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Достоевский и Ницше (Философия Трагедии)
Лев Шестов
(1903)

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Dostoevsky and Nietzsche (The Philosophy of Tragedy) Dostoevsky and Nietzsche (The Philosophy of Tragedy)
II
Aimes-tu les damnus? Dis-moi, connais-tu l’irrissible?

Do you love the damned? Tell me, do you know the irrevocable?

- Charles Baudelaire

"It would be exceedingly difficult for me to tell the story of the regeneration of my convictions, especially as it may not be so interesting," Dostoevsky says in his Diary of a Writer for 1873. [1]. Difficult, probably so. But hardly anyone would agree that it would not be interesting. The story of a regeneration of convictions - can any story in the entire field of literature be more filled with thrilling and all-absorbing interest? The story of a regeneration of convictions - why, that is first and foremost the story of their birth. Convictions are born for a second time in a man, before his very eyes, at an age when he has enough experience and keenness of observation to follow consciously this great and profound mystery of his soul. Dostoevsky would have been no psychologist if such a process had gone unnoticed by him. And he would have been no writer if he had failed to share his observations with other people. Evidently, the second half of the sentence quoted above was said for no particular reason, for propriety, which demands that a writer disdain, at least outwardly, his own person. As a matter of fact, Dostoevsky knew all too well how crucially important the question of the birth of convictions can be for us; he also knew that there is but one way to clear up this question, if only slightly: by telling one's own story. Do you remember the words of the hero of Notes from the Underground: "What can a decent man talk about with the greatest of pleasure? Answer: himself. So I shall speak about myself." [2].

To a considerable extent, Dostoevsky's works realize this program. With the years, as his talent developed and matured, he spoke of himself with ever greater daring and truth. But at the same time, he always continued to the end of his life more or less to conceal himself behind the fictitious names of the heroes of his novels. True, this was no longer a matter of literary or social decorum. Towards the end of his career, Dostoevsky would not have been afraid to violate even more serious demands of social relations. But he always felt obliged to say through his leading characters things that even in his consciousness would perhaps not have been cast in such a sharp and definite form, had they not appeared to him in the deceptive shape of judgments and desires, not of his own ego, but of a nonexistent hero of a novel. One is particularly aware of this in his footnote to Notes from the Underground. There, Dostoevsky insists that "the author of the notes and the notes themselves are, of course, invented," and that he merely set himself the task of portraying "one of the representatives of a generation still alive." Methods of this kind, of course, achieve directly opposite results. From the very first pages, the reader is convinced that not the notes and their author have been invented, but the annotation of them. And if Dostoevsky had always adhered to this same system of annotation in his subsequent writings, his work would not have given rise to the most diverse interpretations. But annotation was not a mere formality for him. He himself dreaded to think that the "underground," which he had depicted so vividly, was not something completely alien to him, but something kindred, his very own. He himself was frightened by the horrors that had been revealed to him, and he harnessed all the powers of his soul to protect himself from them, with anything at all, with even the first ideals he came across. Thus were created the characters Prince Myshkin and Alyosha Karamazov. Thence also the frenzied sermons that fill his Diary of a Writer to overflowing. All this is merely to remind us that the Raskolnikovs, Ivan Karamazovs, Kirillovs, and other characters of Dostoevsky's novels speak for themselves and have nothing in common with their author. All this is merely a new method of annotation of Notes from the Underground.

Unfortunately, the annotation this time is so closely interwoven with the text that there is no longer any possibility of separating in a purely mechanical way Dostoevsky's actual experiences from the "ideas" that he invented. True, it is to a certain extent possible to indicate the direction in which the separation should be made. Thus, for example, none of the banalities or commonplaces tell us anything about Dostoevsky himself. They have all been borrowed. it is not even hard to guess the sources from which Dostoevsky took them - with, to tell the truth, a fairly unstinting hand. A second sign is the method of presentation. As soon as you detect hysteria, unusually high notes, and an unnatural cry in Dostoevsky's speech, you can conclude that an "annotation" is beginning. Dostoevsky does not believe his own words, and he is trying to replace a lack of faith with "feeling" and eloquence. Such desperate, breathless eloquence does perhaps have an irresistible effect on an untrained ear, but to a more experienced one, it suggests something totally different.

