In bourgeois terms it was a war between the Allies and Germany. In Bolshevik terms it was a war between the Allied and German upper classes - and which of them won was a matter of indifference.
on World War I
They were shouting for victory all over Europe--praying for victory to the same God. My task--the Party's task--was to organize defeat. From defeat would spring the Revolution...and the Revolution would be victory for us
The party looked to the conscript peasants. Most of them were in their first good pair of boots. When the boots wore out, they'd be ready to listen. When the time came, I was able to take three battalions with me out of the front lines; the best day's work I ever did.
Happy men don't volunteer. They wait their turn, and thank god if their age or work delays it.
Even Comrade Lenin underestimated both the anguish of that nine hundred mile-long front, and our cursed capacity for suffering.
I told myself it was beneath my dignity to arrest a man for pilfering firewood. But nothing ordered by the party is beneath the dignity of any man. And the party was right: one man desperate for a bit of fuel is pathetic; five million people desperate for fuel will destroy a city.
That was the first time I ever saw my brother. But I knew him. And I knew I would disobey the party. Perhaps it was the tie of love between us, but I doubt it; we were only half-tied anyway, and brothers will betray a brother. Indeed, as a policeman I would say get hold of a man's brother and you're half-way home. Nor was it admiration for a better man than me. I did admire him; but I didn't think he was a better man. Besides, I've executed better men than me with a small pistol.
She'd come to Moscow to look for her child. I helped her as best I could, but I knew it was hopeless. I think I was a little in love with her. One day she went away and didn't come back. She died or vanished somewhere, in one of the Labour Camps. A nameless number on a list that was afterwards mislaid. That was quite common in those days.
No doubt they'll sing in tune after the revolution...
breaking the uneasy silence in an expensive restaurant caused by the singing of a Bolshevik demonstration on the street outside
And don't delude yourself this was rape. That would flatter us both.
after forcing himself on Lara
Yuri Andreievich, you spent two years with the partisans, fifth division. You have no discharge so you are a deserter. Your family in Paris is involved in a dangerous ÈmigrÈ organisation. Now all these are technicalities. But your style of life; everything you say and think, your published writings are all flagrantly subversive. Your days are numbered unless I help you. Do you want my help?
But don't you see her position? She's served her purpose. These men who came with me today as an escort will come for her and the child tomorrow as a firing squad! Now I know exactly what you think of me, and why. But if you're not coming with me, she's not coming with me. So are you coming with me? Do you accept the protection of this ignoble Caliban on any terms that Caliban cares to make? Or is your delicacy so exorbitant that you would sacrifice a woman and a child to it?
We're all made of the same clay, you know.
There'll be no more peaceful demonstrations. There were women and children, Lara, and they rode them down. Starving women asking for bread. And up on Tamskaya Avenue the pigs were eating and drinking and dancing.
You put your knife with a fork and a spoon and it looks quite innocuous. Perhaps you travel with a wife and child for the same reason.
while interrogating Zhivago
I shouldn't admire it now. I should find it absurdly personal. Don't you agree? Feelings, insights, affections... it's suddenly trivial now. You don't agree; you're wrong. The personal life is dead in Russia. History has killed it. The private life is dead - for a man with any manhood.
Long Live Anarchy! Lickspittle! Bureaucrat!
I am a free man, Lickspittle, and there's nothing you can do about it. I am the only free man on this train. The rest of you are cattle!
A body, styling itself the Yuriatin Committee of Revolutionary Justice, has expropriated my house. In the name of the people. Very well. I'm one of the people too!
They've shot the Czar, and all his family. Oh, that's a savage deed.