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A collection of quotes and thoughts by Fyodor Dostoevsky on lies, love, respect, truth, self-deception, suffering, hell, God, grief, happiness, inspiration and story.

112 Thought-Provoking Quotes By Fyodor Dostoevsky For The Bibliophiles

Quick Facts

Famous As: Russian novelist

Born On: November 11, 1821

Died On: February 9, 1881

Born In: Moscow

Founder / Co Founder: Dostoyevsky Publishing Company, Epoch

Died At Age: 59

Fyodor Dostoevsky was an eminent Russian essayist, short story writer, novelist, philosopher and journalist. His literary works cover human psychology in the unsettled social, spiritual and political atmospheres of the 19th-century Russia. His works also engaged a wide ambit of religious and realistic philosophical themes. He started his writing career at 20 and published his first novel at the age of 25 which was titled ‘Poor Folk’. ‘The Brothers Karamazov’, ‘The Idiot’, ‘Crime And Punishment’ and ‘Demons’ are a few of his most acclaimed works. His works, thoughts, writings, books, novels, essays and stories are widely read both within and beyond his native Russia. He has been an inspiration to a number of later Russian writers and philosophers. We bring to you some of the most popular quotes and sayings by the legendary writer of all times Fyodor Dostoevsky.

I gave up caring about anything, and all the problems disappeared.

Fyodor Dostoevsky

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.

Fyodor Dostoevsky

Nothing is more seductive for a man than his freedom of conscience, but nothing is a greater cause of suffering.

Fyodor Dostoevsky

Besides, nowadays, almost all capable people are terribly afraid of being ridiculous, and are miserable because of it.

Fyodor Dostoevsky

Intelligence alone is not nearly enough when it comes to acting wisely.

Fyodor Dostoevsky

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.

Fyodor Dostoevsky

Man is a creature that can get accustomed to anything, and I think that is the best definition of him.

Fyodor Dostoevsky

The secret of man's being is not only to live but to have something to live for.

Fyodor Dostoevsky

There is immeasurably more left inside than what comes out in words.

Fyodor Dostoevsky

Let us not forget that the reasons for human actions are usually incalculably more complex and diverse than we tend to explain them later, and are seldom clearly manifest.

Fyodor Dostoevsky

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.

Fyodor Dostoevsky

The more I detest men individually the more ardent becomes my love for humanity.

Fyodor Dostoevsky

Only through suffering can we find ourselves.

Fyodor Dostoevsky

My soul bleeds and the blood steadily, silently, disturbingly slowly, swallows me whole.

Fyodor Dostoevsky

What man wants is simply independent choice, whatever that independence may cost and wherever it may lead.

Fyodor Dostoevsky

What would life be if we had no courage to attempt anything? Taking a new step, uttering a new word, is what people fear most.

Fyodor Dostoevsky

To be in love is not the same as loving. You can be in love with a woman and still hate her.

Fyodor Dostoevsky

If God does not exist, then everything is permissible.

Fyodor Dostoevsky

Since man cannot live without miracles, he will provide himself with miracles of his own making. He will believe in witchcraft and sorcery, even though he may otherwise be a heretic, an atheist, and a rebel.

Fyodor Dostoevsky

To love is to suffer and there can be no love otherwise.

Fyodor Dostoevsky

To go wrong in one's own way is better then to go right in someone else's.

Fyodor Dostoevsky

Wealth is the number of things one can do without.

Fyodor Dostoevsky

My friend, the truth is always implausible, did you know that? To make the truth more plausible, it's absolutely necessary to mix a bit of falsehood with it. People have always done so.

Fyodor Dostoevsky

I believe the best definition of man is the ungrateful biped.

Fyodor Dostoevsky

The more incompetent one feels, the more eager he is to fight.

Fyodor Dostoevsky

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.

Fyodor Dostoevsky

There is nothing higher and stronger and more wholesome and useful for life in later years than some good memory, especially a memory connected with childhood, with home.

Fyodor Dostoevsky

I am strongly convinced that not only too much consciousness but even any consciousness at all is a sickness.

Fyodor Dostoevsky

Believe to the end, even if all men went astray and you were left the only one faithful; bring your offering even then and praise God in your loneliness.

Fyodor Dostoevsky

The degree of civilization in a society can be judged by entering its prisons.

Fyodor Dostoevsky

From a hundred rabbits you can't make a horse.

Fyodor Dostoevsky

The more you succeed in loving, the more you'll be convinced at the existence of God and the immortality of your soul.

Fyodor Dostoevsky

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.

Fyodor Dostoevsky

The man who is happy is fulfilling the purpose of existence

Fyodor Dostoevsky

Man has it all in his hands, and it all slips through his fingers from sheer cowardice.