It goes without saying that the signs just pointed out by no means provide a mathematically correct way of solving the problem concerning us here. Even with them, there remains sufficient room for doubt and obscurity. Mistakes are, of course, possible in the interpretation of individual passages of Dostoevsky's works, even of whole novels. In that case, what are we to rely on? On critical instinct? But the reader will not be satisfied with such an answer. It reeks of mythology, antiquity, mustiness, falsehood - even of deliberate falsehood. Well, then, on what? One thing then remains: arbitrary action. Perhaps this word with its explicit candor will be more likely to win the favor of inordinately exacting people who distrust the rights of critical instinct, particularly if they suspect that, aprиs tout, this arbitrary action will not be entirely arbitrary.

At any rate, our task is set. We must do the job that Dostoevsky himself planned, but failed to carry out: tell the story of the regeneration of his convictions. I shall merely note here that the regeneration was indeed an unusual one. Not a trace remained of Dostoevsky's earlier convictions, of what he believed as a youth when he first joined Belinsky’s Circle [3]. Usually, people continue to regard dethroned idols as gods and abandoned temples as temples. But Dostoevsky not only burned all that he had formerly worshipped, he trampled it in the dirt. He not only hated his earlier faith, he despised it. There are few such instances in the history of literature. Modern times can name in addition to Dostoevsky, only Nietzsche. It was the very same thing with Nietzsche. His break with the ideals and teachers of his youth was no less sharp and tempestuous, and at the same time it was painfully agonizing. Dostoevsky speaks of the regeneration of his convictions; with Nietzsche, it is a question of a revaluation of all values. In effect, both expressions are but different words to denote one and the same process. If we take this circumstance into account, it will probably not seem strange that Nietzsche held such a high opinion of Dostoevsky. Here are his actual words: "Dostoevsky is the only psychologist from whom I was able to learn anything. I rank my acquaintance with him among the most splendid achievements of my life." [4]. Nietzsche recognized Dostoevsky as a kindred spirit.

Indeed, if it is a similarity of inner experience rather than a common origin, a common place of residence, and a similarity of character that binds people together and makes them kindred, then Nietzsche and Dostoevsky can without exaggeration be called brothers, even twins. I think that if they had lived together, they would have hated each other with the peculiar hatred that Kirby and Shatov (The Possessed) felt for one another after their American trip, during which time they had to spend four months together, half-starving in a shed. But Nietzsche's acquaintance with Dostoevsky was only through the latter's books, and at a time when Dostoevsky was no longer alive. A dead man can be forgiven all - even the fact that he knows the secret that had been revealed to Kirillov and Shatov in the shed. He will betray nothing.

Nietzsche, however, was mistaken. No one can betray him to such an extent as Dostoevsky. And the reverse is also true: much that is obscure in Dostoevsky is clarified in Nietzsche's works. First of all, let us note one striking circumstance. As is well known, Dostoevsky liked to prophesy. And most of all, he liked to prophesy that Russia was destined to restore the idea of universal brotherhood to Europe, where it had been forgotten. One of the first Russians to gain an influence over the Europeans was Dostoevsky himself. But did his preaching attract many followers? People spoke of it a bit, they were even astonished by it - but they forgot it. The first gift that Europe gratefully accepted from Russia was Dostoevsky's "psychology," i.e., the underground man, with his various subspecies, the Raskolnikovs, Karamazovs, and Kirillovs. What a great irony of fate - don't you agree? But fate likes most of all to laugh at the ideals and prophecies of mortals - and this must be regarded as its way of revealing its great wisdom.



