YEVGENY ZAMYATIN QUOTES

Russian author (1884-1937)

Yevgeny Zamyatin quote

True literature can exist only where it is created, not by diligent and trustworthy functionaries, but by madmen, hermits, heretics, dreamers, rebels, and skeptics.

YEVGENY ZAMYATIN, "I Am Afraid", A Soviet Heretic

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Tags: literature


It is an error to divide people into the living and the dead: there are people who are dead-alive, and people who are alive-alive. The dead-alive also write, walk, speak, act. But they make no mistakes; only machines make no mistakes, and they produce only dead things. The alive-alive are constantly in error, in search, in questions, in torment.

YEVGENY ZAMYATIN, A Soviet Heretic

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Tags: life


All of life in its complexity and beauty is forever minted in the gold of words.

YEVGENY ZAMYATIN, We

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Tags: words


The most wonderful thing in life is to be delirious and the most wonderful kind of delirium is being in love.

YEVGENY ZAMYATIN, Islanders and the Fisher of Men

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Tags: love


I prefer being wrong in my own way to being right in someone else's.

YEVGENY ZAMYATIN, attributed, Contemporary Russian Literature

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The sole means of ridding man of crime is to rid him of freedom.

YEVGENY ZAMYATIN, We

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Tags: crime


Every genuine poet is necessarily a Columbus. America existed for centuries before Columbus but it was only Columbus who was able to track it down.

YEVGENY ZAMYATIN, We

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Tags: poetry


We have long become overgrown with calluses; we no longer hear people being killed.

YEVGENY ZAMYATIN, The Dragon: Fifteen Stories

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Isn't it clear that bliss and envy--they are the numerator and the denominator of the fraction known as happiness.

YEVGENY ZAMYATIN, We

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Tags: happiness


How do you know that nonsense isn't a good thing? If human nonsense had been nurtured and developed for centuries, just as intelligence has, then perhaps something extraordinarily precious could have come from it.

YEVGENY ZAMYATIN, We

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Tags: nonsense


And tomorrow--who knows what happens? Do you get it? I don't know and no one knows--it's all unknown! You understand, that this is the end to the Known? This is the new, the improbable, the unpredictable.

YEVGENY ZAMYATIN, We

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Tags: tomorrow


Who knows who you are ... A person is a novel: you don't know how it will end until the very last page. Otherwise it wouldn't be worth reading to the very end.

YEVGENY ZAMYATIN, We

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Children are the only brave philosophers. And brave philosophers are, inevitably, children.

YEVGENY ZAMYATIN, We

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Tags: children


Children are the boldest philosophers. They enter life naked, not covered by the smallest fig leaf of dogma, absolutes, creeds. This is why every question they ask is so absurdly naïve and so frighteningly complex.

YEVGENY ZAMYATIN, On Literature, Revolution, Entropy, and Other Matters

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The world is kept alive only by heretics.

YEVGENY ZAMYATIN, "Tomorrow"

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And happiness ... Well, after all, desires torment us, don't they? And, clearly, happiness is when there are no more desires, not one ... What a mistake, what ridiculous prejudice it's been to have marked happiness always with a plus sign. Absolute happiness should, of course, carry a minus sign -- the divine minus.

YEVGENY ZAMYATIN, We

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Art functions pyramidally: all new achievements are based on the utilization of everything that has been accumulated below, at the foundations of the pyramid. Revolutions do not occur here; this field, more than any other, is governed by evolution. And we must know what has been done before us in the field of verbal art. This does not mean that you must follow in trodden paths: you must contribute something of your own. A work of art is of value only when it is original, both in content and in form. But in order to leap upward, it is necessary to take off from the ground. It is essential that there be a ground.

YEVGENY ZAMYATIN, The Psychology of Creative Work

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Tags: art


An error is more useful than truth: truth is a thought suffering from arteriosclerosis.

YEVGENY ZAMYATIN, The Future of the Theater

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Tags: truth


The whole world is one immense woman, and we are in her very womb, we are not yet born, we are joyfully ripening.

YEVGENY ZAMYATIN, We

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The old, slow, creaking descriptions are a thing of the past; today the rule is brevity -- but every word must be supercharged, high-voltage.

YEVGENY ZAMYATIN, A Soviet Heretic

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