||[17 Jul 2005|04:57pm]
'He did, however, enjoy sitting on a park bench and gazing at the tall, slender Parisiennes in their sheer silk stockings. He effected an air of knowing sophistication. Yet when he actually managed to meet a girl his own age, he lost all ability to talk to her...not daring to think profane thoughts about the women he saw the street, Lev decided their silken legs reminded him of the slender prayer towers of Istanbul.' The Orientalist.
'The Orient's dry intoxication comes from the desert, where hot wind and hot sand make men drunk, where the world is simple and without problems. The woods are full of questions. Only the desert does not ask, does not give, and does not promise anything...the desert man...has but one face, and knows but one truth, and that truth fulfills him. The woodsman has many faces.' Ali & Nino.
'A cigarette is the perfect type of pleasure. It is exquisite, and leaves one unsatisfied. What more could you want?' Picture of Dorian Gray.
'The kiss by which all others shall be judged and found wanting.' Hearts in Atlantis (film version)
“I meant to end it like this. When the Inquisitor ceased speaking he waited some time for his Prisoner to answer him. His silence weighed down upon him. He saw that the Prisoner had listened intently all the time, looking gently in his face and evidently not wishing to reply. The old man longed for Him to say something, however bitter and terrible. But He suddenly approached the old man in silence and softly kissed him on his bloodless aged lips. That was all his answer. The old man shuddered. His lips moved. He went to the door, opened it, and said to Him: ‘Go, and come no more...come not at all, never, never!’ And he let Him out into the dark alleys of the town. The Prisoner went away.”
“And the old man?”
“The kiss glows in his heart, but the old man adheres to his idea.”
“And you with him, you too?” cried Alyosha, mournfully.
“Why, it’s all nonsense, Alyosha. It’s only a senseless poem of a senseless student, who could never write two lines of verse. Why do you take it so seriously? Surely you don’t suppose I am going straight off to the Jesuits, to join the men who are improving upon His work? Good Lord, it’s no business of mine. I told you, all I want is to live on to thirty, and then...dash the cup to the ground!”
“But the little sticky leaves, and the precious tombs, and the blue sky, and the woman you love! How will you live, how will you love them?” Alyosha cried sorrowfully. “With such a hell in your heart and your head, how can you? No, that’s just what you are going away for, to join them…if not, you will kill yourself, you can’t endure it!”
“There is a strength to endure everything,” Ivan said with a cold smile.
“The strength of the Karamazovs--the strength of the Karamazov baseness.”
“To sink into debauchery, to stifle your soul with corruption, yes?”
“Possibly even that...only perhaps till I am thirty I shall escape it, and then.”
“How will you escape it? By what will you escape it? That’s impossible with your ideas.”
“In the Karamazov way, again.”
“ That all things are permitted, is that it?”
Ivan scowled, and all at once turned strangely pale.
“Ah, you’ve caught up yesterday’s phrase, which so offended Miusov--and which Dmitri pounced upon so naively and paraphrased!” he smiled queerly. “Yes, if you like. I won’t deny it.”
Alyosha looked at him in silence.
“I thought that going away from here I have you at least,” Ivan said suddenly, with unexpected feeling; “but now I see that there is no place for me even in your heart. The formula, ‘all things are permitted,’ I won’t renounce--but you will you renounce me for it.”
Alyosha got up, went to him and softly kissed him on the lips.
“Plagiarism!” cried Ivan, in a transport of delight.
I'd quote some more Dostoyevsky, but I don't have him offhand and I would never dare improvise him.