Cestre-Guibillon Dictionnaire Francais-Anglais; Ch. Cestre ; Doubleday, Page & Co (NY); Librairie A. Hatier (Paris); 1927
Sonnets from the Portuguese by Elizabeth Barrett Browning, illustrated by Fred A. Mayer; Bard Books, Avon Book Division; 1937
Macbeth by William Shakespeare; Riverside Literature Series #106; ed. Richard Grant White; Houghton, Mifflin and Company; 1897
Poems by John Keats; The Athenaeum Press Series; ed: Arlo Bates; Ginn and Company; 1896
The English Poets, vol. 1: Chaucer to Donne; ed: T.H. Ward; The Macmillan Company; 1906
Summer by Edith Wharton; D. Appleton and Company; 1917
Faust: A Tragedy; Goethe; trans. J.S. Blackie; Macmillan and Co; 1880
Greek Poets in English Verse, edited by W.H. Appleton, Houghton, Mifflin, and Co; 1893
Who climb each night the ancient sky,
Leaving on space no shade, no scars,
No trace of age, no fear to die.
‘For the world says: ‘You have needs, therefore satisfy them, for you have the same rights as the noblest and richest men. Do not be afraid to satisfy them, but even increase them’ - this is the current teaching of the world. And in this they see freedom. But what comes of this right to increase one’s needs? For the rich, isolation and spiritual suicide; for the poor, envy and murder, for they have been given rights, but have not yet been shown any way of satisfying their needs. We are assured that the world is becoming more and more united, is being formed into brotherly communion, by the shortening of distances, by the transmitting of thoughts through the air. Alas, do not believe in such a union of people. Taking freedom to mean the increase and prompt satisfaction of needs, they distort their own nature, for they generate many meaningless and foolish desires, habits, and the most absurd fancies in themselves… . And therefore the idea of serving mankind, of the brotherhood and oneness of people, is fading more and more in the world, and indeed the idea now even meets with mockery, for how can one drop one’s habits, where will this slave go now that he is so accustomed to satisfying the innumerable needs he himself has invented? He is isolated, and what does he care about the whole? They have succeeded in amassing more and more things, but have less and less joy.’
from Fyodor Dostoevsky’s The Brothers Karamazov
“And in you, an angel, the same insect lives and stirs up storms in your blood. Storms, because sensuality is a storm, more than a storm! Beauty is a fearful and terrible thing! Fearful because it’s undefinable, and it cannot be defined, because here God gave us only riddles. Here the shores converge, here all contradictions live together. I’m a very uneducated man, brother, but I’ve thought about it a lot. So terribly many mysteries! Too many riddles oppress man on earth. Solve them if you can without getting your feet wet. Beauty! Besides, I can’t bear it that some man, even with a lofty heart and the highest man, should start from the ideal of the Madonna and end with the ideal of Sodom. It’s even more fearful when someone who already has the ideal of Sodom in his soul does not deny the ideal of the Madonna either, and his heart burns with it, verily, verily burns, as in his young, blameless years. No, man is broad, even too broad, I would narrow him down. Devil knows even what to make of him, that’s the thing! What’s shame for the mind is beauty all over for the heart. Can there be beauty in Sodom? Believe me, for the vast majority of people, that’s just where beauty lies - did you know that secret? The terrible thing is that beauty is not only fearful but also mysterious. Here the devil is struggling with God, and the battlefield is the human heart.”
from The Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoevsky
The heaven of the supper fell in love with the wall.
It filled it with cracks. It fills them with light.
It fell into the wall. It shines out there
in the form of thirteen heads.
And that’s my night sky, before me,
and I’m the child standing under it,
my back getting cold, an ache in my eyes,
and the wall-battering heaven battering me.
At every blow of the battering ram
stars without eyes rain down,
new wounds in the last supper,
the unfinished mist on the wall.
It’s time for literature theme songs! This song reminds me of Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy, because it’s full of adultery!
to quote from Anna Karenina: “but the role of a man who was pursuing a married woman, and who made it the purpose of his life at all cost to draw her into adultery, was one which had in it something beautiful and dignified and could never be ridiculous.”
‘I used to say that in my body, in this grass, in this insect … (There! It did not want to get on to that grass, but has spread its wings and flown away) there takes place, according to physical, chemical, and physiological laws, a change of matter. And in all of us, including the aspens and the clouds and nebulae, evolution is proceeding. Evolution from what, into what? Unending evolution and struggle… . As if there could be any direction and struggle in infinity! And I was surprised that, in spite of the greatest effort of thought on that path, the meaning of life, the meaning of my impulses and my aspirations, was not revealed to me. But now I saw that I know the meaning of my life: it is to live for God, for the soul. And that meaning, in spite of its clearness, is mystic and wonderful. And such is the meaning of all existence.’
from Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy
“How are we to write
The Russian novel in America
As long as life goes so unterribly?
There is the pinch from which our only outcry
In literature to date is heard to come.
We get what little misery we can
Out of not having cause for misery.
It makes the guild of novel writers sick
To be expected to be Dostoievskis
On nothing worse than too much luck and comfort.”
from “New Hampshire” by Robert Frost
“I refuse to adapt myself a mite
To any change from hot to cold, from wet
To dry, from poor to rich, or back again.
I make a virtue of my suffering
From nearly everything that goes on round me.
In other words, I know wherever I am,
Being the creature of literature I am,
I shall not lack for pain to keep me awake.
Kit Marlowe taught me how to say my prayers:
‘Why, this is Hell, nor am I out of it.’
Samoa, Russia, Ireland, I complain of,
No less than England, France, and Italy.”
from “New Hampshire” by Robert Frost
“They talk such confounded nonsense … You can’t imagine what heights of idiotic nonsense a man can finally soar to! But of course you can imagine it - don’t we talk rot ourselves? Well, let them talk it if they want to; later on they’ll talk sense, no doubt …”
~ from Crime and Punishment by Feodor Dostoevsky