gym. #Quote by Adam Levin
Brodsky quotes by Joseph Brodsky
#105. The meaning of these lines is anything but passive for it suggests that evil can be made absurd through excess; it suggests rendering evil absurd through dwarfing its demands with the volume of your compliance, which devalues the harm. This sort of thing puts a victim into a very active position, into the position of a mental aggressor. The victory that is possible here is not a moral but an existential one. #Quote by Joseph Brodsky
Brodsky quotes by Joseph Brodsky
#106. A tear can be shed in this place on several occasions. Assuming that beauty is the distribution of light in the fashion most congenial to one's retina, a tear is an acknowledgment of the retina's, as well as the tear's, failure to retain beauty. On the whole, love comes with the speed of light; separation, with that of sound. It is the deterioration of the greater speed to the lesser that moistens one's eye. Because one is finite, a departure from this place always feel final; leaving it behind is leaving it forever. For leaving is banishment of the eye to the provinces of the other senses; at best, to the crevices and crevasses of the brain. For the eye identifies itself not with the body it belongs to but with the object of its attention. And to the eye, for purely optical reasons, departure is not the body leaving the city but the city abandoning the pupil. Likewise, disappearance of the beloved, especially a gradual one, causes grief no matter who, and for what peripatetic reason, is actually in motion. As the world goes, this city is the eye's beloved. After it, everything is a letdown. A tear is the anticipation of the eye's future. #Quote by Joseph Brodsky
Brodsky quotes by Joseph Brodsky
#107. Were we to choose our leaders on the basis of their reading experience and not their political programs, there would be much less grief on earth. I believe ... that for someone who has read a lot of Dickens to shoot his like in the name of an idea is harder than for someone who has read no Dickens. #Quote by Joseph Brodsky
Brodsky quotes by Joseph Brodsky
#108. When hit by boredom, let yourself be crushed by it; submerge, hit bottom. In general, with things unpleasant, the rule is: The sooner you hit bottom, the faster you surface. The idea here is to exact a full look at the worst. The reason boredom deserves such scrutiny is that it represents pure, undiluted time in all its repetitive, redundant, monotonous splendor.
Boredom is your window on the properties of time that one tends to ignore to the likely peril of one's mental equilibrium. It is your window on time's infinity. Once this window opens, don't try to shut it; on the contrary, throw it wide open. #Quote by Joseph Brodsky
Brodsky quotes by Joseph Brodsky
#109. I must admit that I feel somewhat uneasy talking about these things: because turning or not turning that other cheek is, after all, an extremely intimate affair. The encounter always occurs on a one-to-one basis. It's always your skin, your coat and cloak, and it is your limbs that will have to do the walking. To advise, let alone to urge, anyone about the use of these properties is, if not entirely wrong, indecent. All I aspire to do here is to erase from your minds a cliché that harmed so many and yielded so little. I also would like to instill in you the idea that as long as you have your skin, coat, cloak, and limbs, you are not yet defeated, whatever the odds are. #Quote by Joseph Brodsky
Brodsky quotes by Joseph Brodsky
#110. I'm not trying to be ridiculous or funny, but it was rather pleasant to find yourself in isolation, in solitary. #Quote by Joseph Brodsky
Brodsky quotes by Joseph Brodsky
#111. Poetry must be available to the public in far greater volume than it is. It should be as ubiquitous as the nature that surrounds us, and from which poetry derives many of its similes; or as ubiquitous as gas stations, if not as cars themselves. Bookstores should be located not only on campuses or main drags but at the assembly plant's gates also. Paperbacks of those we deem classics should be cheap and sold at supermarkets. This is, after all, a country of mass production, and I don't see why what's done for cars can't be done for books of poetry, which take you quite a bit further. Because you don't want to go a bit further? Perhaps; but if this is so, it's because you are deprived of the means of transportation, not because the distances and the destinations that I have in mind don't exist. #Quote by Joseph Brodsky
Brodsky quotes by Joseph Brodsky
#112. In general, in America, every discourse in literature in 15 minutes degenerates into a conversation about ethics, morality and this and that. The Holocaust and the consequences of it. Well, I find it terribly boring, predictable and unimportant, because what matters about literature is esthetic achievement. #Quote by Joseph Brodsky
