Joseph Brodsky

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The surest defense against Evil is extreme individualism, originality of thinking, whimsicality, even — if you will — eccentricity.

Iosip Aleksandrovich Brodsky (Russian: Ио́сиф Алекса́ндрович Бро́дский, usually anglicized as Joseph Brodsky) (24 May 194028 January 1996) was a Russian-American poet, winner of the 1987 Nobel Prize in Literature, and Poet Laureate of the United States for 1991–1992.

Quotes[edit]

The formula for prison is a lack of space counterbalanced by a surplus of time.

Less Than One: Selected Essays (1986)[edit]

  • The formula for prison is a lack of space counterbalanced by a surplus of time. This is what really bothers you, that you can't win. Prison is lack of alternatives, and the telescopic predictability of the future is what drives you crazy.
    • "Less Than One"
  • The surest defense against Evil is extreme individualism, originality of thinking, whimsicality, even — if you will — eccentricity. That is, something that can't be feigned, faked, imitated; something even a seasoned imposter couldn't be happy with.
    • "A Commencement Address" (1984), delivered at Williams College
  • There was Lenin, looking like a cherub in his blonde curls. Then Lenin in his twenties and thirties, bald and uptight.
  • This is just one example of the trimming of the self that — along with the language itself, where verbs and nouns changed places as freely as one dare to have them do so — bred in us such an overpowering sense of ambivalence that in ten years we ended up with a willpower in no way superior to a seaweed’s.
  • There isn’t an executioner who isn’t scared of turning victim one day, nor is there the sorriest victim who would not acknowledge (if only to himself) a mental ability to become an executioner.

From "Love"[edit]

  • For darkness restores what light cannot repair.

External links[edit]

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