War & Peace: Quotes

Category : classics

In another couple days, I will complete this novel. I almost don’t believe it.

Ordinarily I’d just write a review and that’s that, but I’d be doing it a disservice if I only mentioned this book once. So I’m sharing some of my favorite quotes, the ones I read over four times because they were so beautiful and true.

[Rostov] told them about his Schöngrabern action in just the way that those who take part in battles usually tell about them, that is, in the way they would like it to have been, the way they have heard others tell it, the way it could be told more beautifully, but not at all the way it had been.

(On God) “If He did not exist, we would not be talking about Him, my dear sir. What, whom are we talking about? Whom have you denied? Who invented Him, if He does not exist?”

[Nikolai] knew that he had to go from this clear, good world to somewhere where everything was nonsense and confusion.

Pierre, without any obvious reason, suddenly felt the impossibility of going on with his former life.

“I don’t think ill of anybody: I love everybody and I pity everybody.”

A good player who loses at chess is geniunely convinced that he has lost because of a mistake, and he looks for this mistake in the beginning of his game, but forgets that there were also mistakes at every step in the course of the game, that none of his moves was perfect.

Everything comes at the right time to him who knows how to wait.

Every Russian, looking at Moscow, feels that she is a mother; every foreigner, looking at her and not knowing her maternal significance, must feel the feminine character of this city, and Napoleon felt it.

(On death) “Where has he gone? Where is he now? . . .”

In order to walk a thousand miles, a man needs to think that there is something good at the end of those thousand miles. One needs a vision of the promised land in order to have the strength to move.

[Pierre] involuntarily started comparing these two men, so different and at the same time so similar, because of the love he had for both of them, and because both had lived and both had died.