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.
Twice two makes four seems to me simply a piece of insolence. Twice two makes four is a pert coxcomb who stands with arms akimbo barring your path and spitting.
A cultivated and decent man cannot be vain without setting a fearfully high standard for himself, and without despising and almost hating himself at certain moments.
It was not only that I could not become spiteful, I did not know how to become anything; neither spiteful nor kind, neither a rascal nor an honest man, neither a hero nor an insect. Now, I am living out my life in my corner, taunting myself with the spiteful and useless consolation that an intelligent man cannot become anything seriously, and it is only the fool who becomes anything.
Evidently habit does wonders! God knows what habit can do with anyone.
Perhaps I really regard myself as an intelligent man only because throughout my entire life I've never been able to start or finish anything.
I have no self-respect. But can a man of acute sensibility respect himself at all?
What does reason know? Reason only knows what it has succeeded in learning...
A developed and decent man cannot be vain without a boundless exactingness towards himself and without despising himself at moments to the point of hatred.
Just take a look around you: Blood is flowing in rivers and in such a jolly way you'd think it was champagne.
For a woman, all resurrection, all salvation, from whatever perdition, lies in love; in fact, it is her only way to it.
Sometimes I'd hate to talk to anyone, and at other times I'd not only talk to people, but would even take it into my head to be friends with them.
I say let the world go to hell, but I should always have my tea.
What makes a hero? Courage, strength, morality, withstanding adversity? Are these the traits that truly show and create a hero? Is the light truly the source of darkness or vice versa? Is the soul a source of hope or despair? Who are these so called heroes and where do they come from? Are their origins in obscurity or in plain sight?
And why are you so firmly, so triumphantly, convinced that only the normal and the positive--in other words, only what is conducive to welfare--is for the advantage of man? Is not reason in error as regards advantage? Does not man, perhaps, love something besides well-being? Perhaps he is just as fond of suffering? Perhaps suffering is just as great a benefit to him as well-being? Man is sometimes extraordinarily, passionately, in love with suffering, and that is a fact.
Man only likes to count his troubles; he doesn't calculate his happiness.
For though your mind is active enough, your heart is darkened with corruption, and without a pure heart there can be no full or genuine sensibility.
Suppose, gentleman, that man is not stupid.
I swear to you gentlemen, that to be overly conscious is a sickness, a real, thorough sickness.
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.
As for my personal opinion, to love only prosperity is even somehow unseemly. Whether it's a good thing or a bad thing, smashing something is occasionally very pleasant too.
Nature doesn't ask your permission; it doesn't care about your wishes, or whether you like its laws or not. You're obliged to accept it as it is, and consequently all its results as well.
For what is man without desires, without free will, and without the power of choice but a stop in an organ pipe?
The only gain of civilisation for mankind is the greater capacity for cariety of sensations - and absolutely nothing more.
I swear to you, sirs, that excessive consciousness is a disease--a genuine, absolute disease.
Because what is man without his volition but a stop on a barrel-organ cylinder?
Now answer me, sincerely, honestly, who lives past forty? I'll tell you who does: fools and scoundrels.
Gentlemen, I am tormented by questions; answer them for me.
The reason why I consider myself a clever man is simply because I could never in my life finish anything I'd started. All right, I am a talker, a harmless, boring talker as we all are. But what can I do if the direct and sole purpose of every intelligent man is to talk, that is to say, to waste his time deliberately?
I want peace; yes, I'd sell the whole world for a farthing, straight off, so long as I was left in peace. Is the world to go to pot, or am I to go without my tea? I say that the world may go to pot for me so long as I always get my tea. Did you know that, or not? Well, anyway, I know that I am a blackguard, a scoundrel, an egoist, a sluggard.
More Fyodor Dostoyevsky Quotations (Based on Topics)
Man - Love - Life - God - Truth - World - Sin - Suffering - Mind - Time - People - Education - Happiness - Idea - Facts - Thought & Thinking - Sense & Perception - Joy & Excitement - Dreams - View All Fyodor Dostoyevsky Quotations
More Fyodor Dostoyevsky Quotations (By Book Titles)
- Crime and Punishment
- Notes from Underground
- The Brothers Karamazov
- The Idiot
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