"It profits me but little that a vigilant authority always protects the tranquillity of my pleasures and constantly averts all dangers from my path, without my care or concern, if this same authority is the absolute master of my liberty and my life."

--Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Birthday Today - Turgenev

It's the birthday today of the great Russian novelist, Ivan Turgenev, born in 1818.   Only Tolstoy and Dostoevsky are greater, and to me Turgenev's Fathers and Sons ranks with their best, and is at the same time the single best dissection of the character of the Western political radical in literature.   A great, great book that can be reread -- for me, the true mark of a classic novel.

A line from Fathers and Sons strikes me as a fitting epitaph for the Occupy Wall Street movement, which will wither, methinks, as the winter cold comes on.

“The fact is that previously they were simply dunces and now they've suddenly become nihilists.”

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