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Fyodor Dostoyevsky   ::   Netochka Nezvanova

'I have no talent!' he said, turning ash-white. This moved B. dreadfully.

'Listen, Egor Petrovitch. Whatever do you think you're doing to yourself? You can only destroy yourself with this despair. Where's your courage? Where's your patience? Now, in a fit of depression, you're saying that you have no talent: you're wrong! You have talent, I can see it from the way you can understand and appreciate music. I can show you how your whole life is a proof of it. You've told me about your earlier years and it's obvious that even then you were haunted by a similar kind of despair. And then your first teacher, the man about whom you've told me so much, aroused the first love of music in you and recognized that you have ability. You felt it just as strongly and oppressively then as you do now. The only difference is that at that time you didn't understand what was happening to you. You realized that you couldn't go on living with the landowner and yet you didn't know quite what it was you did want to do. Your teacher died too soon. He left you with just a vague yearning and, what's more important, he didn't teach you how to understand yourself. You sensed that you should be following a different path, a more ambitious one, you felt that you were destined for other things but you had no idea how to achieve them and in your misery you began to hate everything around you. But you didn't waste those six years; you studied, you thought, you became aware of yourself and your strengths. Now you're able to understand art and your vocation in art. You need patience and courage, my friendů Achievement far greater than mine awaits you. You're a hundred times greater an artist than I, if only you had my endurance! Study and stop drinking, as your good landowner said to you. And above all make a new beginning. Begin with the basics. What is it that torments you so? Poverty? Deprivation? But it's precisely poverty and deprivation that mould the true artist. They are inevitable at the beginning. Just now no one wants you, no one is bothered about knowing you, but that's the way of the world. Just wait a while and you'll see how different it is once they've discovered you. The envy, the petty meanness and, worst of all, the stupidity will be a greater burden to you than any hardship. Talent needs sympathy and understanding, but wait until you see the sort of people who will flock around you when you've achieved just the tiniest bit of fame. All that you've gained through labour, sleepless nights, hunger and hardship will be looked on with contempt and disdain. These future friends of yours will give you neither comfort nor encouragement. They won't point our your good sides. Oh no! They'll take a malicious delight in spotting every one of your mistakes. They'll only be interested in your faults and errors. They'll celebrate over them - as if anyone could be perfect. You see, you're too conceited. Sometimes you're proud when there's no need to be and you may go and offend some important little nobody, and then there'll be trouble, for you are alone and they are many. They'll torment you; they'll prod you like a pincushion. Even I have begun experiencing all this. But now you must cheer up. You aren't completely destitute and you'll get by as long as you don't turn your nose up at humble work. Go and chop wood as I did at those evening parties. You're too impatient, it's a kind of sickness of yours. Try to be simpler - you're too subtle and you think too much; you give your brain a lot of work. You're bold with words but feeble with your bow. You're too vain and you lack fortitude. Have courage and find patience to study diligently. If you don't trust your own strength, then put your trust in luck. You still have fire and feeling. Perhaps you'll reach your goal, but, if not, trust in luck. Whichever way, you can't lose, because the stake is too great. It's a wonderful thing, my friend, to trust in luck!"
books i've read..
2013 [12 read]
2012 [36 read]
2011 [5 read]
2010 [6 read]
2009 [5 read]
2008 [21 read]
2007 [31 read]
2006 [37 read]
2005 [37 read]
2004 [32 read]
2003 [18 read]
2002 [52 read]
2001 [43 read]
2000 [7 read]
1999 [25 read]
1998 [3 read]
unknown year [65 read]

read over the years