Quotations by Dostoyevsky, Fyodor


Lying to ourselves is more deeply ingrained than lying to others.

Fyodor Dostoyevsky (1821-1881) Russian novelist
“Celebrating a Lie”
Added on 1-Feb-04 | Last updated 1-Feb-04
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A just cause is not ruined by a few mistakes.

Fyodor Dostoyevsky (1821-1881) Russian novelist
“Critical Articles: Introduction,” Complete Collected Works (1895)
Added on 1-Oct-20 | Last updated 1-Oct-20
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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 Dostoyevsky (1821-1881) Russian novelist
(Attributed)
Added on 1-Feb-04 | Last updated 1-Feb-04
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Much unhappiness has come into the world because of bewilderment and things left unsaid.

Fyodor Dostoyevsky (1821-1881) Russian novelist
(Attributed)
Added on 8-Dec-07 | Last updated 8-Dec-07
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Everything is in our own hands; only through sheer cowardice will it slip through our fingers.

Fyodor Dostoyevsky (1821-1881) Russian novelist
Crime and Punishment, 1.1 (1866)
Added on 12-Aug-09 | Last updated 12-Aug-09
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Originality and the feeling of one’s own dignity are achieved only through work and struggle.

Fyodor Dostoyevsky (1821-1881) Russian novelist
Diary of a Writer (1877)
Added on 1-Feb-04 | Last updated 1-Feb-04
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Every man has some reminiscences which he would not tell to everyone, but only to his friends. He has others which he would not reveal even to his friends, but only to himself, and that in secret. But finally there are still others which a man is even afraid to tell himself, and every decent man has a considerable number of such things stored away. That is, one can even say that the more decent he is, the greater the number of such things in his mind.

Fyodor Dostoyevsky (1821-1881) Russian novelist
Notes from the Underground (1864)
Added on 1-Feb-04 | Last updated 1-Feb-04
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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 Dostoyevsky (1821-1881) Russian novelist
Notes from the Underground (1864)
Added on 1-Feb-04 | Last updated 1-Feb-04
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I am forty years old now, and forty years, after all, is a whole lifetime; after all, that is extremely old age. To live longer than forty years is bad manners; it is vulgar, immoral.

Fyodor Dostoyevsky (1821-1881) Russian novelist
Notes from Underground, 1.1 (1864) [tr. Matlaw (1960)]
Added on 15-Sep-11 | Last updated 15-Sep-11
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“Imagine that you are creating a fabric of human destiny with the object of making men happy in the end, giving them peace and rest at last, but that it was essential and inevitable to torture to death only one tiny creature — that baby beating its breast with its fist, for instance — and to found that edifice on its unavenged tears, would you consent to be the architect on those conditions? Tell me, and tell the truth.”
“No, I wouldn’t consent,” said Alyosha softly.

Fyodor Dostoyevsky (1821-1881) Russian novelist
The Brothers Karamazov, Part 2, book 5, ch. 4 [Ivan] (1880) [tr. Garnett (1912)]
Added on 20-Aug-07 | Last updated 24-Jul-15
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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.

Fyodor Dostoyevsky (1821-1881) Russian novelist
The Brothers Karamazov, 2.3 [Fr. Zossima] (1880) [tr. Garnett (1912)]
Added on 16-Aug-10 | Last updated 16-Aug-10
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The secret of man’s being is not only to live but to have something to live for.

Fyodor Dostoyevsky (1821-1881) Russian novelist
The Brothers Karamazov, 5.5 [Grand Inquisitor] (1880) [tr. Garnett (1912)]
Added on 28-Nov-12 | Last updated 28-Nov-12
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How many ideas have there been in the history of man which were unthinkable ten years before they appeared?

Fyodor Dostoyevsky (1821-1881) Russian novelist
The Brothers Karamazov, 6.2(f) [Father Zossima] (1880) [tr. Garnett (1912)]
Added on 31-Jan-12 | Last updated 31-Jan-12
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The degree of civilization in a society can be judged by entering its prisons.

Fyodor Dostoyevsky (1821-1881) Russian novelist
The House of the Dead (1862) [tr. Garnett (1957)]
Added on 9-Feb-11 | Last updated 27-Feb-17
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