Avenarius’ Book of Quotations
Leo Tolstoy | Ralph Waldo Emerson | Arthur Schopenhauer | Neale Donald Walsch | Karl May | Rex Stout | Ernest Hemingway | Wolf Schneider | Július Satinský | Jonathan Swift | Agatha Christie | Dashiell Hammett | Biblia | Buddha | Bahá’í Faith
Start Page | Mottoes | Introduction | Site History | What’s New?
Quotations Site Map | about the webmaster | Home Map | Visitors Stats
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P R S T U V W X Y Z all authors
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P R S T U V W X Y Z all works

Introduction return to Start Page

The structure of this web site is already visible but the contents are scant. I plan to be updating them frequently, though; let’s keep in touch. The best way never to miss an addition to Avenarius’ Book of Quotations is to send a blank email to the address subscribe@avenarius.sk; you'll be then receiving regular email notifications informing you of additions to the site. You may unsubscribe at any time by sending a blank email to unsubscribe@avenarius.sk. Your email address will not be shared with or passed on to anyone.

The site is a lifelong project of mine; the aim is to assemble the finest (but also some of the worst) quotations from the books (or even newspapers) that I’ve read. The quotes may also be words I overheard someone saying in the street. For the most time, I’ll be including quotations in original languages: English, German, Russian, Slovak, Czech, French... Other languages should follow.

In order for all special Russian, Slovak, Greek etc. characters to be displayed correctly, all webpages on this site are uniformly encoded following the UTF-8 Unicode standard. Your browser should automatically switch to display this site in UTF-8 Unicode. If it does not and you should happen to see funny characters instead of letters, please manually pick UTF-8 from your browser’s encodings menu. (Read more on compatibility issues below.)

It has been taking a long time to get the site started. Five years after founding it on the Internet, the contents are still scant indeed. The structure, skeleton of the lifelong project has meanwhile been steadily improved throughout the months; the same applies to the underlying HTML and CSS codes. On average, the site gets about 30 visitors from around the world every day, independently of whether there have been any recent updates. (See visitors statistics; you may also, at any time, watch the access log of this site live at http://avenarius.sk/access_log.)

Many of the quotations assembled on the web site will be commented upon by me. All footnotes in plog files are ad-lib; they’re meant to be informal and spontaneous. If you’re interested in reading the comments, click on any of the footnote marks (highlighted in blue numbers) interspersed within the text of quotations. You can effortlessly switch back and forth between the quotations and the commentary, as all footnotes, in their turn, are cross-referenced (via unique URLs, one per footnote) back to specified locations within the file of original quotations. Therefore, the reverse mode of reading is possible: you may start out by reading the editor’s commentary in a plog file, clicking on any footnote’s number to view the original quotation to which the footnote refers. (For more detailed information on the cross-referencing system, see below.)

Enjoy Avenarius’ Book of Quotations. Find a minute to view or sign the guestbook at the bottom of the screen. Or, send me a direct e-mail message to let me know what you think. All suggestions for improving the site are appreciated! Don’t hesitate to voice criticism wherever you think the webmaster could do better work.

View the complete list of authors of quotations.

View the complete list of quoted works.

View the site map of all existing webpages.

Read the mottoes of this Book of Quotations.

Sign the Book of Quotations Guestbook.

View site visitors statistics; watch the site’s access log live.

Write an email message to the webmaster.

You’re invited to visit my personal website.

What’s in a Plog?

A plog is a special kind of blog – a perusal log. It is an extremely informal record of thoughts that dashed through the mind of a reader as he or she was reading the text to which a plog is attached. Most quotations files on this web site will be commented upon in plog files linked with them in multiple ways (see the fourth paragraph of the ›Introduction‹ section, above; and the ›Cross-Referencing System‹ section, below). The two hallmarks of a plog are the unedited spontaneity of the reader’s reactions that it records, and the unabashed naïveté of the observations it contains. A plog is offered to the public in the spirit of for what it’s worth.

Preface to the Original Offline Edition of Avenarius’ Book of Quotations (1992)

You can start reading wherever you want; you can stop reading wherever you want.

You can read quotations in any sequence you choose.

