Fyodor Dostoevsky, fully Fyodor Mikhaylovich Dostoevsky or Feodor Mikhailovich Dostoevski

Fyodor
Dostoevsky, fully Fyodor Mikhaylovich Dostoevsky or Feodor Mikhailovich Dostoevski
1821
1881

Russian Novelist, Short-Story Writer and Essayist best known for his novels Crime and Punishment, The Idiot and The Brothers Karamazov

Author Quotes

What is a Socialist? - That's when all are equal and all have property in common, there are no marriages, and everyone has any religion and laws he likes best. You are not old enough to understand that yet.

What's most revolting is that one is really sad! No, it's better at home. Here at least one blames others for everything and excuses oneself.

Who consciously throws himself into the water or onto the knife?

With old liars who have been acting all their lives there are moments when they enter so completely into their part that they tremble or shed tears in earnest, although at that very moment, or a second later, they are able to whisper to themselves, "You know you are lying, you shameless old sinner! You're acting now, in spite of your 'holy' wrath.

Yes, yes, it ended in my corrupting them all! How it could come to pass I do not know, but I remember it clearly. The dream embraced thousands of years and left in me only a sense of the whole. I only know that I was the cause of their sin and downfall. Like a vile trichina, like a germ of the plague infecting whole kingdoms, so I contaminated all this earth, so happy and sinless before my coming. They learnt to lie, grew fond of lying, and discovered the charm of falsehood. Oh, at first perhaps it began innocently, with a jest, coquetry, with amorous play, perhaps indeed with a germ, but that germ of falsity made its way into their hearts and pleased them. Then sensuality was soon begotten, sensuality begot jealousy, jealousy - cruelty . . . Oh, I don't know, I don't remember; but soon, very soon the first blood was shed. They marveled and were horrified, and began to be split up and divided. They formed into unions, but it was against one another. Reproaches, upbraidings followed. They came to know shame, and shame brought them to virtue. The conception of honor sprang up, and every union began waving its flags. They began torturing animals, and the animals withdrew from them into the forests and became hostile to them. They began to struggle for separation, for isolation, for individuality, for mine and thine. They began to talk in different languages. They became acquainted with sorrow and loved sorrow; they thirsted for suffering, and said that truth could only be attained through suffering. Then science appeared. As they became wicked they began talking of brotherhood and humanitarianism, and understood those ideas. As they became criminal, they invented justice and drew up whole legal codes in order to observe it, and to ensure their being kept, set up a guillotine. They hardly remembered what they had lost, in fact refused to believe that they had ever been happy and innocent. They even laughed at the possibility of this happiness in the past, and called it a dream. They could not even imagine it in definite form and shape, but, strange and wonderful to relate, though they lost all faith in their past happiness and called it a legend, they so longed to be happy and innocent once more that they succumbed to this desire like children, made an idol of it, set up temples and worshipped their own idea, their own desire; though at the same time they fully believed that it was unattainable and could not be realized, yet they bowed down to it and adored it with tears! Nevertheless, if it could have happened that they had returned to the innocent and happy condition which they had lost, and if someone had shown it to them again and had asked them whether they wanted to go back to it, they would certainly have refused. They answered me: We may be deceitful, wicked and unjust, we know it and weep over it, we grieve over it; we torment and punish ourselves more perhaps than that merciful Judge Who will judge us and whose Name we know not. But we have science, and by the means of it we shall find the truth and we shall arrive at it consciously. Knowledge is higher than feeling, the consciousness of life is higher than life. Science will give us wisdom, wisdom will reveal the laws, and the knowledge of the laws of happiness is higher than happiness.

We've got facts, they say. But facts aren't everything; at least half the battle consists in how one makes use of them!

What is honor, my dear, when you have nothing to eat?

When . . . in the course of all these thousands of years has man ever acted in accordance with his own interests?

Whoever does not believe in God will not believe in the people of God. But he who believes in the people of God will also see their holiness, even if he did not believe in it at all before.

With the anthill, the respectable race of ants began and with the anthill they will probably end, which does the greatest credit to their perseverance and staidness. But man is a frivolous and incongruous creature, and perhaps, like the chess-player, loves only the process of the game, not the end of it. And who knows (on cannot swear to it), perhaps the only goal on earth to which mankind is striving lies in this incessant process of attaining, or in other words, in life itself, and not particularly in the goal which of course must always be two times two makes four, that is a formula, and after all, two times two makes four is no longer life, gentlemen, but is the beginning of death. Anyway, man has always been somehow afraid of this two times two makes four, and I am afraid of it even now. Granted that man does nothing but seek that two times two makes four, that he sails the oceans, sacrifices his life in the quest, but to succeed, really to find it -- he is somehow afraid, I assure you. He feels that as soon as he has found it there will be nothing for him to look for.