[1] F.M. Dostoevsky, Polnoe sobranie sochinenij, St. Petersburg, 1895, IX, 342
[2] Ibid., III (2), 74
[3] Vissarion Belinsky (1811-1848), the father of Russian criticism, a leader of the Westerners. - S.R.
[4] F.Nietzsche, Nietzsche's Werke, VIII (Leipzig, 1901), 158

Aimes-tu les damnus? Dis-moi, connais-tu l’irrissible?

Do you love the damned? Tell me, do you know the irrevocable?

- Charles Baudelaire

"It would be exceedingly difficult for me to tell the story of the regeneration of my convictions, especially as it may not be so interesting," Dostoevsky says in his Diary of a Writer for 1873. [1]. Difficult, probably so. But hardly anyone would agree that it would not be interesting. The story of a regeneration of convictions - can any story in the entire field of literature be more filled with thrilling and all-absorbing interest? The story of a regeneration of convictions - why, that is first and foremost the story of their birth. Convictions are born for a second time in a man, before his very eyes, at an age when he has enough experience and keenness of observation to follow consciously this great and profound mystery of his soul. Dostoevsky would have been no psychologist if such a process had gone unnoticed by him. And he would have been no writer if he had failed to share his observations with other people. Evidently, the second half of the sentence quoted above was said for no particular reason, for propriety, which demands that a writer disdain, at least outwardly, his own person. As a matter of fact, Dostoevsky knew all too well how crucially important the question of the birth of convictions can be for us; he also knew that there is but one way to clear up this question, if only slightly: by telling one's own story. Do you remember the words of the hero of Notes from the Underground: "What can a decent man talk about with the greatest of pleasure? Answer: himself. So I shall speak about myself." [2].

To a considerable extent, Dostoevsky's works realize this program. With the years, as his talent developed and matured, he spoke of himself with ever greater daring and truth. But at the same time, he always continued to the end of his life more or less to conceal himself behind the fictitious names of the heroes of his novels. True, this was no longer a matter of literary or social decorum. Towards the end of his career, Dostoevsky would not have been afraid to violate even more serious demands of social relations. But he always felt obliged to say through his leading characters things that even in his consciousness would perhaps not have been cast in such a sharp and definite form, had they not appeared to him in the deceptive shape of judgments and desires, not of his own ego, but of a nonexistent hero of a novel. One is particularly aware of this in his footnote to Notes from the Underground. There, Dostoevsky insists that "the author of the notes and the notes themselves are, of course, invented," and that he merely set himself the task of portraying "one of the representatives of a generation still alive." Methods of this kind, of course, achieve directly opposite results. From the very first pages, the reader is convinced that not the notes and their author have been invented, but the annotation of them. And if Dostoevsky had always adhered to this same system of annotation in his subsequent writings, his work would not have given rise to the most diverse interpretations. But annotation was not a mere formality for him. He himself dreaded to think that the "underground," which he had depicted so vividly, was not something completely alien to him, but something kindred, his very own. He himself was frightened by the horrors that had been revealed to him, and he harnessed all the powers of his soul to protect himself from them, with anything at all, with even the first ideals he came across. Thus were created the characters Prince Myshkin and Alyosha Karamazov. Thence also the frenzied sermons that fill his Diary of a Writer to overflowing. All this is merely to remind us that the Raskolnikovs, Ivan Karamazovs, Kirillovs, and other characters of Dostoevsky's novels speak for themselves and have nothing in common with their author. All this is merely a new method of annotation of Notes from the Underground.

Unfortunately, the annotation this time is so closely interwoven with the text that there is no longer any possibility of separating in a purely mechanical way Dostoevsky's actual experiences from the "ideas" that he invented. True, it is to a certain extent possible to indicate the direction in which the separation should be made. Thus, for example, none of the banalities or commonplaces tell us anything about Dostoevsky himself. They have all been borrowed. it is not even hard to guess the sources from which Dostoevsky took them - with, to tell the truth, a fairly unstinting hand. A second sign is the method of presentation. As soon as you detect hysteria, unusually high notes, and an unnatural cry in Dostoevsky's speech, you can conclude that an "annotation" is beginning. Dostoevsky does not believe his own words, and he is trying to replace a lack of faith with "feeling" and eloquence. Such desperate, breathless eloquence does perhaps have an irresistible effect on an untrained ear, but to a more experienced one, it suggests something totally different.

