“People who read much must always keep it in mind that life is one thing, literature another….”

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“People who read much must always keep it in mind that life is one thing, literature another. … It is a common belief, for example, that any writer who sings of suffering must be ready at all times to open his arms to the weary and heavy-laden. This is what his readers feel when they read his books. Then when they approach him with their woes, and find that he runs away without looking back at them, they are filled with indignation and talk of the discrepancy between word and deed. Whereas the fact is, the singer has more than enough woes of his own, and he sings them because he can’t get rid of them.”

Lev Shestov, All Things Are Possible

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