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Leo Tolstoy Quotes

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Russian novelist Leo Tolstoy is one of the most famous writers in world literature. Here are a few quotes from his personal and professional works.

  • "A man can live and be healthy without killing animals for food; therefore, if he eats meat, he participates in taking animal life merely for the sake of his appetite."
    - Leo Tolstoy, On Civil Disobedience
  • "All happy families resemble one another, each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way. - Leo Tolstoy All violence consists in some people forcing others, under threat of suffering or death, to do what they do not want to do."
    - Leo Tolstoy, Anna Karenina
  • "All, everything that I understand, I understand only because I love."
    - Leo Tolstoy
  • "And all people live, Not by reason of any care they have for themselves, But by the love for them that is in other people."
    - Leo Tolstoy
  • "Art is a microscope which the artist fixes on the secrets of his soul, and shows to people these secrets which are common to all."
    - Leo Tolstoy, Diary entry
  • "Art is not a handicraft, it is the transmission of feeling the artist has experienced."
    - Leo Tolstoy, What is Art?
  • "Art lifts man from his personal life into the universal life."
    - Leo Tolstoy, What is Art?
  • "At the approach of danger there are always two voices that speak with equal force in the heart of man: one very reasonably tells the man to consider the nature of the danger and the means of avoiding it; the other even more reasonable says that it is too painful and harassing to think of the danger, since it is not a man's power to provide for everything and escape from the general march of events; and that it is therefore better to turn aside from the painful subject till it has come, and to think of what is pleasant. In solitude a man generally yields to the first voice; in society to the second."
    - Leo Tolstoy, War and Peace
  • "Boredom: the desire for desires."
    - Leo Tolstoy
  • "Even in the valley of the shadow of death, two and two do not make six."
    - Leo Tolstoy
  • "Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing himself."
    - Leo Tolstoy
  • "Faith is the sense of life, that sense by virtue of which man does not destroy himself, but continues to live on. It is the force whereby we live."
    - Leo Tolstoy
  • "God is that infinite All of which man knows himself to be a finite part."
    - Leo Tolstoy, Diary entry
  • "Government is an association of men who do violence to the rest of us."
    - Leo Tolstoy
  • "Great works of art are only great because they are accessible and comprehensible to everyone."
    - Leo Tolstoy, What is Art?
  • "He never chooses an opinion; he just wears whatever happens to be in style."
    - Leo Tolstoy
  • "Historians are like deaf people who go on answering questions that no one has asked them."
    - Leo Tolstoy
  • "I sit on a man's back, choking him and making him carry me, and yet assure myself and others that I am very sorry for him and wish to ease his lot by all possible means - except by getting off his back."
    - Leo Tolstoy, What Then Must We Do?
  • "If a man aspires towards a righteous life, his first act of abstinence is from injury to animals."
    - Leo Tolstoy, The First Step
  • "If so many men, so many minds, certainly so many hearts, so many kinds of love."
    - Leo Tolstoy
  • "If there existed no external means for dimming their consciences, one-half of the men would at once shoot themselves, because to live contrary to one's reason is a most intolerable state, and all men of our time are in such a state."
    - Leo Tolstoy
  • "If you want to be happy, be."
    - Leo Tolstoy
  • "In all history there is no war which was not hatched by the governments, the governments alone, independent of the interests of the people, to whom war is always pernicious even when successful."
    - Leo Tolstoy

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