Yet as the evening of Sunday came on, a sadness as of death would overtake me, for at nine o'clock I had to return to school, where everything was cold and strange and severe—where the governesses, on Mondays, lost their tempers, and nipped my ears, and made me cry.

What a book this is, and what lessons there are in it! What a book is Holy Scripture, what a miracle and what a strength is given to man with it! Like a sculpture composed of the world, of man and human characters, and it has all been named and explained for the ages, ever more. And how many mysteries are resolved and revealed..." (Concerning Holy Scripture in the Life of Fr. Zosima)

What is most mortifying of all is that it is chance - simply a barbarous, lagging chance. That is what is mortifying! Five minutes, only five minutes too late! Had I come five minutes earlier, the moment would have passed away like a cloud, and it would never have entered her head again. And it would have ended by her understanding it all. But now again empty rooms, and me alone. Here the pendulum is ticking; it does not care, it has no pity... There is no one - that's the misery of it!

When all are undressed, one is somehow not ashamed, but when one's the only one undressed and everybody is looking, it's degrading,' he kept repeating to himself, again and again. 'It's like a dream, I've sometimes dreamed of being in such degrading positions.' It was a misery to him to take off his socks. They were very dirty, and so were his underclothes, and now everyone could see it. And what was worse, he disliked his feet. All his life he had thought both his big toes hideous. He particularly loathed the coarse, flat, crooked nail on the right one, and now they would all see it. Feeling intolerably ashamed made him, at once and intentionally, rougher. He pulled off his shirt, himself.

Whoever has experienced the power and the unrestrained ability to humiliate another human being automatically loses his own sensations. Tyranny is a habit, it has its own organic life, it develops finally into a disease. The habit can kill and coarsen the very best man or woman to the level of a beast. Blood and power intoxicate... the return of the human dignity, repentance and regeneration becomes almost impossible.

Without a clear perception of his reasons for living, man will never consent to live, and will rather destroy himself than tarry on earth, though he be surrounded with bread".

Yet there have been and still are mathematicians and philosophers who doubt whether the whole universe, or to speak more widely, the whole of being, was only created in Euclid's geometry. They even dare to dream that two parallel lines, which according to Euclid can never meet on earth, may meet somewhere in infinity.

What answer had your lecturer in Moscow to make to the question why he was forging notes? 'Everybody is getting rich one way or another, so I want to make haste to get rich too.' I don't remember the exact words, but the upshot was that he wants money for nothing, without waiting or working! We've grown used to having everything ready-made, to walking on crutches, to having our food chewed for us. Then the great hour struck, and every man showed himself in his true colours.

What is most vile and despicable about money is that it even confers talent. And it will do so until the end of the world.

When I am upstairs in my little garret I have only to remember and imagine the rustle of your dress, and I am ready to bite off my hands.

Whoever infringes upon individual 'charity' infringes upon man's nature and scorns his personal dignity.

Without a firm idea of himself and the purpose of his life, man cannot live, and would sooner destroy himself than remain on earth, even if he was surrounded by bread.

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.

What are you thinking now? - Well, where are you going to get up and going to pass me, and I will follow you and look at you with eyes; going to crack the silk of your dress, my heart will fail, you will leave the room and I remember of each of the words you have spoken and the tone of voice with which you said. As for last night, I thought of nothing, I did nothing but listen to how breathed sleeping and how you moved in bed twice.

What is the goal of writing exactly? If it was not for the benefit of the public, why do not remember these incidents in my mind; without being written on paper? Is it right, but it will be more bombings if they were written, and will be in the possibility to criticize myself, and that the best my style. In addition to it Vstnahani writing a little bit, because I am today is very concerned about the incidents of the past came in my mind very clearly a few days ago and remained traders dominated on me like a disturbing tone cannot be salvation. However, I must get rid of them somehow, and I have hundreds of these memories, but this particular anniversary stands alone bother me too much. The reason I think that I can get rid of them if recorded on paper, so why not try? ... In addition, I am bored, and I do not have what I'm doing, and writing some kind of work makes a good-hearted man honest. This is an opportunity for me anyway.

Author Picture
First Name
Fyodor
Last Name
Dostoevsky, fully Fyodor Mikhaylovich Dostoevsky or Feodor Mikhailovich Dostoevski
Birth Date
1821
Death Date
1881
Bio

Russian Novelist, Short-Story Writer and Essayist best known for his novels Crime and Punishment, The Idiot and The Brothers Karamazov