Under Western Eyes: A Novel
Political turmoil convulses 19th-century Russia, as Razumov, a young student preparing for a career in the czarist bureaucracy, unwittingly becomes embroiled in the assassination of a public official. Asked to spy on the family of the assassin -- his close friend -- he must come to terms with timeless questions of accountability and human integrity.
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Review: Under Western EyesUser Review - Darran Mclaughlin - Goodreads
Conrad is one of the greatest writers of all time. Under Western Eyes is superb, as I expected, without quite reaching the hights of his best work such as The Secret Agent or Lord Jim. But still ... Read full review
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appeared asked began believe brother chair close coming Councilor Mikulin course dark don't door existence expected expression eyes face fact feeling fellow felt girl give glance ground hand head heard heart hope hour idea keep Kirylo Sidorovitch knew known lady leave letter light lips listened lived looked matter mean mind Miss Haldin moment mother moved murmured nature never night observed once passed perhaps person Peter Ivanovitch police Prince question raised Razumov reason remained remember rest revolutionist Russian seemed seen shoulders side silence slowly smile Sophia Antonovna sort soul sound speak stand steps stood strange street suddenly suppose talk tell thing thought told tone took trusted turned understand voice waiting walked watch woman wonder write young Ziemianitch
Page 65 - Still-faced and his lips set hard, Razumov began to write. When he wrote a large hand his neat writing lost its character altogether — became unsteady, almost childish.
Page 105 - Russian simplicity, a terrible, corroding simplicity in which mystic phrases clothe a naive and hopeless cynicism. I think sometimes that the psychological secret of the profound difference of that people consists in this that they detest life, the irremediable life of the earth as it is, whereas we Westerners cherish it with perhaps an equal exaggeration of its sentimental value.
Page 357 - Is this the way you are going to haunt me?' It is only later on that I understood — only today, only a few hours ago. What could I have known of what was tearing me to pieces and dragging the secret for ever to my lips? You were appointed to undo the evil by making me betray myself back into truth and peace.
Page 135 - The scrupulous and the just, the noble, humane, and devoted natures; the unselfish and the intelligent may begin a movement — but it passes away from them. They are not the leaders of a revolution. They are its victims: the victims of disgust, of disenchantment — often of remorse. Hopes grotesquely betrayed, ideals caricatured — that is the definition of revolutionary success.
Page 22 - Razumov saw himself shut up in a fortress, worried, badgered, perhaps ill-used. He saw himself deported by an administrative order, his life broken, ruined, and robbed of all hope. He saw himself — at best — leading a miserable existence under police supervision, in some small, far-away provincial town, without friends to assist his necessities or even take any steps to alleviate his lot — as others had.
Page 374 - I must own to you that I shall never give up looking forward to the day when all discord shall be silenced. Try to imagine its dawn! The tempest of blows and of execrations is over; all is still; the new sun is rising, and the weary men united at last, taking count in their conscience of the ended contest, feel saddened by their victory, because so many ideas have perished for the triumph of one, so many beliefs have abandoned them without support. They feel alone on the earth and gather close together....
Page 37 - What is this Haldin? And what am I? Only two grains of sand. But a great mountain is made up of just such insignificant grains. And the death of a man or of many men is an insignificant thing. Yet we combat a contagious pestilence. Do I want his death? No! I would save him if I could — but no one can do that — he is the withered member which must be cut off. If I must perish through him, let me at least not perish with him, and associated against my will with his sombre folly that understands...
Page 173 - ... to rest themselves. There was a quantity of tables and chairs displayed between the restaurant chalet and the bandstand, a whole raft of painted deals spread out under the trees. In the very middle of it I observed a solitary Swiss couple, whose fate was made secure from the cradle to the grave by the perfected mechanism of democratic institutions in a republic that could almost be held...
Page 359 - After all, it is they and not I who have the right on their side! — theirs is the strength of invisible powers. So be it. Only don't be deceived, Natalia Victorovna, I am not converted. Have I then the soul of a slave? No! I am independent — and therefore perdition is my lot.