Dostoevsky Quotes

Quotes tagged as "dostoevsky" (showing 1-30 of 57)
Mikhail Bulgakov
“You're not Dostoevsky,' said the citizeness, who was getting muddled by Koroviev. Well, who knows, who knows,' he replied.
'Dostoevsky's dead,' said the citizeness, but somehow not very confidently.
'I protest!' Behemoth exclaimed hotly. 'Dostoevsky is immortal!”
Mikhail Bulgakov, The Master and Margarita

Fyodor Dostoyevsky
“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 Dostoyevsky, Notes from Underground, White Nights, The Dream of a Ridiculous Man, and Selections from The House of the Dead

Stephen Fry
“Great writers, I discovered, were not to be bowed down before and worshipped, but embraced and befriended. Their names resounded through history not because they had massive brows and thought deep incomprehensible thoughts, but because they opened windows in the mind, they put their arms round you and showed you things you always knew but never dared to believe. Even if their names were terrifyingly foreign and intellectual sounding, Dostoevsky, Baudelaire or Cavafy, they turned out to be charming and wonderful and quite unalarming after all.”
Stephen Fry, The Library Book

Albert Camus
“The real 19th century prophet was Dostoevsky, not Karl Marx.”
Albert Camus

Fyodor Dostoyevsky
“There is something spiteful and yet open-hearted about you”
Fyodor Dostoyevsky, The Brothers Karamazov

Fyodor Dostoyevsky
“The Idiot. I have read it once, and find that I don't remember the events of the book very well--or even all the principal characters. But mostly the 'portrait of a truly beautiful person' that dostoevsky supposedly set out to write in that book. And I remember how Myshkin seemed so simple when I began the book, but by the end, I realized how I didn't understand him at all. the things he did. Maybe when I read it again it will be different. But the plot of these dostoevsky books can hold such twists and turns for the first-time reader-- I guess that's b/c he was writing most of these books as serials that had to have cliffhangers and such.
But I make marks in my books, mostly at parts where I see the author's philosophical points standing in the most stark relief. My copy of Moby Dick is positively full of these marks. The Idiot, I find has a few...
Part 3, Section 5. The sickly Ippolit is reading from his 'Explanation' or whatever its called. He says his convictions are not tied to him being condemned to death. It's important for him to describe, of happiness: "you may be sure that Columbus was happy not when he had discovered America, but when he was discovering it." That it's the process of life--not the end or accomplished goals in it--that matter. Well. Easier said than lived!
Part 3, Section 6. more of Ippolit talking--about a christian mindset. He references Jesus's parable of The Word as seeds that grow in men, couched in a description of how people are interrelated over time; its a picture of a multiplicity.
Later in this section, he relates looking at a painting of Christ being taken down from the cross, at Rogozhin's house. The painting produced in him an intricate metaphor of despair over death "in the form of a huge machine of the most modern construction which, dull and insensible, has aimlessly clutched, crushed, and swallowed up a great priceless Being, a Being worth all nature and its laws, worth the whole earth, which was created perhaps solely for the sake of the advent of this Being." The way Ippolit's ideas are configured, here, reminds me of the writings of Gilles Deleuze. And the phrasing just sort of remidns me of the way everyone feels--many people feel crushed by the incomprehensible machine, in life. Many people feel martyred in their very minor ways. And it makes me think of the concept that a narrative religion like Christianity uniquely allows for a kind of socialized or externalized, shared experience of subjectivity. Like, we all know the story of this man--and it feels like our own stories at the same time.
Part 4, Section 7. Myshkin's excitement (leading to a seizure) among the Epanchin's dignitary guests when he talks about what the nobility needs to become ("servants in order to be leaders"). I'm drawn to things like this because it's affirming, I guess, for me: "it really is true that we're absurd, that we're shallow, have bad habits, that we're bored, that we don't know how to look at things, that we can't understand; we're all like that." And of course he finds a way to make that into a good thing. which, it's pointed out by scholars, is very important to Dostoevsky philosophy--don't deny the earthly passions and problems in yourself, but accept them and incorporate them into your whole person. Me, I'm still working on that one.”
Fyodor Dostoyevsky