Fyodor Dostoevsky

Lamentations comfort only by lacerating the heart still more. Such grief does not desire consolation. It feeds on the sense of its hopelessness. Lamentations spring only from the constant craving to re-open the wound.

Fyodor Dostoevsky

If you can put the question, 'Am I or am I not responsible for my acts?' then you are responsible.

Fyodor Dostoevsky

Was it all put into words, or did both understand that they had the same thing at heart and in their minds, so that there was no need to speak of it aloud, and better not to speak of it?

Fyodor Dostoevsky

They tease me now, telling me it was only a dream. But does it matter whether it was a dream or reality, if the dream made known to me the truth?

Fyodor Dostoevsky

To love another person is to see them as God intended them to be.

Fyodor Dostoevsky

Paradise is hidden in each one of use, it is concealed within me too, right now, and if I wish, it will come for me in reality, tomorrow even, and for the rest of my life.

Fyodor Dostoevsky

Every blade of grass, every insect, ant, and golden bee, all so amazingly know their path, though they have not intelligence, they bear witness to the mystery of God and continually accomplish it themselves.

Fyodor Dostoevsky

I want to suffer and be purified by suffering!

Fyodor Dostoevsky

God has such gladness every time he sees from heaven that a sinner is praying to Him with all his heart, as a mother has when she sees the first smile on her baby's face.

Fyodor Dostoevsky

If you love all things, you will also attain the divine mystery that is in all things. For then your ability to perceive the truth will grow every day, and your mind will open itself to an all-embracing love

Fyodor Dostoevsky

Men like to to count their troubles; few calculate their happiness.

Fyodor Dostoevsky

Dreams seem to be spurred on not by reason but by desire, not by the head but by the heart, and yet what complicated tricks my reason has played sometimes in dreams.

Fyodor Dostoevsky

I think the devil doesn't exist, but man has created him, he has created him in his own image and likeness.

Fyodor Dostoevsky

The world will be saved by beauty.

Fyodor Dostoevsky

A hundred suspicions don't make a proof.

Fyodor Dostoevsky

The most offensive is not their lying—one can always forgive lying—lying is a delightful thing, for it leads to truth—what is offensive is that they lie and worship their own lying…

Fyodor Dostoevsky

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?

Fyodor Dostoevsky

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.

Fyodor Dostoevsky

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.

Fyodor Dostoevsky

A man who lies to himself, and believes his own lies, becomes unable to recognize truth, either in himself or in anyone else, and he ends up losing respect for himself and for others.

Fyodor Dostoevsky

The Russian soul is a dark place.

Fyodor Dostoevsky

Man is sometimes extraordinarily, passionately, in love with suffering...

Fyodor Dostoevsky

Lack of originality, everywhere, all over the world, from time immemorial, has always been considered the foremost quality and the recommendation of the active, efficient and practical man.

Fyodor Dostoevsky

One must love life before loving its meaning ... yes, and when the love of life disappears, no meaning can console us.

Fyodor Dostoevsky

She looked much younger than her age, indeed, which is almost always the case with women who retain serenity of spirit, sensitiveness and pure sincere warmth of heart to old age.

Fyodor Dostoevsky

A society should be judged not by how it treats its outstanding citizens but by how it treats its criminals.

Fyodor Dostoevsky

I believe there is no one deeper, lovelier, more sympathetic and more perfect than Jesus...

Fyodor Dostoevsky

They were renewed by love; the heart of each held infinite sources of life for the heart of the other.

Fyodor Dostoevsky

Man has such a predilection for systems and abstract deductions that he is ready to distort the truth intentionally he is ready to deny the evidence of his senses only to justify his logic.

Fyodor Dostoevsky

The death of a child is the greatest reason to doubt the existence of God.

Fyodor Dostoevsky

If one wanted to crush and destroy a man entirely, to mete out to him the most terrible punishment, all one would have to do would be to make him do work that was completely and utterly devoid of usefulness and meaning.

Fyodor Dostoevsky

At first, art imitates life. Then life will imitate art.Then life will find its very existence from the arts.

Fyodor Dostoevsky

What is hell? I maintain that it is the suffering of being unable to love.

Fyodor Dostoevsky

Destroy my desires, eradicate my ideals, show me something better, and I will follow you.

Fyodor Dostoevsky

A novel is a work of poetry. In order to write it, one must have tranquility of spirit and of impression.

Fyodor Dostoevsky

If you were to destroy the belief in immortality in mankind, not only love but every living force on which the continuation of all life in the world depended, would dry up at once.

Fyodor Dostoevsky

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

Fyodor Dostoevsky

Man, so long as he remains free, has no more constant and agonizing anxiety than find as quickly as possible someone to worship.

