Fyodor Dostoyevsky – Book quotes.

Fyodor Mikhailovich Dostoyevsky born on 11 November 1821 was one of the most Russian novelists and philosophers. He came from an ancient noble family.He was introduced to literature in his early childhood. Books written by Pushkin, Karamzin often brought his imagination alive. The experiences that he had in his childhood were later reflected in his books, such as The Devils and The Adolescent.

Parents forced Dostoyevsky to pursue a military career instead of completing his studies. Fedor disliked his institute but, nevertheless, he started working as a lieutenant engineer after graduating. However, his first novel Poor Folk was released in 1846. It was approved by c Belinsky and became a complete success. He decided to give up his military career and wrote the second novel, The Double, which was less successful than the previous one. Other stories received negative reviews causing financial difficulties. Attracted by ideas of socialism he joined the Petrashevsky Circle and was sent to Siberian exile. In 1866 he completed the first two parts of Crime and Punishment and then the novel Idiot. His final work was The Brothers Karamazov where he brought his greatest ideas to life.

Quotes:

“Above all, don’t lie to yourself. The man who lies to himself and listens to his own lie comes to a point that he cannot distinguish the truth within him, or around him, and so loses all respect for himself and for others. And having no respect he ceases to love.”

“Pain and suffering are always inevitable for a large intelligence and a deep heart. The really great men must, I think, have great sadness on earth.”

“To go wrong in one’s own way is better than to go right in someone else’s.”

“What is hell? I maintain that it is the suffering of being unable to love.”

“The darker the night, the brighter the stars,
The deeper the grief, the closer is God!”

“Man only likes to count his troubles; he doesn’t calculate his happiness.”

“Talking nonsense is the sole privilege mankind possesses over the other organisms. It’s by talking nonsense that one gets to the truth! I talk nonsense, therefore I’m human”

“I say let the world go to hell, but I should always have my tea.”

“The soul is healed by being with children.”

“People speak sometimes about the “bestial” cruelty of man, but that is terribly unjust and offensive to beasts, no animal could ever be so cruel as a man, so artfully, so artistically cruel.”

“We sometimes encounter people, even perfect strangers, who begin to interest us at first sight, somehow suddenly, all at once, before a word has been spoken.”

“I love mankind, he said, “but I find to my amazement that the more I love mankind as a whole, the less I love man in particular.”

“It takes something more than intelligence to act intelligently.”

“But how could you live and have no story to tell?”

“Taking a new step, uttering a new word, is what people fear most.”

“Much unhappiness has come into the world because of bewilderment and things left unsaid.”

“The mystery of human existence lies not in just staying alive, but in finding something to live for.”

“Right or wrong, it’s very pleasant to break something from time to time.”

“I am a dreamer. I know so little of real life that I just can’t help re-living such moments as these in my dreams, for such moments are something I have very rarely experienced. I am going to dream about you the whole night, the whole week, the whole year. I feel I know you so well that I couldn’t have known you better if we’d been friends for twenty years. You won’t fail me, will you? Only two minutes, and you’ve made me happy forever. Yes, happy. Who knows, perhaps you’ve reconciled me with myself, resolved all my doubts.

When I woke up it seemed to me that some snatch of a tune I had known for a long time, I had heard somewhere before but had forgotten, a melody of great sweetness, was coming back to me now. It seemed to me that it had been trying to emerge from my soul all my life, and only now-

If and when you fall in love, may you be happy with her. I don’t need to wish her anything, for she’ll be happy with you. May your sky always be clear, may your dear smile always be bright and happy, and may you be for ever blessed for that moment of bliss and happiness which you gave to another lonely and grateful heart. Isn’t such a moment sufficient for the whole of one’s life?”

“Nothing in this world is harder than speaking the truth, nothing easier than flattery.”

“Man is a mystery. It needs to be unravelled, and if you spend your whole life unravelling it, don’t say that you’ve wasted time. I am studying that mystery because I want to be a human being.”

“To love someone means to see them as God intended them.”

“The world says: “You have needs — satisfy them. You have as much right as the rich and the mighty. Don’t hesitate to satisfy your needs; indeed, expand your needs and demand more.” This is the worldly doctrine of today. And they believe that this is freedom. The result for the rich is isolation and suicide, for the poor, envy and murder.”

“Man is sometimes extraordinarily, passionately, in love with suffering…”

“You can be sincere and still be stupid.”

“I swear to you gentlemen, that to be overly conscious is a sickness, a real, thorough sickness.”

“The awful thing is that beauty is mysterious as well as terrible. God and the devil are fighting there and the battlefield is the heart of man.”

“If you wish to glimpse inside a human soul and get to know a man, don’t bother analyzing his ways of being silent, of talking, of weeping, of seeing how much he is moved by noble ideas; you will get better results if you just watch him laugh. If he laughs well, he’s a good man.”

“It is not the brains that matter most, but that which guides them — the character, the heart, generous qualities, progressive ideas.”

“I can see the sun, but even if I cannot see the sun, I know that it exists. And to know that the sun is there – that is living.”

“Beauty will save the world”

“I think the devil doesn’t exist, but man has created him, he has created him in his own image and likeness.”

