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Артур Кёстлер

Дата рождения: 5. Сентябрь 1905
Дата смерти: 1. Март 1983

А́ртур Кёстлер — британский писатель и журналист, уроженец Венгрии, еврейского происхождения. Наиболее известен по роману «Слепящая тьма» об эпохе «большого террора» в СССР второй половины 1930-х годов. Писал статьи для Британской энциклопедии.

„Настоящий писатель был бы рад променять сто современных читателей на десять читателей через десять лет и на одного – через сто лет.“

„Любить писателя и потом встретить его — все равно что любить гусиную печенку и потом встретить гуся.“

„The principal mark of genius is not perfection but originality, the opening of new frontiers.“

„Satan, on the contrary, is thin, ascetic and a fanatical devotee of logic. He reads Machiavelli, Ignatius of Loyola, Marx and Hegel; he is cold and unmerciful to mankind, out of a kind of mathematical mercifulness. He is damned always to do that which is most repugnant to him: to become a slaughterer, in order to abolish slaughtering, to sacrifice lambs so that no more lambs may be slaughtered, to whip people with knouts so that they may learn not to let themselves be whipped, to strip himself of every scruple in the name of a higher scrupulousness, and to challenge the hatred of mankind because of his love for it--an abstract and geometric love.“ Darkness at Noon

„Creative activity is a type of learning process where the teacher and pupil are located in the same individual.“ Drinkers of Infinity: Essays 1955-1967

„Nothing is more sad than the death of an illusion.“

„Creativity is the defeat of habit by originality.“

„History had a slow pulse; man counted in years, history in generations“ Darkness at Noon

„The more original a discovery, the more obvious it seems afterwards.“

„Our Press and our schools cultivate Chauvinism, militarism, dogmatism, conformism and ignorance. The arbitrary power of the Government is unlimited, and unexampled in history; freedom of the Press, of opinion and of movement are as thoroughly exterminated as though the proclamation of the Rights of Man had never been. We have built up the most gigantic police apparatus, with informers made a national institution, and the most refined scientific system of political and mental torture. We whip the groaning masses of the country towards a theoretical future happiness, which only we can.“ Darkness at Noon

„The principle that the end justifies the means is and remains the only rule of political ethics; anything else is just a vague chatter and melts away between one’s fingers.“ Darkness at Noon

„Ivanov- "Up to now, all revolutions have been made by moralizing diletantes. They were always in good faith and perished because of their dilettantism. We for the first time are consequent..."

"Yes," said Rubashov. "So consequent, that in the interests of a just distribution of land we deliberately let die of starvation about five million farmers and their families in one year. So consequent were we in the liberation of human beings from the shackles of industrial exploitation that we sent about ten million people to do forced labour in the Artic regions and the jungles of the East, under conditions similar to those of antique galley slaves. So consequent that, to settle a difference of opinion, we know only one argument: death, whether it is a matter of submarines, manure, or the Party line to be followed in Indo-China....“
Darkness at Noon

„I went to Communism as one goes to a spring of fresh water, and I left Communism as one clambers out of a poisoned river strewn with the wreckage of flooded cities and the corpses of the drowned.“

„I think most historians would agree that the part played by impulses of selfish, individual aggression in the holocausts of history was small; first and foremost, the slaughter was meant as an offering to the gods, to king and country, or the future happiness of mankind. The crimes of a Caligula shrink to insignificance compared to the havoc wrought by Torquemada. The number of victims of robbers, highwaymen, rapists, gangsters and other criminals at any period of history is negligible compared to the massive numbers of those cheerfully slain in the name of the true religion, just policy or correct ideology. Heretics were tortured and burnt not in anger but in sorrow, for the good of their immortal souls. Tribal warfare was waged in the purported interest of the tribe, not of the individual. Wars of religion were fought to decide some fine point in theology or semantics. Wars of succession dynastic wars, national wars, civil wars, were fought to decide issues equally remote from the personal self-interest of the combatants.

Let me repeat: the crimes of violence committed for selfish, personal motives are historically insignificant compared to those committed ad majorem gloriam Dei, out of a self-sacrificing devotion to a flag, a leader, a religious faith or a political conviction. Man has always been prepared not only to kill but also to die for good, bad or completely futile causes. And what can be a more valid proof of the reality of the self-transcending urge than this readiness to die for an ideal?“
The Ghost in the Machine

„Show us not the aim without the way.
For ends and means on earth are so entangled
That changing one, you change the other too;
Each different path brings other ends in view“

„Honor is decency without vanity.“ Darkness at Noon

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