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Tolstoy on the Role of History

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?? ???????: ????? ????????? … ?????? ???; ????? ???????? ??????? ?????? ?? ????? ??? ??????. ???? ? ???? ???? ????? ??????? ??? ??????? ? ? ????????? ??? ????????? ?? ???, ? ?????? ? ???????? ???? ????????. ? ?? ???? ???????? ?????? ?????, ????? ? ????? ? ??? ??? ?? ?????, ??? ????, ? ??? ??????? ???????? ????. ? ?? ?? ???????? ?????? ??????, ??? ?? ?????, ??? ?? ?????? ??? ??? ??, ? ??? ??????? ???????? ????. ????? ???????? ??????? ? ?????????? ??????

????? ?????????? ?????, ?????????? ??, ??? ??? ??????? ??????? ??? ??????? ????? ????? ?????? ??, ???? ?? ?? ?????? ?? ???????? ?????????? ? ??????, ?? ??, ??? ?????? ??????? ? ?? ?????. ????? ????? ?????? ???????? ??????? ?????? ?? ????, ??? ?? ???????, ??? ??????. ??? ? ?? ???????? ? ?? ??????? ???????, ? ?? ????? ??????, ???? ?? ?? ???????? ???? ????????. ??? ???? ????? ???????? ???????, ???? ?????? ???????? ??. ? ?????-?? ?? ? ?? ??????. ?? ?????? ?? ??????, ?? ??? ?????? ???? ??????????? ?? ??, ????? ?? ??????, ?? ???????? ??. ??????? ? ?? ????????, ? ?????? ??????????????, ????????? ?????? ? ?????, ? ?????, ? ?????, ? ???? ??????.

We are saying: Why remember? Why remember the past? It is no longer here, is it? Why should we remember it? Why disturb the people? What do you mean: Why remember? If I have been gravely ill and have been cured, I will always remember [the deliverance] with joy. Only then will I not want to remember, if I am still ill, in the same way or even more seriously, and I wish to deceive myself. . . .

Why annoy people? Why remember that which has passed? Passed? What has passed? How could it have passed–that which we not only have not started to eradicate and heal but are even afraid to call by its name? How could a brutal illness be cured only by our saying that it is gone? And it is not going away and will not and cannot go away until we admit that we are ill. In order to cure an illness one must first admit that one has it. And it is precisely what we are not doing. And not only not doing, but aiming all our efforts at not seeing it, not calling it by its name. And, consequently, it is not going away but only mutating, only penetrating deeper into our flesh, our blood, our bones, our marrow.

–Count Lev Nikolaevich Tolstoy, Nikolai Palkin (1906) in L. N. Tolstoy, ?????? ???????? ?????????, vol. 26, p. 558 (1936)(L. Aron transl.)

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