I did not understand that she was hiding her feelings under irony, that this is usually the last refuge of modest and chaste-souled people when the privacy of their soul is coursely and intrusively invaded, and that their pride makes them refuse to surrender till the last moment and shrink from giving expression to their feelings before you.
Fyodor Dostoyevsky, Notes from Underground, trans. Constance Garnett (via bookoasis)
Even in Goethe we come across heavy lines, even in him we can be confronted by lack of clarity or banality of thought. It is not a question of thought, or of colour, or of faithfulness to literary rules; it is something else, living but incomprehensible, something that will always elude any definition of artistic genius…the clearest of images of the great artists and their words are never clear to the end, rather as the limpid sky over our heads, when we gaze into it, turns out to be not pale blue at all, but a darker shade, deeper, fathomless. And so the works of great genius, for all their crystalline clarity, will sometimes make us gaze apprehensively into their depths, and define the clarity as the clarity of the deep…and that is all; what lies at the bottom of those depths eludes us.

Andrey Bely, The Tragedy of Art, ‘Dostoievsky and Tolstoy’.

A quote featured in Andrey Tarkovsky’s diary entry, November 10, 1980.

from Time Within Time: The Diaries, Andrey Tarkovsky.

The passages highlighted by my father (years ago) in particular are intriguing to me.