Fyodor Dostoyevsky Quotes (341 Quotes)


    Actions are sometimes performed in a masterly and most cunning way, while the direction of the actions is deranged and dependent on various morbid impressions - it's like a dream.


    No, I couldn't do it, I couldn't do it! Granted, granted that there is no flaw in all that reasoning, that all that I have concluded this last month is clear as day, true as arithmetic… . My God! Anyway I couldn't bring myself to it! I couldn't do it, I couldn't do it! Why, why then am I still … ?


    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.


    I am a wicked man... But do you know, gentlemen, what was the main point about my wickedness? The whole thing, precisely was, the greatest nastiness precisely lay in my being shamefully conscious every moment, even in moments of the greatest bile, that I was not only not a wicked man but was not even an embittered man, that I was simply frightening sparrows in vain, and pleasing myself with it.



    And even if one tried, it would be very hard to give a true account, for there were no thoughts in Ivan's mind but something very vague. He felt that he had lost his bearings.

    By showing him so much respect, Thou didst, as it were, cease to feel for him, for Thou didst ask far too much from Him--Thou who has loved him more than Thyself! Respecting him less, Thou wouldst have asked less of him. That would have been more like love, for his burden would have been lighter.

    For it will come to pass that even the most corrupt of our rich men will finally be ashamed of his riches before the poor man, and the poor man, seeing his humility, will understand and yield to him in joy, and will respond with kindness to his gracious shame.

    I am a sick man...I am a spiteful man. I am an unattractive man. I think my liver is diseased. Then again, I don't know a thing about my illness; I'm not even sure what hurts.

    I worship her, Alyosha, worship her. Only she doesn't see it. No, she still thinks I don't love her enough. And she tortures me, tortures me with her love. The past was nothing! In the past it was only that infernal body of hers that tortured me, but now I've taken all her soul into my soul and through her I've become a man. Will they marry us? If they don't I will die of jealousy. I imagine something every day...

    Learning to love is hard and we pay dearly for it. It takes hard work and a long apprenticeship, for it is not just for a moment that we must learn to love, but forever.

    Man, do not pride yourself on your superiority to the animals, for they are without sin, while you, with all your greatness, you defile the earth wherever you appear and leave an ignoble trail behind you -- and that is true, alas, for almost every one of us!


    There is only one way to salvation, and that is to make yourself responsible for all men's sins. As soon as you make yourself responsible in all sincerity for everything and for everyone, you will see at once that this is really so, and that you are in fact to blame for everyone and for all things.

    While analyzing some already-existing opinions on the subject, he also expressed his own view. The main thing was the tone of the article and its remarkably unexpected conclusion.

    At such times I felt something was drawing me away, and I kept fancying that if I walked straight on, far, far away and reached that line where the sky and earth meet, there I should find the key to the mystery, there I should see a new life a thousand times richer and more turbulent than ours.


    Again it became suddenly plain and perceptible to him that he had just told a fearful lie - that he would never now be able to speak freely of everything - that he would never again be able to speak of anything to anyone.

    He was one of the numerous and varied legion of dullards, of half-animated abortions, conceited, half-educated coxcombs, who attach themselves to the idea most in fashion only to vulgarize it and who caricature every cause they serve, however sincerely.


    The temperament reflects everything like a mirror! Gaze into it and admire what you see! But why are you so pale, Rodion Romanovitch? Is the room stuffy? Shall I open the window?

    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.



    By the experience of active love. Strive to love your neighbour actively and indefatigably. In as far as you advance in love you will grow surer of the reality of God and of the immortality of your soul. If you attain to perfect self-forgetfulness in the love of your neighbour, then you will believe without doubt, and no doubt can possibly enter your soul. This has been tried. This is certain.


    I am glad that at such a moment my young man turned out to be not so reasonable; the time will come for an intelligent man to be reasonable, but if at such an exceptional moment there is no love to be found in a young man's heart, then when will it come?




    The genuine realist, if he is an unbeliever, will always find strength and ability to disbelieve in the miraculous, and if he is confronted with a miracle as an irrefutable fact he would rather disbelieve his own senses than admit the miraculous also.


    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.



    Ah, Father! That's words and only words! Forgive! If he'd not been run over, he'd have come home today drunk and his only shirt dirty and in rags and he'd have fallen asleep like a log, and I should have been sousing and rinsing till daybreak, washing his rags and the children's and then drying them by the window and as soon as it was daylight I should have been darning them. What's the use of talking forgiveness! I have forgiven as it is!





    I believe this is so and I'm prepared to vouch for it, because it seems to me that the meaning of man's life consists in proving to himself every minute that he's a man and not a piano key. And man will keep proving it and paying for it with his own skin; he will turn into a troglodyte if need be. And, since this is so, I cannot help rejoicing that things are still the way they are and that, for the time being, nobody knows worth a damn what determines our desires.



    And in fact you're not like everyone else: you weren't ashamed just now to confess bad and even ridiculous things about yourself. Who would confess such things nowadays? No one, and people have even stopped feeling any need for self-judgment.

    Do you know that centuries will pass and mankind will proclaim with the mouth of its wisdom and science that there is no crime, and therefore no sin, but only hungry men? Feed them first, then ask virtue of them.


    More Fyodor Dostoyevsky Quotations (Based on Topics)


    Man - Love - God - Life - Truth - World - Sin - Mind - Suffering - Time - People - Happiness - Education - Idea - Thought & Thinking - Dreams - Beauty - Sense & Perception - Facts - 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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