Quotations by Brodsky, Joseph


The formula for prison is a lack of space counterbalanced by a surplus of time. This is what really bothers you, that you can’t win. Prison is lack of alternatives, and the telescopic predictability of the future is what drives you crazy.

Joseph Brodsky (1940-1996) Russian-American poet, essayist, Nobel laureate, US Poet Laureate [Iosif Aleksandrovič Brodskij]
“Less Than One,” Less Than One: Selected Essays (1986)
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Added on 4-May-21 | Last updated 4-May-21
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No matter under what circumstances you leave it, home does not cease to be home. No matter how you lived there — well or poorly.

Joseph Brodsky (1940-1996) Russian-American poet, essayist, Nobel laureate, US Poet Laureate [Iosif Aleksandrovič Brodskij]
New York Times (1 Oct 1972)

On being expelled from the USSR that year.

Added on 16-Dec-10 | Last updated 16-Dec-10
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The surest defense against Evil is extreme individualism, originality of thinking, whimsicality, even — if you will — eccentricity. That is, something that can’t be feigned, faked, imitated; something even a seasoned imposter couldn’t be happy with. Something, in other words, that can’t be shared, like your own skin: not even by a minority. Evil is a sucker for solidity. It always goes for big numbers, for confident granite, for ideological purity, for drilled armies and balanced sheets. Its proclivity for such things has to do with its innate insecurity, but this realization, again, is of small comfort when Evil triumphs.

Joseph Brodsky (1940-1996) Russian-American poet, essayist, Nobel laureate, US Poet Laureate [Iosif Aleksandrovič Brodskij]
Commencement Address, Williams College (24 May 1984)
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Added on 27-Apr-21 | Last updated 27-Apr-21
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