“There are seconds— they come five or six at a time— when you suddenly feel the presence of the eternal harmony perfectly attained. It’s something not earthly— I don’t mean in the sense that it’s heavenly— but in that sense that man cannot endure it in his earthly aspect. He must be physically changed or die. This feeling is clear and unmistakable. It’s as though you apprehend all nature and suddenly say, “Yes, that’s right.” God, when He created the world, said at the end of each day of creation, “Yes, it’s right, it’s good.” It…it’s not being deeply moved, but simply joy. You don’t forgive anything because there is no more need of forgiveness. It’s not that you love— oh there’s something in it higher than love— what’s most awful is that it’s terribly clear and such joy. If it lasted more than five seconds, the soul could not endure it and must perish. In those five seconds, I live through a lifetim, and I’d give my whole life for them, because they are worth it.”—The Possessed - Fyodor Dostoevsky
“No, better simply the high road, better simply to set off for it, and walk along it and to think of nothing so long as he could put off thinking. The high road is something very, very long, of which one cannot see the end— like human life, like human dreams. There is an idea in the open road, but what sort of idea is there in travelling with posting tickets? Posting tickets mean an end to ideas. Vive la grande route and then as God wills.”—The Possessed - Dostoevsky
“The mere fact of the ever present idea that there exists something infinitely more just and more happy than I am fills me through and through with tender ecstasy— and glorifies me — oh whoever I may be, whatever I have done! What is far more essential for man than personal happiness is to know and to believe at every instant that there is somewhere a perfect and serene happiness for all men and for everything… that one essential condition of human existence is that man should always be able to bow down before something infinitely great they will not go on living and will die of despair.”—The Possessed - Dostoevsky
“'Oh I should dearly like to live again!' he exclaimed with an extraordinary rush of energy. 'Every minute, every instant of life ought to be a blessing to man… they ought to be! It's the duty of man to make it so; that's the law of his nature, which always exists even if hidden.'”—The Possessed - Dostoevsky
“A complete atheist stands on the last rung but one before absolute faith (he may or may not step higher), but an indifferent man has no longer any faith at all, nothing but an ugly fear, and that only on rare occasions, if he is a sentimental man.”—The Possessed - Dostoevsky
“But more, that, in seclusion, she had secluded herself from a thousand natural and healing influences; that her mind, brooding solitary, had grown diseased as all minds do and must and will that reverse the appointed order of their Maker. And could I look upon her without compassion, seeing her punishment in the ruin she was, in her profound unfitness for this earth on which she was placed, in the vanity of sorrow which had become a master mania, like the vanity of penitence, the vanity of remorse, the vanity of unworthiness, and other monstrous vanities that have been curses in this world?”—Charles Dickens - Great Expectations
“You are a part of my existence, part of myself. You have been in every line I have ever read, since I first came here, the rough common boy whose poor heart you wounded even then. You have been in every prospect I have ever seen since— on the river, on the sails of the ships, on the marshes, in the clouds, in the light, in the darkness, in the wind, in the woods, in the sea, in the streets. You have been the embodiment of every graceful fancy that my mind has ever become acquainted with. The stones of which the strongest London buildings are made are not more real, or more impossible to be displaced by your hands, than you presence and influence have been to me, there and everywhere, and will be. Estella, to the last hour of my life, you cannot choose but remain part of my character, part of the little good in me, part of the evil. But, in this separation, I associate you only with the good, and I will faithfully hold you to that always, for you must have done me far more good than harm, let me feel now what sharp distress I may.”—Great Expectations - Charles Dickens
“I verily believe that her not remembering and not minding in the least, made me cry again, inwardly— and that is the sharpest crying of all.”—
Great Expectations - Charles Dickens
Excerpt from when Pip realizes his childhood love couldn’t care less about the time she broke his heart and made him cry.
I love the part about inward crying being sharp…what a great comparison. It’s so insulting to realize that someone puts so little emphasis on a huge moment in our life, and to realize how unimportant we are to some people we especially care about. A few names can come to mind for me.
“So throughout life our worst weaknesses and meannesses are usually committed for the sake of the people whom we most despise.”—
Great Expectations - Charles Dickens
This is probably one of the truest quotes from literature I’ve ever come across. It seems like time and time again, we waste our energies focusing on impressing people who we really don’t like all that much. Maybe we just don’t want their negative judgment…really, though, we shouldn’t give half of a shit.