Every quotation in this book is understandable by itself, without reference to any other quotation.

In order to understand quotations in this book, no previous knowledge is required, beside speaking the language.

In order to understand quotations in this book, only one thing is needed: your willingness to think.

Predslov k pôvodnému off-line vydaniu Avenariusovej knihy citátov (1992)

Môžete začať čítať hocikde; môžete prestať čítať hocikde.

Môžete čítať citáty v akomkoľvek poradí.

Každý citát v tejto knihe je zrozumiteľný sám osebe, bez súvislosti s inými citátmi.

Na pochopenie citátov v tejto knihe sa nevyžadujú žiadne predošlé znalosti, okrem ovládania jazyka.

Na pochopenie citátov v tejto knihe sa vyžaduje jediné: ochota premýšľať.

Vorwort zur ursprünglichen offline-Ausgabe von Avenarius’ Zitatenbuch (1992)

Sie können mit dem Lesen anfangen, wo Sie wollen; Sie können mit dem Lesen aufhören, wo Sie wollen.

Sie können die Zitate in beliebiger Reihenfolge lesen.

Jedes Zitat in diesem Buch erklärt sich durch sich selbst, ohne Bezug auf andere Zitate.

Um die Zitate in diesem Buch zu verstehen, brauchen Sie keine vorherigen Kenntnisse, außer der Beherrschung der Sprache.

Für das Verständnis der Zitate in diesem Buch wird nur eines erfordert: Ihre Bereitschaft nachzudenken.

Publishing History (offline):

Avenarius’ Book of Quotations founded
                                on 9th December 1992
Volume I (Manuscript) finished: 3rd June 1993
Volume II (Manuscript): 4th April 1994
Volume III (Manuscript): 23rd August 1994
Volume IV (Manuscript): 31st December 1994
Volume V (Typescript on an electronic typewriter): 1995
Volume VI (Typescript): 1996
Volume VII (Typescript) finished: July 1997
First Computerized Typescript begun: July 1997
Avenarius’ Book of Quotations goes online: July 2000

To examine the history of the development of the project on the Internet after July 2000, go to Site History.


The following conventions apply throughout Avenarius’ Book of Quotations. (They do not apply to webpages planned for future inclusion in Avenarius’ Online Library – a prospective Internet library of complete unabridged literary texts. Such webpages are, for the time being, marked “fulltext”, and with the icon, in the Quotations Site Map and in lists of quoted works; these pages only temporarily appear as regular subsections of Avenarius’ Book of Quotations.)

Within the text of quotations, words highlighted in italics or bold (or both) have been so highlighted by the editor of this online collection of quotations.

In contrast, words that are highlighted by being underlined (yet without appearing in blue colour, that is: without functioning as electronic links) were already highlighted in the source text of the quotation: they were emphasized by the original author.

For adding further emphasis to passages already emphasized by other means (see above), passages displayed with extended character spacing were thus highlighted either by the editor of this Book of Quotations (e x t e n d e d) or by the original author (e x t e n d e d).

An asterisk * within the body of quotations indicates a word or passage that the editor of this Book of Quotations considers to be particularly significant or admirable. Such a portion of text may or may not be further commented upon in a footnote.

Explanatory notes [in square brackets] within the body of quotations were likewise made by the editor of this online collection.

Cross-Referencing System

The website features a consistent cross-referencing system: you can refer not merely to a collection of excerpts within Avenarius’ Book of Quotations, but visitors may also be pointed directly to a specified quotation within any collection. Visitors do not need to waste time looking for the quotation that you want them to see: they will be taken directly to the excerpt that you specify.

The simple formula for cross-referencing: if you want to point someone to (for instance) quotation § 23 within a collection of quotations, the link will be sitename/author/filename.htm#23. Analogously, § 39 within a collection of quotations may be accessed by clicking the link sitename/author/filename.htm#39.

In order to refer to any of the editor’s comments in a plog, the formula is (for instance, for footnote #6 within a plog file) sitename/author/filename_plog.htm#6. Analogously, the link sitename/author/filename_plog.htm#25 takes the visitor directly to footnote #25 within the plog file that you specify. Please note that a link in the form sitename/author/filename_plog.htm#44p2 takes the visitor directly to footnote #44.2 (“p” in links representing “decimal point”).