Fyodor Dostoevsky

The formula 'Two and two make five' is not without its attractions.

Fyodor Dostoevsky

If there is no God, everything is permitted.

Fyodor Dostoevsky

It is not possible to eat me without insisting that I sing praises of my devourer?

Fyodor Dostoevsky

Realists do not fear the results of their study.

Fyodor Dostoevsky

There is no subject so old that something new cannot be said about it.

Fyodor Dostoevsky

To live without Hope is to Cease to live.

Fyodor Dostoevsky

Happiness does not lie in happiness, but in the achievement of it.

Fyodor Dostoevsky

One can know a man from his laugh, and if you like a man's laugh before you know anything of him, you may confidently say that he is a good man.

Fyodor Dostoevsky

To love someone means to see him as God intended him.

Fyodor Dostoevsky

Power is given only to those who dare to lower themselves and pick it up. Only one thing matters, one thing; to be able to dare!

Fyodor Dostoevsky

Man only likes to count his troubles, but he does not count his joys.

Fyodor Dostoevsky

There are things which a man is afraid to tell even to himself, and every decent man has a number of such things stored away in his mind.

Fyodor Dostoevsky

Man is fond of counting his troubles, but he does not count his joys. If he counted them up as he ought to, he would see that every lot has enough happiness provided for it.

Fyodor Dostoevsky

It seems, in fact, as though the second half of a man's life is made up of nothing, but the habits he has accumulated during the first half.

Fyodor Dostoevsky

Deprived of meaningful work, men and women lose their reason for existence; they go stark, raving mad.

Fyodor Dostoevsky

A real gentleman, even if he loses everything he owns, must show no emotion. Money must be so far beneath a gentleman that it is hardly worth troubling about.

Fyodor Dostoevsky

The soul is healed by being with children.

Fyodor Dostoevsky

The greatest happiness is to know the source of unhappiness.

Fyodor Dostoevsky

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

Fyodor Dostoevsky

Sarcasm: the last refuge of modest and chaste-souled people when the privacy of their soul is coarsely and intrusively invaded.

Fyodor Dostoevsky

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.

Fyodor Dostoevsky

Beauty is mysterious as well as terrible. God and devil are fighting there, and the battlefield is the heart of man.

Fyodor Dostoevsky

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.

Fyodor Dostoevsky

In such situations, of course, people don't nurse their anger silently, they moan aloud; but these are not frank, straightforward moans, there is a kind of cunning malice in them, and that's the whole point. Those very moans express the sufferer's delectation; if he did not enjoy his moans, he wouldn't be moaning.

Fyodor Dostoevsky

Love all God’s creation, both the whole and every grain of sand. Love every leaf, every ray of light. Love the animals, love the plants, love each separate thing. If thou love each thing thou wilt perceive the mystery of God in all; and when once thou perceive this, thou wilt thenceforward grow every day to a fuller understanding of it: until thou come at last to love the whole world with a love that will then be all-embracing and universal.

Fyodor Dostoevsky

... active love is a harsh and fearful thing compared with the love in dreams. Love in dreams thirsts for immediate action, quickly performed, and with everyone watching. Indeed, it will go as far as the giving even of one's life, provided it does not take long but is soon over, as on stage, and eveyone is looking on and praising. Whereas active love is labor and persistence, and for some people, perhaps, a whole science.

Fyodor Dostoevsky

Reason and Knowledge have always played a secondary, subordinate, auxiliary role in the life of peoples, and this will always be the case. A people is shaped and driven forward by an entirely different kind of force, one which commands and coerces them and the origin of which is obscure and inexplicable despite the reality of its presence.

Fyodor Dostoevsky

There is no sin , and there can be no sin on all the earth , which the Lord will not forgive to the truly repentant! Man cannot commit a sin so great as to exhaust the infinite love of God . Can there be a sin which could exceed the love of God?

Fyodor Dostoevsky

By interpreting freedom as the propagation and immediate gratification of needs, people distort their own nature, for they engender in themselves a multitude of pointless and foolish desires, habits, and incongruous stratagems. Their lives are motivated only by mutual envy, sensuality, and ostentation.

Fyodor Dostoevsky

I don't need money, or, better, it's not money that I need; it's not even power; I need only what is obtained by power and simply cannot be obtained without power: the solitary and calm awareness of strength! That is the fullest definition of freedom, which the world so struggles over!

Fyodor Dostoevsky

Love animals: God has given them the rudiments of thought and joy untroubled. Do not trouble their joy, don't harrass them, don't deprive them of their happiness, don't work against God's intent. Man, do not pride yourself on superiority to animals; they are without sin, and you, with your greatness, defile the earth by your appearance on it, and leave the traces of your foulness after you - alas, it is true of almost every one of us!

Fyodor Dostoevsky