Saturday, March 18, 2017

A Gentleman in Moscow: Favorite Quotes

If one wants to give oneself a treat, one should read A Gentleman in Moscow. It is elegant, beautifully written, and thought provoking.It makes you laugh and it makes you cry. If I was a writer, I would be green with envy. Mr Towles is a masterful writer!

The book abounds with quotable quotes. Here are some of my favorites:

"For that matter, what can a first impression tell us about anyone? Why, no more than a chord can tell us about Beethoven, or a brushstroke about Botticelli. by their very nature, human beings are so capricious, so complex, so delightfully contradictory, that they deserve not only our consideration, but our reconsideration- and our unwavering determination to withhold our opinion until we have engaged with them in every possible setting at every possible hour." p. 120-21

" Now, when a man has been underestimated by a friend, he has some cause for taking offense- since it is our friend who should overestimate our capacities. They should have an exaggerated opinion of our moral fortitude, our aesthetic sensibilities, and our intellectual scope." p. 134

"If patience wasn't so easily tested, then it would hardly be a virtue..." p. 141

"I'll tell you what is convenient... To sleep until noon and have someone bring you your breakfast on a tray. To cancel an appointment at the very last minute. To keep a carriage waiting at the door of one's party, so that on a moment's notice it can whisk you away to another. To sidestep marriage in your youth and put off having children altogether. These are the greatest conveniences, Anushka- an at one time, I had them all. But in the end, it has been the inconveniences that have mattered to me the most." p. 352

" I have lured you into a life that is principally circumscribed by the four wall of this building. We all have.... We have ventured to make the hotel seem as wide and as wonderful as the world, so that you would opt to spend more time in it with us. But... One does not fulfill one's potential by listening to Scheherazade in a gilded hall, or by reading the Odyssey in one's den.One does so by setting forth into the vast unknown- just like Marco Polo when he traveled to China, or Columbus when he traveled to American." p. 387