Finally, in order to point someone to the place within a quotations file that has been commented upon by the editor in a plog footnote, the formula is sitename/author/filename.htm#n22: this link takes visitors to the place within a quotations file where footnote mark #22 is located. Visitors may then choose to click the footnote mark 22 (footnote marks always appear underlined and highlighted in blue) in order to read the text of the footnote in the attached plog file. (An introduction to plog files is above.)

Compatibility Woes

An important principle for this site is to adhere to web-design specifications as laid out by the World Wide Web Consortium (www.w3.org) led by Tim Berners-Lee. This means that the structural elements of the site are standardized, ensuring universal accessibility for all visitors regardless of what software or operating system they may be using. The web-standards compliance of all webpages on this site is regularly checked in Liam Quinn’s A Real Validator (and other similar engines) to ensure that the HTML code on all pages successfully passes w3c.org’s validation.

Supporting standards-compliant software is, however, not to be confused with supporting outdated software. For instance, the Netscape 4.x browser (let alone older browsers), popular in the 1990s era of the beginnings of the Internet, is obsolete today; a multi-lingual site like this one cannot fully support a browser like Netscape 4.x with its various quirks, notably the lack of Unicode rendering. Try to read this site’s main motto in Russian, at the top of the mottoes page, using Netscape 4.x: it’s just not possible! Netscape enthusiasts are therefore advised to upgrade to a higher version, or to Firefox or Mozilla. The author is an Opera enthusiast (as far as software goes, not music), but beside Opera the site is regularly checked in Firefox and IE also.

Copyright Woes

Another important principle for this site is to adhere to copyright laws and provisions, no matter how odd they may often seem. In other words, you will find no pirated content on this site: everything included on these pages appears here legally, to the best of my knowledge. Should you, nevertheless, find anything on these pages that seems to you is copyright-protected and is not presented here with the proper authorization, please notify me via email at a@avenarius.sk and I shall try to obtain the authorization or remove the disputed item(s) right away if the authorization cannot be obtained.

That being said, I admit I find the current Mickey-Mouse copyright provisions (a work is to be protected for 70 years after the death of its author) as prevalent in today’s civilized countries perverse. It must be realized that the current provisions only came about due to pressures from commercial enterprises like the Walt Disney empire; see the excellent website Opposing Copyright Extension. Unfortunately, European countries can today be observed copycatting the unwholesome US copyrights legislature. (To read about the present writer’s encounters with the copyright issue, visit this webpage).

original title page of this Book of Quotations (click to enlarge)Avenarius’ Book of Quotations will include quotations from dozens of authors – famous or completely unknown, ancient and contemporary, professional writers and ordinary people. Only one criterion is used in selecting quotations for the site: they need to be interesting, worth reading. Or, as the sub-heading on the title page (shown above) of the original off-line version of this Book of Quotations said, each included quotation should in some way be admirable or noteworthy („obivuhodné alebo pozoruhodné“ in Slovak).

Two giants, Tolstoy and Chekhov, in a photograph from 1901

Two of Avenarius’ best-loved classic writers and lifelong idols: Leo Tolstoy (on the right) with Anton Chekhov, in a picture taken in 1901. Avenarius’ Book of Quotations will include excerpts from all works of both writers, in original Russian along with the webmaster’s informal on-the-fly commentaries in attached plog files.

page 10 of the original manuscript of Avenarius' Book of Quotations (click to enlarge)These are some of the earliest (December 1992) excerpts ever included in Avenarius’ Book of Quotations, on page 10 of the original manuscript edition. The page (click the picture on the right to enlarge it) highlights the multilingual aspect of the project, with passages from Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes stories, Arthur Schopenhauer’s essay ›On the Philosophy and Science of Nature‹, and Anton Chekhov’s play Ivanov occurring next to each other in their original languages – on a single page of text.

