To me there are two Hitlers: one who existed until the end of the French war; the other begins with the Russian campaign. In the beginning he was genial and pleasant. He would have extraordinary willpower and unheard-of influence on people. The important thing to remember is that the first Hitler, the man who I knew until the end of the French war, had much charm and goodwill. He was always frank. The second Hitler, who existed from the beginning of the Russian campaign until his suicide, was always suspicious, easily upset, and tense. He was distrustful to an extreme degree.
There is a very definite Russian heart in me; that never dies. I think you're born and you live your life with it and you die with it. I'm very much an American - my books tend to be about American things, but inside there's that sort of tortured, long-suffering, aching, constantly analysing Russian soul underneath the happy American exterior.
Instead of giving the effort the level of attention needed, the Air Force has wasted a year doing very little to end our reliance on Russian rocket engines, if the Air Force is unwilling to do what is necessary to meet the 2019 deadline, they are going to have to figure out how to meet our space launch needs without the RD-180 (Russian engine).
And I'll have you know that if you hurt my son again, if he so much as sighs sadly over his coffee, I will hire a man, a Russian, probably, to hunt you down and rip all that shiny black hair from your head, then break your skinny arms and legs, and set you on fire, and then put you out with a hammer. And should there be children from your beastly rutting, I shall have the Russian man cut them to tiny pieces and feed them to Madame Jacob's dog. because, although he may be only a worthless, simpleminded, libertine artist, Lucien is my favorite, and I will not have him hurt. Do you understand?
It is easier for a Russian to become an Atheist, than for any other nationality in the world. And not only does a Russian 'become an Atheist,' but he actually BELIEVES IN Atheism, just as though he had found a new faith, not perceiving that he has pinned his faith to a negation. Such is our anguish of thirst!
First, relax... And my second helpful hint is that you should not try to memorize anything you read in this book... My two words of advice are exemplified in what I call the Russian Novel Phenomenon. Every reader must have experienced that depressing moment about fifty pages into a Russian novel when we realize that we have lost track of all the characters, the variety of names by which they are known, their family relationships and relative ranks in the civil service. At this point we can give in to our anxiety, and start again to read more carefully, trying to memorize all the details on the offchance that some may prove to be important. If such a course is followed, the second reading is almost certain to be more incomprehensible than the first. The probable result: one Russian novel lost forever. But there is another alternative: to read faster, to push ahead, to make sense of what we can and to enjoy whatever we make sense of. And suddenly the book becomes readable, the story makes sense, and we find that we can remember all the important characters and events simply because we know what is important. Any re-reading we then have to do is bound to make sense, because at least we comprehend what is going on and what we are looking for.
There are at the present time two great nations in the world, which started from different points, but seem to tend towards the same end. I allude to the Russians and the Americans. Both of them have grown up unnoticed; and whilst the attention of mankind was directed elsewhere, they have suddenly placed themselves in the front rank among the nations, and the world learned their existence and their greatness at almost the same time. All other nations seem to have nearly reached their natural limits, and they have only to maintain their power; but these are still in the act of growth. All the others have stopped, or continue to advance with extreme difficulty; these alone are proceeding with ease and celerity along a path to which no limit can be perceived. The American struggles against the obstacles which nature opposes to him; the adversaries of the Russian are men. The former combats the wilderness and savage life; the latter, civilization with all its arms. The conquests of the American are therefore gained with the ploughshare; those of the Russian by the sword. The Anglo-American relies upon personal interest to accomplish his ends, and gives free scope to the unguided strength and common sense of the people; the Russian centres all the authority of society in a single arm. The principal instrument of the former is freedom; of the latter, servitude. Their starting-point is different, and their courses are not the same; yet each of them seems marked out by the will of Heaven to sway the destinies of half the globe.
Alexis de Tocqueville
Suppose a country starts its independence with the three economic characteristics that globally make a country prone to civil war: low income, slow growth, and dependence upon primary commodity exports. It is playing Russian roulette. That is not just an idle metaphor: the risk that a country in the bottom billion falls into civil war in any five-year period is nearly one in six, the same risk facing a player of Russian roulette.
One of the most brilliant Russian writers of the twentieth century, Yevgeny Zamyatin belongs to the tradition in Russian literature represented by Gogol, Leskov, Bely, Remizov, and, in certain aspects of their work, also by Babel and Bulgakov. It is a tradition, paradoxically, of experimenters and innovators. Perhaps the principal quality that unites them is their approach to reality and its uses in art - the refusal to be bound by literal fact, the interweaving of reality and fantasy, the transmutation of fact into poetry, often grotesque, oblique, playful, but always expressive of the writer's unique vision of life in his own, unique terms.