It goes without saying that the signs just pointed out by no means provide a mathematically correct way of solving the problem concerning us here. Even with them, there remains sufficient room for doubt and obscurity. Mistakes are, of course, possible in the interpretation of individual passages of Dostoevsky's works, even of whole novels. In that case, what are we to rely on? On critical instinct? But the reader will not be satisfied with such an answer. It reeks of mythology, antiquity, mustiness, falsehood - even of deliberate falsehood. Well, then, on what? One thing then remains: arbitrary action. Perhaps this word with its explicit candor will be more likely to win the favor of inordinately exacting people who distrust the rights of critical instinct, particularly if they suspect that, aprиs tout, this arbitrary action will not be entirely arbitrary.

At any rate, our task is set. We must do the job that Dostoevsky himself planned, but failed to carry out: tell the story of the regeneration of his convictions. I shall merely note here that the regeneration was indeed an unusual one. Not a trace remained of Dostoevsky's earlier convictions, of what he believed as a youth when he first joined Belinsky’s Circle [3]. Usually, people continue to regard dethroned idols as gods and abandoned temples as temples. But Dostoevsky not only burned all that he had formerly worshipped, he trampled it in the dirt. He not only hated his earlier faith, he despised it. There are few such instances in the history of literature. Modern times can name in addition to Dostoevsky, only Nietzsche. It was the very same thing with Nietzsche. His break with the ideals and teachers of his youth was no less sharp and tempestuous, and at the same time it was painfully agonizing. Dostoevsky speaks of the regeneration of his convictions; with Nietzsche, it is a question of a revaluation of all values. In effect, both expressions are but different words to denote one and the same process. If we take this circumstance into account, it will probably not seem strange that Nietzsche held such a high opinion of Dostoevsky. Here are his actual words: "Dostoevsky is the only psychologist from whom I was able to learn anything. I rank my acquaintance with him among the most splendid achievements of my life." [4]. Nietzsche recognized Dostoevsky as a kindred spirit.

Indeed, if it is a similarity of inner experience rather than a common origin, a common place of residence, and a similarity of character that binds people together and makes them kindred, then Nietzsche and Dostoevsky can without exaggeration be called brothers, even twins. I think that if they had lived together, they would have hated each other with the peculiar hatred that Kirby and Shatov (The Possessed) felt for one another after their American trip, during which time they had to spend four months together, half-starving in a shed. But Nietzsche's acquaintance with Dostoevsky was only through the latter's books, and at a time when Dostoevsky was no longer alive. A dead man can be forgiven all - even the fact that he knows the secret that had been revealed to Kirillov and Shatov in the shed. He will betray nothing.

Nietzsche, however, was mistaken. No one can betray him to such an extent as Dostoevsky. And the reverse is also true: much that is obscure in Dostoevsky is clarified in Nietzsche's works. First of all, let us note one striking circumstance. As is well known, Dostoevsky liked to prophesy. And most of all, he liked to prophesy that Russia was destined to restore the idea of universal brotherhood to Europe, where it had been forgotten. One of the first Russians to gain an influence over the Europeans was Dostoevsky himself. But did his preaching attract many followers? People spoke of it a bit, they were even astonished by it - but they forgot it. The first gift that Europe gratefully accepted from Russia was Dostoevsky's "psychology," i.e., the underground man, with his various subspecies, the Raskolnikovs, Karamazovs, and Kirillovs. What a great irony of fate - don't you agree? But fate likes most of all to laugh at the ideals and prophecies of mortals - and this must be regarded as its way of revealing its great wisdom.



