Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Use Their Skulls As Ashtrays

Andrei Sinyavsky's book, Soviet Civilization; A Cultural History, provides us with one of the most sophisticated analyses of the Evil Empire ever written. The book's arguments will be examined in future posts. For now, here are a few of the quotations Sinyavasky uses to explain the essence of the USSR for his readers.

Leon Trotsky. "If the symbol is a concentrated image, then the revolution is the supreme maker of symbols, since is presents all phenomena and relations in concentrated form."

Aleksandr Blok. "To smoke the nobs out of their holes we'll light a fire through all the world, a bloody fire through all the world--Lord bless our souls!"

Aleksandr Blok. "To redo everything. To organize things so that everything will be new; so that our lying, dirty, ugly life will be just, pure, merry, and beautiful."

Feodor Dostoevsky. "Here, my dear, a new religion is coming to replace the old. That's why there are so many soldiers about."

Vladimir Kirillov. "We're drunk with a rebellious, brutal passion; Let them scream: "You are the hangman of beauty, In the name of our tomorrow, we'll burn Raphael, Destroy museums, crush the flowers of art underfoot."

Yury Olesha. "We young poets didn't understand what a frightening world we were living in. This world hadn't been explained as a world. Now I lived in an explained world. I understand the causes. I am filled with a feeling of enormous gratitude, expressible only in music, when I think of those who died to make the world explained, to explain it and reconstruct it."

Konstantin Balmont. "You were utterly mistaken: your beloved people are not at all the people you dreamed of, not at all."

Mayakovsky. "We'll destroy you, old romantic world! In place of faith in our soul we have electricity and steam. In place of misery, pocket the riches of all worlds! The old men? Kill them! And use the skulls as ashtrays!"

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