Tuesday, February 23, 2010


I have no faith in our intelligentsia, for it is hypocritical, dishonest, hysterical, uncultured, and lazy. I have no faith in it even when it claims to be suffering and is protesting, for its oppressors issue from its very own loins. I do have faith in individuals. I see salvation in individuals--intellectuals and peasant alike-- scatter here and there across Russia, for though they may be few, they have real strength. A prophet has no honor in his own land, and the individuals of whom I speak play an almost imperceptible role in our society. Though they do not dominate, their deeds are manifest. No matter what you might say or do, science is constantly moving forward, social awareness is growing, moral issues are becoming increasingly alarming, etc, etc. And all this takes place irrespective of procurators, engineers, and governors, irrespective of the intelligentsia en masse and in spite of everything.

Anton Chekov ~ Letter to Ivan Orlov Yalta, February 22, 1899

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