45 Psychological, Social, Political & Spiritual Quotes By Fyodor Dostoyevsky

45 Psychological, Social, Political & Spiritual Quotes By Fyodor Dostoyevsky

Fyodor Mikhailovich Dostoyevsky (1821 – 1881) was a Russian novelist and philosopher.

Dostoyevsky's literary works explore human psychology in the troubled political, social, and spiritual atmosphere of 19th-century Russia. Many of his works contain a strong emphasis on Christianity, and its message of absolute love, forgiveness and charity, explored within the realm of the individual, confronted with all of life's hardships and beauty.

Born in Moscow in 1821, Dostoyevsky 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 St. Petersburg's literary circles.

His books have been translated into more than 170 languages. Dostoyevsky influenced a multitude of writers and philosophers, from Anton Chekhov and Ernest Hemingway to Friedrich Nietzsche and Jean-Paul Sartre.

Maybe these quotes from his books can influence you too!

1) “To go wrong in one's own way is better then to go right in someone else's.” (Crime and Punishment)

2) “Pain and suffering are always inevitable for a large intelligence and a deep heart. The really great men must, I think, have great sadness on earth.” (Crime and Punishment)

3) “The darker the night, the brighter the stars,
The deeper the grief, the closer is God!”
(Crime and Punishment)

4) “Taking a new step, uttering a new word, is what people fear most.” (Crime and Punishment)

5) “We're always thinking of eternity as an idea that cannot be understood, something immense. But why must it be? What if, instead of all this, you suddenly find just a little room there, something like a village bath-house, grimy, and spiders in every corner, and that's all eternity is. Sometimes, you know, I can't help feeling that that's what it is.” (Crime and Punishment)

6) “Love in action is a harsh and dreadful thing compared to love in dreams.” (The Brothers Karamazov)

7) “Above all, don't lie to yourself. The man who lies to himself and listens to his own lie comes to a point that he cannot distinguish the truth within him, or around him, and so loses all respect for himself and for others. And having no respect he ceases to love.” (The Brothers Karamazov)

8) “What is hell? I maintain that it is the suffering of being unable to love.” (The Brothers Karamazov)

9) “The awful thing is that beauty is mysterious as well as terrible. God and the devil are fighting there and the battlefield is the heart of man.” (The Brothers Karamazov)

10) “I can see the sun, but even if I cannot see the sun, I know that it exists. And to know that the sun is there - that is living.” (The Brothers Karamazov)

11) “I think the devil doesn't exist, but man has created him, he has created him in his own image and likeness.” (The Brothers Karamazov)

12) “Besides, nowadays, almost all capable people are terribly afraid of being ridiculous, and are miserable because of it.” (The Brothers Karamazov)

13) “Don’t let us forget that the causes of human actions are usually immeasurably more complex and varied than our subsequent explanations of them.” (The Idiot)

14) “Beauty will save the world” (The Idiot)

15) “There is something at the bottom of every new human thought, every thought of genius, or even every earnest thought that springs up in any brain, which can never be communicated to others, even if one were to write volumes about it and were explaining one's idea for thirty-five years; there's something left which cannot be induced to emerge from your brain, and remains with you forever; and with it you will die, without communicating to anyone perhaps the most important of your ideas.” (The Idiot)

16) “A fool with a heart and no sense is just as unhappy as a fool with sense and no heart.” (The Idiot)

17) “I swear to you gentlemen, that to be overly conscious is a sickness, a real, thorough sickness.” (Notes from Underground)

18) “I say let the world go to hell, but I should always have my tea.” (Notes from Underground)

19) “To love is to suffer and there can be no love otherwise.” (Notes from Underground)

20) “Man only likes to count his troubles; he doesn't calculate his happiness.” (Notes from Underground, White nights, The Dream of a Ridiculous Man, and Selections from The House of the Dead)

45 Psychological, Social, Political & Spiritual Quotes By Fyodor Dostoyevsky

21) “Talking nonsense is the sole privilege mankind possesses over the other organisms. It's by talking nonsense that one gets to the truth! I talk nonsense, therefore I'm human” (Notes from Underground, White nights, The Dream of a Ridiculous Man, and Selections from The House of the Dead)

22) “Killing myself was a matter of such indifference to me that I felt like waiting for a moment when it would make some difference.” (The Dream of a Ridiculous Man)

23) “Nothing is easier than to denounce the evildoer; nothing is more difficult than to understand him.”