“Don’t let us forget that the causes of human actions are usually immeasurably more complex and varied than our subsequent explanations of them.”

“If you want to be respected by others, the great thing is to respect yourself. Only by that, only by self-respect will you compel others to respect you.”

“Sarcasm: the last refuge of modest and chaste-souled people when the PRIVACY of their soul is coarsely and intrusively invaded.”

“Yet, I didn’t understand that she was intentionally disguising her feelings with sarcasm; that was usually the last resort of people who are timid and chaste of heart, whose souls have been coarsely and impudently invaded; and who, until the last moment, refuse to yield out of pride and are afraid to express their own feelings to you.”

“To love is to suffer and there can be no love otherwise.”

“Besides, nowadays, almost all capable people are terribly afraid of being ridiculous, and are miserable because of it.”

“Pain and suffering are always inevitable for a large intelligence and a deep heart.”

“The cleverest of all, in my opinion, is the man who calls himself a fool at least once a month.”

“It is better to be unhappy and know the worst, than to be happy in a fool’s paradise.”

“For, after all, you do grow up, you do outgrow your ideals, which turn to dust and ashes, which are shattered into fragments; and if you have no other life, you just have to build one up out of these fragments. And all the time your soul is craving and longing for something else. And in vain does the dreamer rummage about in his old dreams, raking them over as though they were a heap of cinders, looking in these cinders for some spark, however tiny, to fan it into a flame so as to warm his chilled blood by it and revive in it all that he held so dear before, all that touched his heart, that made his blood course through his veins, that drew tears from his eyes, and that so splendidly deceived him!”

“Nothing is easier than to denounce the evildoer; nothing is more difficult than to understand him.”

“The more stupid one is, the closer one is to reality. The more stupid one is, the clearer one is. Stupidity is brief and artless, while intelligence squirms and hides itself. Intelligence is unprincipled, but stupidity is honest and straightforward.”

“Love in action is a harsh and dreadful thing compared to love in dreams.”

“My God, a moment of bliss. Why, isn’t that enough for a whole lifetime?”

“I am alone, I thought, and they are everybody.”

“When reason fails, the devil helps!”

“There is something at the bottom of every new human thought, every thought of genius, or even every earnest thought that springs up in any brain, which can never be communicated to others, even if one were to write volumes about it and were explaining one’s idea for thirty-five years; there’s something left which cannot be induced to emerge from your brain, and remains with you forever; and with it you will die, without communicating to anyone perhaps the most important of your ideas.”

“We’re always thinking of eternity as an idea that cannot be understood, something immense. But why must it be? What if, instead of all this, you suddenly find just a little room there, something like a village bath-house, grimy, and spiders in every corner, and that’s all eternity is. Sometimes, you know, I can’t help feeling that that’s what it is.”

“This is my last message to you: in sorrow, seek happiness.”

“I believe like a child that suffering will be healed and made up for, that all the humiliating absurdity of human contradictions will vanish like a pitiful mirage, like the despicable fabrication of the impotent and infinitely small Euclidean mind of man, that in the world’s finale, at the moment of eternal harmony, something so precious will come to pass that it will suffice for all hearts, for the comforting of all resentments, for the atonement of all the crimes of humanity, for all the blood that they’ve shed; that it will make it not only possible to forgive but to justify all that has happened.”

“Killing myself was a matter of such indifference to me that I felt like waiting for a moment when it would make some difference.”

“I used to analyze myself down to the last thread, used to compare myself with others, recalled all the smallest glances, smiles and words of those to whom I’d tried to be frank, interpreted everything in a bad light, laughed viciously at my attempts ‘to be like the rest’ –and suddenly, in the midst of my laughing, I’d give way to sadness, fall into ludicrous despondency and once again start the whole process all over again – in short, I went round and round like a squirrel on a wheel.”

“I could not become anything; neither good nor bad; neither a scoundrel nor an honest man; neither a hero nor an insect. And now I am eking out my days in my corner, taunting myself with the bitter and entirely useless consolation that an intelligent man cannot seriously become anything, that only a fool can become something.”

“I did not bow down to you, I bowed down to all the suffering of humanity.”

“And the more I drink the more I feel it. That’s why I drink too. I try to find sympathy and feeling in drink…. I drink so that I may suffer twice as much!”

“The greatest happiness is to know the source of unhappiness.”

“If you want to overcome the whole world, overcome yourself.”

“I am a sick man… I am a spiteful man. I am an unpleasant man. I think my liver is diseased. However, I don’t know beans about my disease, and I am not sure what is bothering me. I don’t treat it and never have, though I respect medicine and doctors. Besides, I am extremely superstitious, let’s say sufficiently so to respect medicine. (I am educated enough not to be superstitious, but I am.) No, I refuse to treat it out of spite. You probably will not understand that. Well, but I understand it. Of course I can’t explain to you just whom I am annoying in this case by my spite. I am perfectly well aware that I cannot “get even” with the doctors by not consulting them. I know better than anyone that I thereby injure only myself and no one else. But still, if I don’t treat it, its is out of spite. My liver is bad, well then– let it get even worse!”

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