Abbreviations and Symbols

§ introduces the reference number of quotation
# in cross-references, introduces the number of a footnote
text emphasized by the editor of this Book of Quotations
text emphasized by the editor of this Book of Quotations
t e x t emphasized by the editor of this Book of Quotations
text emphasized by the original writer
t e x t emphasized by the original writer
* asterisk* denoting a word or passage considered particularly significant or admirable by the editor of this Book of Quotations
›Title Title‹ titles of short sections of text (chapters...), short forms of text (short stories, poems, essays...), or newspapers and magazines
Title Title in lists of quoted works, book titles – ordered chronologically
Title Title in lists of quoted works, titles of short text forms (stories, poems, etc.) – ordered alphabetically
[Title Title] posthumous publications; titles not chosen by the author
<Title Title> impromptu title chosen by the editor of this Book of Quotations
(1941/1963) publication year in magazine / book form;
or, the work’s subsequent editions
([1941]/1963) year of writing / year of first publication
(1935/1972:iii) first published in 1935;
quoted from 3rd edition (1972)
(1935/1972:iii; 1993) first published in 1935;
quoted from 3rd edition (1972), the 1993 printing
1995*12*10 10th December 1995 (second digit denotes month)
Title Title in footnotes, cross-reference to a (literary) work
Name Name in footnotes, cross-reference to an author other than the one currently commented upon
§ 17 in footnotes, cross-reference to a particular quotation in a quotations file
#17 in footnotes, cross-reference to another footnote
i)   subsection subsection within a quotations file
A.   subsection a further subsection within a quotations file’s subsection
- hyphen
paragraph break or stanza break in the original text
¶¶ section (but not chapter) break in the original text
/ line break (in poetry) in the original text
(text) parentheses in the original text
[text] brackets with text supplied by the editor of this Book of Quotations
[...] deletion from the original text made by the editor of this Book of Quotations
±   [or]   ≈ (is) approximately (equal to)
no!; is not equal to
> arrow may introduce and / or conclude a footnote
>> arrows may introduce and / or conclude a footnote
   profile page for an author
  collection of quotations from a literary work
  quotations from short text forms; miscellaneous quotations
  unabridged full text
  illustration(s), picture(s)
  an audio file
  a video file
[49] on page 49 of the source text
[49f] on page 49 and the following page in the source text
[49ff] on page 49 and the following pages in the source text
[49с] on page 49 and the following page in the Russian source text
[49сс] on page 49 and the following pages in the Russian source text
aka also known as
Anm. Anmerkung (footnote – in German texts)
beg. the beginning
с. страница (page – in Russian texts)
cf. compare
cf. fol. compare the following quotation
cf. foll. compare the following quotations
cf. ib. compare in the same text or passage
cf. penult. compare the penultimate quotation
cf. prec. compare the preceding quotation
cf. precc. compare the preceding quotations
ch. chapter
cont. of penult. in the source text, this quotation follows directly on the penultimate quotation
cont. of prec. in the source text, this quotation follows directly on the preceding quotation
ср. сравни (compare – in Russian texts)
ср. пред. сравни предыдущую (compare the preceding quotation – in Russian texts)
ср. предд. сравни предыдущие (compare the preceding quotations – in Russian texts)
ср. предп. сравни предпоследнюю (compare the penultimate quotation – in Russian texts)
ср. след. сравни следующую (compare the following quotation – in Russian texts)
ср. следд. сравни следующие (compare the following quotations – in Russian texts)
e. g. exempli gratia (for example)
г. глава (chapter – in Russian texts)
ib. ibidem (in the same text or passage)
i. e. id est (that is)
inbetw. prec. in the source text, this quotation takes the place of the deletion in the preceding quotation
k.   [or]   kap. kapitola / Kapitel (chapter – in Slovak / German texts)
p. page
par. paraphrase instead of an exact quotation
penult. penultimate
plog [click for explanation]
pozn. poznámka (footnote – in Slovak texts)
пр. пр. продолжение предыдущей (cont. of prec. – in Russian texts)
prec. preceding
пред. предыдущий (preceding – in Russian texts)
s. strana (page – in Slovak texts)
spoiler this quotation gives away an important element of the work’s plot
t. j. to jest (that is – in Slovak texts)
[tr]   [or]   <tr> translated text (not in the original language)
тж. тамже (in the same text or passage – in Russian texts)
zač. začiatok (beginning – in Slovak texts)

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