[1] F.M. Dostoevsky, Polnoe sobranie sochinenij, St. Petersburg, 1895, IX, 342
[2] Ibid., III (2), 74
[3] Vissarion Belinsky (1811-1848), the father of Russian criticism, a leader of the Westerners. - S.R.
[4] F.Nietzsche, Nietzsche's Werke, VIII (Leipzig, 1901), 158

  • afraid: When someone is afraid, they feel fear.
  • agree: To agree is to say “yes” or to think the same way.
  • well: You use well to say that something was done in a good way.
  • create: To create means to make something new.
  • laugh: Laugh is the sound made when someone is happy or a funny thing occurs
  • secret: A secret is something that you do not tell other people.
  • alien: An alien is a creature from a different world.
  • among: If you are among certain things, they are all around you.
  • ever: Ever means at any time.
  • fail: To fail means you do not succeed in what you try to do.
  • concern: Concern is a feeling of worry.
  • none: None means not any of someone or something.
  • represent: To represent is to speak or act for a person or group.
  • aware: If you are aware of something, you know about it.
  • continue: To continue something is to keep doing it.
  • experience: An experience is something you have seen or done.
  • field: A field is a big area of land.
  • judgment: Judgment is the ability to form opinions or decisions.
  • likely: If something likely happens, it will probably happen.
  • reside: To reside means to live somewhere permanently or for a long time.
  • result: A result is something that happens because of something else.
  • dead: To be dead is to not be alive.
  • follow: To follow means to go behind someone and go where they go.
  • fright: Fright is the feeling of being scared.
  • individual: An individual is one person.
  • reach: To reach means to arrive at a place.
  • protect: To protect someone is to stop them from getting hurt.
  • accept: To accept something that is offered is to take it.
  • perhaps: Perhaps is used when you say that something could happen.
  • still: Still is used when you say that a situation keeps going on.
  • certain: If you are certain about something, you know it is true.
  • effect: An effect is a change made by something else.
  • remain: To remain somewhere is to stay there.
  • rest: To rest is to stop being active while the body gets back its strength.
  • site: A site is a place.
  • ground: The ground is the top part of the Earth that we walk on.
  • serious: When something is serious, it is bad or unsafe.
  • spend: To spend is to use time doing something or being somewhere.
  • strange: When something is strange, it is not normal.
  • truth: The truth is a fact or something that is right.
  • method: A method is the way to do something.
  • shape: A shape is a simple form like a square or circle.
  • thin: If someone or something is thin, they are not fat.
  • burn: To burn something is to set it on fire.
  • correct: To be correct is to be right.
  • demand: To demand something is to say strongly that you want it.
  • hole: A hole is an opening in something.
  • owe: To owe is to have to pay or give back something received from another.
  • whole: Whole means all of something.
  • direct: If something is direct, it goes straight between two places.
  • exam: An exam is a test.
  • example: An example of something is a thing that is typical of it.
  • novel: A novel is a book that tells a story.
  • store: A store is a place where you can buy things.
  • across: To go across something is to go to the other side of it.
  • fortunate: If you are fortunate, you are lucky.
  • mistake: A mistake is something you do wrong.
  • race: A race is a contest to see who is the fastest.
  • realize: To realize is to suddenly understand.
