Fyodor Mikhaylovich Dostoevsky (Russian: Фёдор Миха́йлович Достое́вский, Fёdor Mihajlovič Dostoevskij; November 11. 1821 – February 9. 1881) was a Russian writer, essayist and philosopher, known for his novels Crime and Punishment and The Brothers Karamazov.
Dostoevsky's literary output explores human psychology in the troubled political, social and spiritual context of 19th-century Russian society. Considered by many as a founder or precursor of 20th-century existentialism, his Notes from Underground (1864), written in the embittered voice of the anonymous "underground man", was called by Walter Kaufmann the "best overture for existentialism ever written." A prominent figure in world literature, Dostoyevsky is often acknowledged by critics as one of the greatest psychologists in world literature.
1. Love a man, even in his sin, for that love is a likeness of the divine love, and is the summit of love on earth.
2. If you want to be respected by others the great thing is to respect yourself. Only by that, only by self-respect will you compel others to respect you.
3. Much unhappiness has come into the world because of bewilderment and things left unsaid.
4. It is not the brains that matter most, but that which guides them - the character, the heart, generous qualities, progressive ideas.
5. The secret of man's being is not only to live but to have something to live for.
6. 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.
7. What is hell? I maintain that it is the suffering of being unable to love.
8. A just cause is not ruined by a few mistakes.
9. There is no subject so old that something new cannot be said about it.
10. 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.
11. Love the animals: God has given them the rudiments of thought and joy untroubled.
12. If the devil does not exist, and man has therefore created him, he has created him in his own image and likeness.
13. Lying to ourselves is more deeply ingrained than lying to others.
14. Without some goal and some efforts to reach it, no man can live.
15. Innovators and men of genius have almost always been regarded as fools at the beginning (and very often at the end) of their careers.
16. 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.
17. 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.
18. If it were desired to reduce man to nothing, it would be necessary only to give his work a character of uselessness.
19. If there is no immortality, there is no virtue.
20. The formula 'Two and two make five' is not without its attractions.
21. There are three forces, the only three forces capable of conquering and enslaving forever the conscience of these weak rebels in the interests of their own happiness. They are: the miracle, the mystery and authority.
22. Neither man or nation can exist without a sublime idea.
23. I tell Thee that man is tormented by no greater anxiety than to find some one quickly to whom he can hand over that gift of freedom with which the ill-fated creature is born.
24. Without a firm idea of himself and the purpose of his life, man cannot live, and would sooner destroy himself than remain on earth, even if he was surrounded by bread.
25. 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.
26. Deprived of meaningful work, men and women lose their reason for existence; they go stark, raving mad.
27. 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.
28. Beauty is mysterious as well as terrible. God and devil are fighting there, and the battlefield is the heart of man.
29. Happiness does not lie in happiness, but in the achievement of it.
30. 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.
31. 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!
32. Sarcasm: the last refuge of modest and chaste-souled people when the privacy of their soul is coarsely and intrusively invaded.
33. The cleverest of all, in my opinion, is the man who calls himself a fool at least once a month.
34. The soul is healed by being with children.
35. To live without Hope is to Cease to live.
36. To love someone means to see him as God intended him.
37. 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.
38. I did make a friend once, but I was already a tyrant at heart and wanted to be the absolute ruler of his mind. I wanted to instill in him contempt of all those around me; I demanded that he break with his world.
39. I am called a psychologist; it's not true. I am only a realist in the highest sense - I depict all the depths of the human soul.
40. I put desire over reason.
41. You are told a lot about your education, but some beautiful, sacred memory, preserved since childhood, is perhaps the best education of all. If a man carries many such memories into life with him, he is saved for the rest of his days. And even if only one good memory is left in our hearts, it may also be the instrument of our salvation one day.
42. Nothing is more seductive for man than his freedom of conscience. But nothing is a greater cause of suffering.
43. Taking a new step, uttering a new word, is what people fear most.
44. All the Utopias will come to pass only when we grow wings and all people are converted into angels.
45. 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
46. Man seeks to worship what is established beyond dispute, so that all men would agree, at once, to worship it. For these pitiful creatures are concerned not only to find what one or the other can worship but to find something that all would believe in and worship; what is essential is that all may be together in it. This craving for the community of worship is the chief misery of every man individually and of all humanity from the beginning of time.