Fyodor Dostoyevsky, The Gambler
"It drags you down, this life. You’re surrounded by crackpots, nothing but crackpots; you live with them for two, three years and, little by little, without noticing it, you turn into a crackpot yourself."
— Uncle Vanya, Anton Chekhov
"But this dark is deep:
now I warm you with my blood, listen
to this flesh.
It is far truer than poems."
— Marina Tsvetaeva, from “Poem of the End” (translated by Elaine Feinstein)
"His situation at that moment was like that of a man standing above a terrible chasm when the ground has begun to break away, is already rocking and sliding, sways for the last time and falls, carrying him into the abyss, while the poor wretch has neither the strength nor the willpower to spring backwards or to turn his eyes away from the yawning gulf; the abyss draws him and at last he leaps into it of his own accord, hastening his own doom."
— Fyodor Dostoevsky, The Double
from Vladimir Mayakovsky: A Tragedy (1913), Vladimir Mayakovsky
Pyotr Sokolov was a distinguished aquarelle portraitist who painted well-known figures of the middle of the XIX century. Among his sitters were noblemen, Decembrists, Pushkin and friends etc.
1831 Alexander Brullov - Natalia Nikolaevna Pushkina-Lanskaya (née Goncharova), wife of the Russian poet Alexander Pushkin
Marked passage from Despair by Vladimir Nabokov, page 117.