  • exist: To exist is to be real.
  • process: A process is the steps to take to do something.
  • fair: Fair describes treating someone in a way that is reasonable or right.
  • flow: To flow is to move easily and continuously in one direction.
  • exact: If something is exact, it is just the right amount.
  • indicate: To indicate means to show, point or make something clear.
  • alive: If someone or something is alive, they are not dead.
  • doubt: Doubt is a feeling of not being sure.
  • however: However means despite or not being influenced by something.
  • social: If something is social, it is about many people in a community.
  • speech: A speech is something said to a group of people.
  • achieve: To achieve something is to successfully do it after trying hard.
  • bit: A bit is a small amount of something.
  • consider: To consider something means to think about it.
  • lie: To lie is to say or write something untrue to deceive someone.
  • opinion: An opinion is a thought about a person or a thing.
  • real: If something is real, it actually exists.
  • regard: To regard someone or something is to think of them in a certain way.
  • war: A war is a big fight between two groups of people.
  • appear: To appear is to seem.
  • career: A career is a job that you do for a large part of your life.
  • hero: A hero is a brave person who does things to help others.
  • pain: Pain is the feeling that you have when you are hurt.
  • various: If something is various, there are many types of it.
  • actual: Actual means that something is real or true.
  • earn: To earn means to get money for the work you do.
  • mystery: A mystery is something that is difficult to understand or explain.
  • opposite: If A is the opposite of B, A is completely different from B.
  • set: To set something is to put it somewhere.
  • behind: Behind means to be at the back of something.
  • course: A course is a class in school.
  • lower: To lower something is to make it go down.
  • member: A member is a person who is part of a group.
  • critic: A critic is someone who give their opinions about movies, books, plays.
  • lack: If there is a lack of something, there is not enough of it.
  • passage: A passage is a long area with walls that goes from one place to another.
  • task: A task is work that someone has to do.
  • instance: An instance is an example of something.
  • range: A range is a number or a set of similar things.
  • recognize: To recognize something is to know it because you have seen it before.
  • sign: A sign is a notice giving information, directions, a warning, etc.
  • attract: To attract means to make a person or thing come closer or be interestested.
  • suggest: To suggest something means to give an idea or plan about it.
  • deal: A deal is an agreement that you have with another person.
  • false: If something is false, it is not correct.
  • gift: A gift is something you give someone.
  • rather: Rather is used when you want to do one thing but not the other.
  • trip: A trip is a journey to a certain place.
  • value: If something has value, it is worth a lot of money.
  • band: A band is a group of people who play music.
  • notice: To notice something is to see it for the first time.
  • own: To own something means to have it. That thing belongs to you.
  • share: To share something is to give some of it to another person.
  • gain: If you gain something, you get more of it.
  • mean: Mean describes someone who is unkind or cruel.
  • above: If something is above, it is at a higher level than something else.
  • common: If something is common, it happens often or there is much of it.
  • different: Different describes someone or something that is not the same as others.

