Welcome to our collection of quotes (with shareable picture quotes) by Fyodor Dostoevsky. We hope you enjoy pondering them and that you will share them widely.
Fyodor Mikhailovich Dostoevsky (Russian: Фёдор Михайлович Достоевский, romanized: Fyódor Mikháylovich Dostoyévskiy, lit. 'ˈfʲɵdər mʲɪˈxajləvʲɪdʑ dəstɐˈjɛfskʲɪj'; 11 November 1821 – 9 February 1881), sometimes transliterated as Dostoyevsky, was a Russian novelist, philosopher, short story writer, essayist, and journalist. Dostoevsky's literary works explore human psychology in the troubled political, social, and spiritual atmospheres of 19th-century Russia, and engage with a variety of philosophical and religious themes. His most acclaimed novels include Crime and Punishment (1866), The Idiot (1869), Demons (1872), and The Brothers Karamazov (1880). Dostoevsky's body of works consists of 12 novels, four novellas, 16 short stories, and numerous other works. Many literary critics rate him as one of the greatest psychological novelists in world literature. His 1864 novella Notes from Underground is considered to be one of the first works of existentialist literature.
Born in Moscow in 1821, Dostoevsky was introduced to literature at an early age through fairy tales and legends, and through books by Russian and foreign authors. His mother died in 1837 when he was 15, and around the same time, he left school to enter the Nikolayev Military Engineering Institute. After graduating, he worked as an engineer and briefly enjoyed a lavish lifestyle, translating books to earn extra money. In the mid-1840s he wrote his first novel, Poor Folk, which gained him entry into Saint Petersburg's literary circles. Arrested in 1849 for belonging to a literary group that discussed banned books critical of Tsarist Russia, he was sentenced to death but the sentence was commuted at the last moment. He spent four years in a Siberian prison camp, followed by six years of compulsory military service in exile. In the following years, Dostoevsky worked as a journalist, publishing and editing several magazines of his own and later A Writer's Diary, a collection of his writings. He began to travel around western Europe and developed a gambling addiction, which led to financial hardship. For a time, he had to beg for money, but he eventually became one of the most widely read and highly regarded Russian writers.
Dostoevsky was influenced by a wide variety of philosophers and authors including Pushkin, Gogol, Augustine, Shakespeare, Scott, Dickens, Balzac, Lermontov, Hugo, Poe, Plato, Cervantes, Herzen, Kant, Belinsky, Byron, Hegel, Schiller, Solovyov, Bakunin, Sand, Hoffmann, and Mickiewicz.
His writings were widely read both within and beyond his native Russia and influenced an equally great number of later writers including Russians such as Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn and Anton Chekhov, philosophers Friedrich Nietzsche and Jean-Paul Sartre, and the emergence of Existentialism and Freudianism. His books have been translated into more than 170 languages, and served as the basis for many films.
I love you so, because you haven't fallen in love with me. Another man in your place would, I'm sure, have begun to pester me, to worry me. He would have been sighing, he would have looked so pathetic, but you're so sweet!
We degrade God too much, ascribing to him our ideas, in vexation at being unable to understand Him.
But in those eyes and in the lines of her exquisite lips there was something with which his brother might well be passionately in love, but which perhaps could not be loved for long.
And I saw myselt just as I was now fifteen years hence, only grown older, is the same room, living the same sort of solitary life, with the same Matryona, who had not grown a bit wiser in all those years.
Who doesn't desire his father's death?
Love in action is a harsh and dreadful thing compared to love in dreams.
What terrible tragedies realism inflicts on people.
Life is in ourselves and not in the external.
The best definition of man is: a being that goes on two legs and is ungrateful.
But try getting blindly carried away by your feelings, without reasoning, without a primary cause, driving conciousness away at least for a time; start hating; or fall in love, only so as not to sit with folded arms.
In any case, you must remember, my dearest, that the main strength of innocence is innocence itself. farewell.
What does reason know? Reason only knows what it has succeeded in learning.
I want to suffer so that I may love.
All the Utopias will come to pass only when we grow wings and all people are converted into angels.
But man is so addicted to systems and to abstract conclusions that he is prepared deliberately to distort the truth, to close his eyes and ears, but justify his logic at all cost.
The absurd is only too necessary on earth. The world stands on absurdities.
The world stands on absurdities, and without them perhaps nothing at all would happen.
I've always considered myself smarter than everyone around me, and sometimes, believe me, I've been ashamed of it. At the least, all my life I've looked away and never could look people straight in the eye.
My soul bleeds and the blood steadily, silently, disturbingly slowly, swallows me whole.
Humanity can live without science, it can live without bread, but it cannot live without beauty. Without beauty, there would be nothing left to do in this life. Here the secret lies. Here lies the entire story.
Loving someone is different from being in love with someone. You can hate someone you're in love with.
If someone proved to me that Christ is outside the truth and that in reality the truth were outside of Christ, then I should prefer to remain with Christ rather than with the truth.
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.
From harmony, from heavenly harmony, This universal frame began: From harmony to harmony Through all the compass of the notes it ran, The diapason closing full in Man.
Walking along the crowded row He met the one he used to know.
The most pressing question on the problem of faith is whether a man as a civilized being can believe in the divinity of the Son of God, Jesus Christ, for therein rests the whole of our faith.
Never mind a little dirt, if the goal is splendid!
