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

To love someone is to see them as God intended.

Unhappiness is a contagious disease. Unhappy, even miserable wretches, each other in order to avoid the poor.

We are full of hatred, my girl, you and I! We are both full of hatred! As though we could forgive on another! Save him, and I’ll worship you all my life.

We must never forget that human motives are generally far more complicated than we are apt to suppose, and that we can very rarely accurately describe the motives of another.

This legend is about paradise. There was, they say, a certain thinker and philosopher here on your earth, who 'rejected all--laws, conscience faith, and, above all, the future life. He died and thought he'd go straight into darkness and death, but no--there was the future life before him. He was amazed and indignant. 'This,' he said, 'goes against my convictions.' So for that he was sentenced...I mean, you see, I beg your pardon, I'm repeating what I heard, it's just a legend...you see, he was sentenced to walk in darkness a quadrillion kilometers (we also use kilometers now), and once he finished that quadrillion, the doors of paradise would be open to him and he would be forgiven everything...Well, so this man sentenced to the quadrillion stood a while, looked, and then lay down across the road: 'I dont want to go, I refuse to go on principle!' Take the soul of an enlightened Russian atheist and mix it with the soul of the prophet Jonah, who sulked in the belly of a whale for three days and three nights--you'll get the character of this thinker lying in the road...He lay there for nearly a thousand years, and then got up and started walking. What an ass! Ivan exclaimed, bursting into nervous laughter, still apparently trying hard to figure something out. isn't it all the same whether he lies there forever or walks a quadrillion kilometers? It must be about a billion years' walk! Much more, even. If we had a pencil and paper, we could work it out. But he arrived long ago, and this is where the anecdote begins. Arrived! But where did he get a billion years? You keep thinking about our present earth! But our present earth may have repeated itself a billion times; it died out, let’s say, got covered with ice, cracked, fell to pieces, broke down into its original components, again there were the waters above the firmament, then again a comet, again the sun, again the earth from the sun--all this development may already have been repeated an infinite number of times, and always in the same way, to the last detail. A most unspeakable bore... Go on, what happened when he arrived? The moment the doors of paradise were opened and he went in, before he had even been there two seconds--and that by the watch--before he had been there two seconds, he exclaimed that for those two seconds it would be worth walking not just a quadrillion kilometers, but a quadrillion quadrillion, even raised to the quadrillionth power! In short, he sang 'Hosannah' and oversweetened it so much that some persons there, of a nobler cast of mind, did not even want to shake hands with him at first: he jumped over to the conservatives a bit too precipitously. The Russian character. I repeat: it's a legend.

To be acutely conscious is a disease, a real, honest-to-goodness disease.

To my thinking, miracles are never a stumbling block to the realist. It is not miracles that dispose realists to belief...Faith does not, in the realist, spring from the miracle but the miracle from faith.

Until you have become really, in actual fact, as brother to everyone, brotherhood will not come to pass

We are of a broad, Karamazovian nature--and this is what I am driving at--capable of containing all possible opposites and of contemplating both abysses at once, the abyss above us, an abyss of lofty ideals, and the abyss beneath us, and abyss of the lowest and foulest degradation.

We read the Gospel only on the eve of our speeches, to shine, with the knowledge of a highly original work with the obtainable effect 'measure'.

This pleasure comes precisely from the sharpest awareness of your own degradation; from the knowledge that you have gone to the utmost limit; that it is despicable, yet cannot be otherwise; that you no longer have any way out; that you will never become a different man.

To be surprised at everything is stupid of course, and to be astonished at nothing is a great deal more becoming and for some reason accepted as good form. But that is not really true. To my mind to be astonished at nothing is much more stupid than to be astonished at everything. And, moreover, to be astonished at nothing is almost the same as feeling respect for nothing. And indeed a stupid man is incapable of feeling respect.

To return to their 'native soil,' as they say, to the bosom, so to speak, of their mother earth, like frightened children, yearning to fall asleep on the withered bosom of their decrepit mother, and to sleep there forever, only to escape the horrors that terrify them.

Very different is the monastic way. Obedience, fasting, and prayer are laughed at, yet they alone constitute the way to real and true freedom: I cut away my superfluous and unnecessary needs, through obedience I humble and chasten my vain and proud will, and thereby, with God’s help, attain freedom of spirit, and with that, spiritual rejoicing!

We are the people with the whims of tyrants. We do not forgive just a change in the face. God knows why this is the face that has changed.

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.

They sang the praises of nature, of the sea, of the woods. They liked making songs about one another, and praised each other like children; they were the simplest songs, but they sprang from their hearts and went to one's heart. And not only in their songs but in all their lives they seemed to do nothing but admire one another. It was like being in love with each other, but an all-embracing, universal feeling.

Those innocent eyes cut my soul like a razor...however, in a depraved man this, too, might be only a sensual attraction.

To be too conscious is an illness - a real thoroughgoing illness.

To strive consciously for an object and to engage in engineering -- that is, incessantly and eternally to make new roads, wherever they may lead.

Very often among a certain highly intelligent type of people, quite paradoxical ideas will establish themselves. But they have suffered so much in their lives for these ideas, and have paid so high a price for them that it becomes very painful, indeed almost impossible, for them to part with them.

We cannot love a man, but if it remains hidden from our view. Whenever Im not the face dissipated Love.

We took from him... proclaimed ourselves sole rulers of the earth, though we have not yet been able to complete our work.

They sat side by side, sad and weary, like shipwrecked sailors on a deserted shore.

Those were not the sounds of a violin, but that seemed a terrible voice had begun to roar, for the first time in our dark house. Perhaps my impressions were distorted and sick, maybe my feelings were shocked by everything I had witnessed, and already predisposed to feel terrible, full of torment with no escape: but I am firmly convinced that I heard groans, human cries, tears, a whole despair poured into those sounds. .

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