Tolstoi Comment on Stupidity

Attributed to Lev Tolstoi (1828-1910), the famous Russian novelist:

“When I was young,” he would say, “we had a friend, a poor fellow, who once, with his last pennies, suddenly bought a windup metal canary. We cracked our heads trying to explain this stupid act, until we recalled that our friend was simply very stupid.”

Quoted in Ivan Bunin, Cursed Days (translated by Thomas Marullo), p. 110