Joseph Brodsky Quotes
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Cherish your human connections: your relationships with friends and family.
What I like about cities is that everything is king size, the beauty and the ugliness.
Twentieth-century Russian literature has produced nothing special except perhaps one novel and two stories by Andrei Platonov, who ended his days sweeping streets.
How delightful to find a friend in everyone.
There are worse crimes than burning books. One of them is not reading them.
For darkness restores what light cannot repair.
I sit in the dark. And it would be hard to figure out which is worse; the dark inside, or the darkness out.
Geography blended with time equals destiny.
Life—the way it really is—is a battle not between good and bad, but between bad and worse
Poetry is what is gained in translation.
The moment that you place blame somewhere, you undermine your resolve to change anything.
For a writer only one form of patriotism exists: his attitude toward language.
Cherish your human connections: your relationships with friends and family. Even your super weirdo creep cousin.
The eye identifies itself not with the body it belongs to but with the object of its attention.
When I'm not writing or reading, I'm thinking about both.
After having exhausted all the arguments on behalf of evil, one utters the creed's dictums with nostalgia rather than with fervor.
Perhaps the best proof of the Almighty's existence is that we never know when we are to die.
Racism? But isn't it only a form of misanthropy?
If I can get somewhere, I'm all right. If not, I'm miserable.
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.
On the whole, love comes with the speed of light; separation, with that of sound.
As long as the state permits itself to interfere in the affairs of literature, literature has the right to interfere with the affairs of state.
Every life has a file, if you will.
Man is what he reads.
It is well to read everything of something, and something of everything.
After all, it is hard to master both life and work equally well. So if you are bound to fake one of them, it had better be life.
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.
Bad literature is a form of treason.
No matter under what circumstances you leave it, home does not cease to be home. No matter how you lived there - well or poorly.
Snobbery? But it's only a form of despair.
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.
Persecution mania is still around. In your writing, in your exchanges with people, meeting people who are in Russian affairs, Russian literature, etcetera.
The real history of consciousness starts with one's first lie.
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.
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.
The poetic notion of infinity is far greater than that which is sponsored by any creed.
This is the generation whose first cry of life was the Hungarian uprising.
A language is a more ancient and inevitable thing than any state.
I always adhered to the idea that God is time, or at least that His spirit is.
Creativity is an unending exercise in uncertainty.
In the West you have every opportunity for civilization to triumph.
The fact that we are living does not mean we are not sick.
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.
The government, the state, they're just objects of jokes rather than serious consideration. I can't possibly take them seriously.
I got caught up in the proletariat the way Marx describes it.
Russian talk of political evil is as natural as eating.
What should I say about life? That it's long and abhors transparence.
In general, with things unpleasant, the rule is: The sooner you hit bottom, the faster you surface.
If one's fated to be born in Caesar's Empire, let him live aloof, provincial, by the seashore.
I am losing my Soviet citizenship, I do not cease to be a Russian poet. I believe that I will return. Poets always return in flesh or on paper.