And you're sorry that the ephemeral beauty has faded so rapidly, so irretrievably, that it flashed so deceptively and pointlessly before your eyes -- you're sorry, for you didn't even have time to fall in love.
Now answer me, sincerely, honestly, who lives past forty? I'll tell you who does: fools and scoundrels.
On an exceptionally hot evening early in July a young man came out of the garret in which he lodged in S. Place and walked slowly, as though in hesitation, towards K. bridge.
The more incompetent one feels, the more eager he is to fight.
I walked along Nevsky Avenue.Actually it was more torture, humiliation, and bilious irritation than a stroll.
But men love abstract reasoning and neat systematization so much that they think nothing of distorting the truth, closing their eyes and ears to contrary evidence to preserve their logical constructions.
They have succeeded in accumulating a greater mass of objects, but the joy in the world has grown less.
You can never be sure of what has passed between husband and wife or lover and mistress.
It is easier for a Russian to become an atheist than for anyone else in the world.
To love is to suffer and there can be no love otherwise.
Suffering is part and parcel of extensive intelligence and a feeling heart.
There is no object on earth which cannot be looked at from a cosmic point of view.
Love is such a priceless treasure that you can buy the whole world with it, and redeem not only your own but other people's sins. Go, and do not be afraid.
Do you understand that the Luzhin smartness is just the same thing as Sonia's and may be worse, viler, baser, because in your case, Dounia, it 's a bargain for luxuries, after all, but with Sonia it's simply a question of starvation.
The best way to keep a prisoner from escaping is to make sure he never knows he's in prison.
The greater the stupidity, the greater the clarity. Stupidity is brief and guileless, while wit equivocates and hides. Wit is a scoundrel, while stupidity is honest and sincere.
We're originals...they should put us all under glass and show us to people, me first, ten kopecks for admission.
So, according to you, the other God does exist after all?'
'He doesn't exist, but He is. There's no pain in a stone, but there's pain in the fear of a stone.
The more conscious I was of goodness and of all that was 'sublime and beautiful,'the more deeply I sank into my mire and the more ready I was to sink in it altogether.
Ah, Misha, he has a stormy spirit. His mind is in bondage. He is haunted by a great, unsolved doubt. He is one of those who don't want millions, but an answer to their questions.
I go to spread the tidings, I want to spread the tidings of what? Of the truth , for I have seen it, have seen it with my own eyes , have seen it in all its glory .
Trifles, trifles are what matter!
My God, a moment of bliss. Why, isn't that enough for a whole lifetime?
Everywhere I am the object of an unbelievable esteem, the interest in me is, quite simply, tremendous.
Drive nature out of the door and it will fly in at the window.
A widow, the mother of a family, and from her heart she produces chords to which my whole being responds.
Man is a creature that can get accustomed to anything, and I think that is the best definition of him.
Man is a pliable animal, a being who gets accustomed to everything!
There is nothing more alluring to man than freedom of conscience, but neither is there anything more agonizing.
Anyone who can appease a man's conscience can take his freedom away from him.
In a way there's only a fine shade of difference between the healthy and the deranged.
If he's honest, he'll steal; if he's human, he'll murder; if he's faithful, he'll deceive.
But what can a decent man speak of with most pleasure? Answer: Of himself. Well, so I will talk about myself.
It is a law of nature that every decent man on earth is bound to be a coward and a slave.
There is immeasurably more left inside than what comes out in words. Your thought, even a bad one, while it is with you, is always more profound, but in words it is more ridiculous and dishonorable.
Beggars, especially noble beggars, should never show themselves in the street; they should ask for alms through the newspapers. It's still possible to love one's neighbor abstractly, and even occasionally from a distance, but hardly ever up close.
If the people around you are spiteful and callous and will not hear you, fall down before them and beg their forgiveness; for in truth you are to blame for their not wanting to hear you.
Two and two make four. Nature doesn't ask your advice. She isn't interested in your preferences or whether or not you approve of her laws. You must accept nature as she is with all the consequences that that implies.
The degree of civilization in a society can be judged by entering its prisons.
Reality is infinitely diverse, compared with even the subtlest conclusions of abstract thought, and does not allow of clear-cut and sweeping distinctions. Reality resists classification.
He seemed, indeed, to accept everything without the least condemnation though often grieving bitterly.
I don't even know what I'm writing, I have no idea, I don't know anything, and I'm not reading over it, and I'm not correcting my style, and I'm writing just for the sake of writing, just for the sake of writing more to you… My precious, my darling, my dearest!
Forgive me... for my love -for ruining you with my love.
It was a marvelous night, the sort of night one only experiences when one is young. The sky was so bright, and there were so many stars that, gazing upward, one couldn't help wondering how so many whimsical, wicked people could live under such a sky.
It suddenly seemed to me that I was lonely, that everyone was forsaking me and going away from me.
The Golden Age is the most implausible of all dreams. But for it men have given up their life and strength; for the sake of it prophets have died and been slain; without it the people will not live and cannot die.
I cannot truly imagine a truly great person who hasn't suffered.
What you need more than anything in life is a definite position.
There is not a thing that is more positive than bread.
One can't understand everything at once, we can't begin with perfection all at once! In order to reach perfection one must begin by being ignorant of a great deal. And if we understand things too quickly, perhaps we shan't understand them thoroughly.
Finally, I couldn't imagine how I could live without books, and I stopped dreaming about marrying that Chinese prince .