Of course one does meet brilliant men, but they are isolated. The fashion nowadays is all for groups and societies of every sort. — It is always a sign of mediocrity in people when they herd together, whether their group loyalty is to Solovyev or to Kant or Marx. The truth is only sought by individuals, and they break with those who do not love it enough.

Boris Pasternak (1890-1960) Russian poet, novelist, and literary translator
Doctor Zhivago [До́ктор Жива́го], Part 1, ch. 1 “The Five-O’Clock Express,” sec. 4 [Nikolai Nikolaievich] (1955) [tr. Hayward & Harari (1958), UK ed.]

Alternate translations:

Yes, there are gifted men, but the fashion nowadays is all for groups and societies of every sort. Gregariousness is always the refuge of mediocrities, whether they swear by Solovyiëv or Kant or Marx. Only individuals seek the truth, and they shun those whose sole concern is not the truth.
[tr. Hayward & Harari (1958), US ed.]

You come across talented people. But now various circles and associations are the fashion. Every herd is a refuge for giftlessness, whether it's a faith in Soloviev, or Kant, or Marx. Only the solitary seek the truth, and they break with all those who don't love it sufficiently.
[tr. Pevear & Volokhonsky (2010)]

Added on 23-Apr-24 | Last updated 23-Apr-24
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