“I am a dreamer. I know so little of real life that I just can’t help re-living such moments as these in my dreams, for such moments are something I have very rarely experienced. I am going to dream about you the whole night, the whole week, the whole year. I feel I know you so well that I couldn’t have known you better if we’d been friends for twenty years. You won’t fail me, will you? Only two minutes, and you’ve made me happy forever. Yes, happy. Who knows, perhaps you’ve reconciled me with myself, resolved all my doubts.
When I woke up it seemed to me that some snatch of a tune I had known for a long time, I had heard somewhere before but had forgotten, a melody of great sweetness, was coming back to me now. It seemed to me that it had been trying to emerge from my soul all my life, and only now-
If and when you fall in love, may you be happy with her. I don’t need to wish her anything, for she’ll be happy with you. May your sky always be clear, may your dear smile always be bright and happy, and may you be for ever blessed for that moment of bliss and happiness which you gave to another lonely and grateful heart. Isn’t such a moment sufficient for the whole of one’s life?”
― Fyodor Dostoyevsky, White Nights
Photo is from the movie Le notti bianche…
Le Notti Bianche is a 1957 Italian film directed by Italian neorealist Luchino Visconti. The movie takes its title and basic plot from Fyodor Dostoevsky’s 1848 short story, White Nights.
In life — with advancing age — one starts to understand the power of a person, who is constantly thinking. It is an enormous overmastering power. Everything perishes: youth, charms, passions — everything grows old and ruins. The thought doesn’t perish and beautiful is a person who bears it throughout one’s life.
Illustration for Dostoevsky’s “The Possessed”
Arthur Hughes (1832-1915)
Ophelia in literature
Russian novelist Fyodor Dostojevski , in the first chapter of his 1880 masterpiece The Brothers Karamazov, described a capricious young woman who committed suicide by throwing herself off a steep cliff into a river, simply to imitate Shakespeare’s Ophelia. Dostoevsky concludes that “Even then, if the cliff, chosen and cherished from long ago, had not been so picturesque, if it had been merely a flat, prosaic bank, the suicide might not have taken place at all.” Dostoevksy also depicts the heroine Grushenka as Ophelia, binding the two through the words “Woe is me!” in the chapter entitled “The First Torment.”