Brodsky quotes by Joseph Brodsky
#113. The instinctive preference was to read rather than to act. No wonder our actual lives were more or less a shambles #Quote by Joseph Brodsky
Brodsky quotes by Joseph Brodsky
#114. Whether pleasant or dismal, the past is always a safe territory, if only because it is already experienced, and the species' capacity to revert, to run backward -especially in its thoughts or dreams, since there we are safe as well - is extremely strong in all of us, quite irrespective of the reality we are facing. Yet this machinery has been built into us, not for cherishing or grasping the past (in the end, we don't do either), but more for delaying the arrival of the present - for, in other words, slowing down a bit the passage of time. #Quote by Joseph Brodsky
Brodsky quotes by Joseph Brodsky
#115. Perhaps the best proof of the Almighty's existence is that we never know when we are to die. #Quote by Joseph Brodsky
Brodsky quotes by Joseph Brodsky
#116. What should I say about life? That it's long and abhors transparence. #Quote by Joseph Brodsky
Brodsky quotes by Joseph Brodsky
#117. Robert Frost's triumph was not being at John Kennedy's inauguration ceremony, but the day when he put the last period on West-Running Brook. #Quote by Joseph Brodsky
Brodsky quotes by Joseph Brodsky
#118. The delirium and horror of the East. The dusty catastrophe of Asia. Green only on the banner of the Prophet. Nothing grows here except mustaches. #Quote by Joseph Brodsky
Brodsky quotes by Joseph Brodsky
#119. Throughout one's life, time addresses man in a variety of languages: in those of innocence, love, faith, experience, history, fatigue, cynicism, guilt, decay, etc. Of those, the language of love is clearly the lingua franca. Its vocabulary absorbs all the other tongues, and its utterance gratifies a subject, however inanimate it may be. Also, by being thus uttered, a subject acquires an ecclesiastical, almost sacred denomination, echoing both the way we perceive the objects of our passions and the Good Book's suggestion as to what God is. Love is essentially an attitude maintained by the infinite toward the finite. The reversal constitutes either faith or poetry. Akhmatova's #Quote by Joseph Brodsky
Brodsky quotes by Joseph Brodsky
#120. It's an abominable fallacy that suffering makes for greater art. Suffering blinds, deafens, ruins, and often kills. Osip Mandelstam was a great poet before the revolution. So was Anna Akhmatova, so was Marina Tsvetaeva. They would have become what they became even if none of the historical events that befell Russia in this century had taken place: because they were gifted. Basically, talent doesn't need history. #Quote by Joseph Brodsky
Brodsky quotes by Joseph Brodsky
#121. The eye identifies itself not with the body it belongs to but with the object of its attention. #Quote by Joseph Brodsky
Brodsky quotes by Joseph Brodsky
#122. A rhyme turns an idea into a law; and, in a sense, each poem is a linguistic codex. #Quote by Joseph Brodsky
Brodsky quotes by Joseph Brodsky
#123. Love as content is in the habit of limiting formal patterns. The same goes for faith. After all, there are only so many adequate manifestations for truly strong sentiments; which, in the end, is what explains rituals. #Quote by Joseph Brodsky
Brodsky quotes by Joseph Brodsky
#124. At certain periods of history it is only poetry that is capable of dealing with reality by condensing it into something graspable, something that otherwise wouldn't be retained by the mind. #Quote by Joseph Brodsky
Brodsky quotes by Dan Brodsky-Chenfeld
#125. Everyone who goes after a dream is a competitor, and their goal is the win. Anyone who chooses to work together with others toward the pursuit of a common goal is part of a team at some level. #Quote by Dan Brodsky-Chenfeld
Brodsky quotes by Joseph Brodsky
#126. Literature sort of makes your daily operation, your daily conduct, the management of your affairs in the society a bit more complex. And it puts what you do in perspective, and people don't like to see themselves or their activities in perspective. They don't feel quite comfortable with that. Nobody wants to acknowledge the insignificance of his life, and that is very often the net result of reading a poem. #Quote by Joseph Brodsky
Brodsky quotes by Joseph Brodsky
#127. The poetic notion of infinity is far greater than that which is sponsored by any creed. #Quote by Joseph Brodsky
Brodsky quotes by Joseph Brodsky
#128. I don't want to dive into that mud slide, which is what I consider the literary process. #Quote by Joseph Brodsky
Brodsky quotes by Joseph Brodsky
#129. What's wrong with discourses about the obvious is that they corrupt consciousness with their easiness, with the speed with which they provide one with moral comfort, with the sensation of being right. #Quote by Joseph Brodsky

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