Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Quote of the Day (Ivan Turgenev, on the Basic Questions)

“What aim do you wish to achieve, where are you going, what is in your soul? In a word, who are you? What are you?”— Ivan Turgenev, Fathers and Sons (1861)

The kind of questions it would take a 19th-century Russian novel to pose! Only the biggest ones we face, and still unanswered, a century and a half after they were asked…

(The image accompanying this post comes from an 1874 oil-on-canvas portrait of Ivan Turgenev by Ilya Repin, now in the State Tretyakov Gallery, Moscow.)

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