24) “My God, a moment of bliss. Why, isn't that enough for a whole lifetime?” (White Nights)

25) “But how could you live and have no story to tell?” (White Nights)

26) “I am a dreamer. I know so little of real life that I just can't help re-living such moments as these in my dreams, for such moments are something I have very rarely experienced. I am going to dream about you the whole night, the whole week, the whole year. I feel I know you so well that I couldn't have known you better if we'd been friends for twenty years. You won't fail me, will you? Only two minutes, and you've made me happy forever. Yes, happy. Who knows, perhaps you've reconciled me with myself, resolved all my doubts.

When I woke up it seemed to me that some snatch of a tune I had known for a long time, I had heard somewhere before but had forgotten, a melody of great sweetness, was coming back to me now. It seemed to me that it had been trying to emerge from my soul all my life, and only now-

If and when you fall in love, may you be happy with her. I don't need to wish her anything, for she'll be happy with you. May your sky always be clear, may your dear smile always be bright and happy, and may you be for ever blessed for that moment of bliss and happiness which you gave to another lonely and grateful heart. Isn't such a moment sufficient for the whole of one's life?”
(White Nights)

27) “Nothing in this world is harder than speaking the truth, nothing easier than flattery.” (White Nights)

28) “Right or wrong, it's very pleasant to break something from time to time.”

29) “Much unhappiness has come into the world because of bewilderment and things left unsaid.”

30) “The soul is healed by being with children.”

31) “It is not the brains that matter most, but that which guides them — the character, the heart, generous qualities, progressive ideas.”

32) “If you wish to glimpse inside a human soul and get to know a man, don't bother analyzing his ways of being silent, of talking, of weeping, of seeing how much he is moved by noble ideas; you will get better results if you just watch him laugh. If he laughs well, he's a good man.”

33) “You can be sincere and still be stupid.”

34) “Man is sometimes extraordinarily, passionately, in love with suffering...”

35) “Man is a mystery. It needs to be unravelled, and if you spend your whole life unravelling it, don't say that you've wasted time. I am studying that mystery because I want to be a human being.”

36) “The cleverest of all, in my opinion, is the man who calls himself a fool at least once a month.”

37) “People really do like seeing their best friends humiliated; a large part of the friendship is based on humiliation; and that is an old truth,well known to all intelligent people.” (The Gambler)

38) “It's curious and ridiculous how much the gaze of a prudish and painfully chaste man touched by love can sometimes express and that precisely at a moment when the man would of course sooner be glad to fall through the earth than to express anything with a word or a look.” (The Gambler)

39) “I wanted to fathom her secrets; I wanted her to come to me and say: "I love you," and if not that, if that was senseless insanity, then...well, what was there to care about? Did I know what I wanted? I was like one demented: all I wanted was to be near her, in the halo of her glory, in her radiance, always, for ever, all my life. I knew nothing more!” (The Gambler)

40) “Whatever distinguishes one lump of flesh from another when we're alive, we're all the same once we're dead. Just used-up shells.” (The Gambler)

41) “The man who has a conscience suffers whilst acknowledging his sin. That is his punishment.” (Crime and Punishment)

42) “"I love mankind", he said, "but I find to my amazement that the more I love mankind as a whole, the less I love man in particular."” (The Brothers Karamazov)

43) “The mystery of human existence lies not in just staying alive, but in finding something to live for.” (The Brothers Karamazov)

44) “Men do not accept their prophets and slay them, but they love their martyrs and worship those whom they have tortured to death.”

45) “It is better to be unhappy and know the worst, than to be happy in a fool's paradise.” (The Idiot)

Fyodor Dostoyevsky's Books:

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