Tuesday, September 12, 2006

A Quote I Like

I am slogging through Tolstoy's Anna Karenina.

I adore Dostoyevsky, and assumed all Russian writers would be as wonderful. This is not the case, and I was a goober for thinking so.

The weird thing is, what I don't like about Tolstoy doesn't bother me in Hugo. Explain that one to me.

Anyway, all of this is not the point. The point is that in all this muck, last night I uncovered a beautiful diamond of thought.

At the end of the book, Levin is desperately searching for faith. Finally he has his epiphany. And after that epiphany, he has another:

"Lying on his back, he was now looking at the high, cloudless sky. 'Don't I know that it is infinite space and not a round vault? But no matter how I squint and strain in my sight, I cannot help seeing it as round and limited, and despite my knowledge of infinite space, I am undoubtedly right when I see a firm blue vault, more right than when I strain to see beyond it.'

"Levin had stopped thinking and was as if only listening to the mysterious voices that spoke joyfully and anxiously about something among themselves.

"'Can this be faith?' he wondered, afraid to believe his happiness. 'My God, thank you!' he said, choking back the rising sobs and with both hands wiping away the tears that filled his eyes."

I was very much struck by the use of space beyond sky as a metaphor for faith in what we can't see.

I loved it, and just thought I'd share.

No comments: