"For me a work of fiction exists only insofar as it affords me what I shall bluntly call aesthetic bliss, that is a sense of being somehow, somewhere connected with other states of being (curiosity, tenderness, kindness, ecstacy) is the norm."
"Pushkin's composition is first of all and above all a phenomenon of style, and it is from this flowered rim that I have surveyed its seep of Arcadian country, the serpentine gleam of its imported brooks, the miniature blizzards imprisoned in round crystal, and the many-hued levels of literary parody blending in the melting distance."
"He made for the door, automatically resuming his glasses and leaving in front of her, on the floor, his right slipper in token of his speedy return. Then, his desire exposed and his eyes wicked behind their strong lenses, he attempted to push her toward the bed."
"I wonder where you got your statistics when you say that Theirs executed more people than did the Terreur? I object to this kind of excuse for two reasons. Although from a Christian's or a mathematician's point of view a thousand people killed in battle a hundred years ago equal a thousand people killed in a battle of today, historically the first definition is "slaughter" and the second "some casualties." Secondly: one cannot compare the slapdash suppression, however abominable, of a revolt with the thorough application of a system of murder."
"It is hard, I submit, to loathe bloodshed, including war, more than I do, but it is still harder to exceed my loathing of the very nature of totalitarian states in which massacre is only an administrative detail."
"The tremendous outflow of intellectuals that formed such a prominent part of the general exodus from Soviet Russia in the first years of the Bolshevist Revolution seems today like the wanderings of some mythical tribe whose bird-signs and moon-signs I now retrieve from the desert dust."
"Fathers and Sons is not only the best of Turgenev's novels, it is one of the most brilliant novels of the nineteenth century. Turgenev managed to do what he intended to do, to create a male character, a young Russian, who would affirm his--that character's--absence of introspection and at the same time would not be a journalist's dummy of the socialistic type."
"Of the other characters in the book there is, likewise, little to say. The most endearing one is obviously the old Captain MaksimMaksimich, stolid, gruff, naively poetical, matter-of- fact, simple-hearted, and completely neurotic."