  • afraid: When someone is afraid, they feel fear.
  • agree: To agree is to say “yes” or to think the same way.
  • well: You use well to say that something was done in a good way.
  • create: To create means to make something new.
  • laugh: Laugh is the sound made when someone is happy or a funny thing occurs
  • secret: A secret is something that you do not tell other people.
  • alien: An alien is a creature from a different world.
  • among: If you are among certain things, they are all around you.
  • ever: Ever means at any time.
  • fail: To fail means you do not succeed in what you try to do.
  • concern: Concern is a feeling of worry.
  • none: None means not any of someone or something.
  • represent: To represent is to speak or act for a person or group.
  • aware: If you are aware of something, you know about it.
  • continue: To continue something is to keep doing it.
  • experience: An experience is something you have seen or done.
  • field: A field is a big area of land.
  • judgment: Judgment is the ability to form opinions or decisions.
  • likely: If something likely happens, it will probably happen.
  • reside: To reside means to live somewhere permanently or for a long time.
  • result: A result is something that happens because of something else.
  • dead: To be dead is to not be alive.
  • follow: To follow means to go behind someone and go where they go.
  • fright: Fright is the feeling of being scared.
  • individual: An individual is one person.
  • reach: To reach means to arrive at a place.
  • protect: To protect someone is to stop them from getting hurt.
  • accept: To accept something that is offered is to take it.
  • perhaps: Perhaps is used when you say that something could happen.
  • still: Still is used when you say that a situation keeps going on.
  • certain: If you are certain about something, you know it is true.
  • effect: An effect is a change made by something else.
  • remain: To remain somewhere is to stay there.
  • rest: To rest is to stop being active while the body gets back its strength.
  • site: A site is a place.
  • ground: The ground is the top part of the Earth that we walk on.
  • serious: When something is serious, it is bad or unsafe.
  • spend: To spend is to use time doing something or being somewhere.
  • strange: When something is strange, it is not normal.
  • truth: The truth is a fact or something that is right.
  • method: A method is the way to do something.
  • shape: A shape is a simple form like a square or circle.
  • thin: If someone or something is thin, they are not fat.
  • burn: To burn something is to set it on fire.
  • correct: To be correct is to be right.
  • demand: To demand something is to say strongly that you want it.
  • hole: A hole is an opening in something.
  • owe: To owe is to have to pay or give back something received from another.
  • whole: Whole means all of something.
  • direct: If something is direct, it goes straight between two places.
  • exam: An exam is a test.
  • example: An example of something is a thing that is typical of it.
  • novel: A novel is a book that tells a story.
  • store: A store is a place where you can buy things.
  • across: To go across something is to go to the other side of it.
  • fortunate: If you are fortunate, you are lucky.
  • mistake: A mistake is something you do wrong.
  • race: A race is a contest to see who is the fastest.
  • realize: To realize is to suddenly understand.
  • exist: To exist is to be real.
  • process: A process is the steps to take to do something.
  • fair: Fair describes treating someone in a way that is reasonable or right.
  • flow: To flow is to move easily and continuously in one direction.
  • exact: If something is exact, it is just the right amount.
  • indicate: To indicate means to show, point or make something clear.
  • alive: If someone or something is alive, they are not dead.
  • doubt: Doubt is a feeling of not being sure.
  • however: However means despite or not being influenced by something.
  • social: If something is social, it is about many people in a community.
  • speech: A speech is something said to a group of people.
  • achieve: To achieve something is to successfully do it after trying hard.
  • bit: A bit is a small amount of something.
  • consider: To consider something means to think about it.
  • lie: To lie is to say or write something untrue to deceive someone.
  • opinion: An opinion is a thought about a person or a thing.
  • real: If something is real, it actually exists.
  • regard: To regard someone or something is to think of them in a certain way.
  • war: A war is a big fight between two groups of people.
  • appear: To appear is to seem.
  • career: A career is a job that you do for a large part of your life.
  • hero: A hero is a brave person who does things to help others.
  • pain: Pain is the feeling that you have when you are hurt.
  • various: If something is various, there are many types of it.
  • actual: Actual means that something is real or true.
  • earn: To earn means to get money for the work you do.
  • mystery: A mystery is something that is difficult to understand or explain.
  • opposite: If A is the opposite of B, A is completely different from B.
  • set: To set something is to put it somewhere.
  • behind: Behind means to be at the back of something.
  • course: A course is a class in school.
  • lower: To lower something is to make it go down.
  • member: A member is a person who is part of a group.
  • critic: A critic is someone who give their opinions about movies, books, plays.
  • lack: If there is a lack of something, there is not enough of it.
  • passage: A passage is a long area with walls that goes from one place to another.
  • task: A task is work that someone has to do.
  • instance: An instance is an example of something.
  • range: A range is a number or a set of similar things.
  • recognize: To recognize something is to know it because you have seen it before.
  • sign: A sign is a notice giving information, directions, a warning, etc.
  • attract: To attract means to make a person or thing come closer or be interestested.
  • suggest: To suggest something means to give an idea or plan about it.
  • deal: A deal is an agreement that you have with another person.
  • false: If something is false, it is not correct.
  • gift: A gift is something you give someone.
  • rather: Rather is used when you want to do one thing but not the other.
  • trip: A trip is a journey to a certain place.
  • value: If something has value, it is worth a lot of money.
  • band: A band is a group of people who play music.
  • notice: To notice something is to see it for the first time.
  • own: To own something means to have it. That thing belongs to you.
  • share: To share something is to give some of it to another person.
  • gain: If you gain something, you get more of it.
  • mean: Mean describes someone who is unkind or cruel.
  • above: If something is above, it is at a higher level than something else.
  • common: If something is common, it happens often or there is much of it.
  • different: Different describes someone or something that is not the same as others.

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