Thomas Bernhard
“All my tendencies are deadly ones, he once said to me, everything in me has a deadly tendency to it, it's in my genes, as Wertheimer said, I thought. He always read books that were obsessed with suicide, with disease and death, I thought while standing in the inn, books that described human misery, the hopeless, meaningless, senseless world in which everything is always devastating and deadly. That's why he especially loved Dostoevsky and all his disciples, Russian literature in general, because it actually is a deadly literature, but also the depressing French philosophers.”
Thomas Bernhard, The Loser

Fyodor Dostoyevsky
“...Above all, do not lie to yourself. A man who lies to himself and listens to his own lie comes to a point where he does not discern any truth either in himself or anywhere around him, and thus falls into disrespect towards himself and others. Not respecting anyone, he ceases to love, and having no love, he gives himself up to passions and coarse pleasures, in order to occupy and amuse himself, and in vices reaches complete bestiality, and it all comes from lying continually to others and to himself.”
Fyodor Dostoyevsky

Fyodor Dostoyevsky
“All is in a man's hands and he lets it all slip from cowardice, that's an axiom. It would be interesting to know what it is men are most afraid of. Taking a new step, uttering a new word is what they fear most… .”
Fyodor Dostoyevsky, Crime and Punishment

“The Dream of a Queer Fellow I write the words again and they appear doubly pregnant with meaning. It is a true and terrible phrase : true, because we are all queer fellows dreaming ; and we are queer just because we dream ; terrible, because of the vastness of the unknown which it carries within itself, because it sets loose the tremendous and awful question : What if we are only queer fellows dreaming ? What if behind the veil the truth is leering and jeering at our queerness and our dreams? What if the queer fellow of the story were right, before he dreamed ? What if it were really all the same?

What if it were all the same not once but a million times, life after life, world after world, the same pain, the same doubt, the same dreams? The queer fellow went but one day's journey along the eternal recurrence which threatens human minds and human destinies. When he returned he was queer. There was another man went the same journey. Friedrich Nietzsche dreamed this very dream in the mountains of the Engadine. When he returned he too was queer.”
John Middleton Murry, Fyodor Dostoevsky: A Critical Study

Lev Shestov
“Dostoevsky does not believe his own words, and he is trying to replace a lack of faith with "feeling" and eloquence.”
Lev Shestov, Dostoevsky, Tolstoy, and Nietzsche

Bruce Robinson
“Dostoyevsky described hell as perhaps nothing more than a room with a chair in it. This room has several chairs. A young man sits in one.”
Bruce Robinson, Withnail and I: the Original Screenplay

John Cowper Powys
“The first discovery of Dostoievsky is, for a spiritual adventurer, such a shock as is not likely to occur again. One is staggered, bewildered, insulted. It is like a hit in the face, at the end of a dark passage; a hit in the face, followed by the fumbling of strange hands at one's throat. Everything that has been forbidden, by discretion, by caution, by self-respect, by atavistic inhibition, seems suddenly to leap up out of the darkness and seize upon one with fierce, indescribable caresses.

  All that one has felt, but has not dared to think; all that one has thought, but has not dared to say; all the terrible whispers from the unspeakable margins; all the horrible wreckage and silt from the unsounded depths, float in upon us and overpower us.

There is so much that the other writers, even the realists among them, cannot, will not, say. There is so much that the normal self-preservative instincts in ourselves do not want said. But this Russian has no mercy. Such exposures humiliate and disgrace? What matter? It is well that we should be so laid bare. Such revelations provoke and embarrass? What matter? We require embarrassment. The quicksilver of human consciousness must have no closed chinks, no blind alleys. It must be compelled to reform its microcosmic reflections, even down there, where it has to be driven by force. It is extraordinary how superficial even the great writers are; how lacking in the Mole's claws, in the Woodpecker's beak! They seem labouring beneath some pathetic vow, exacted by the Demons of our Fate, under terrible threats, only to reveal what will serve their purpose! This applies as much to the Realists, with their traditional animal chemistry, as to the Idealists, with their traditional ethical dynamics. It applies, above all, to the interpreters of Sex, who, in their conventional grossness, as well as in their conventional discretion, bury such Ostrich heads in the sand!”
John Cowper Powys, Visions and Revisions; A Book of Literary Devotions

Fyodor Dostoyevsky
“Chiunque voglia sinceramente la verità è sempre spaventosamente forte.”
Fyodor Dostoyevsky

Franz Kafka
“Leo en Dostoievski el pasaje que tanto se asemeja a ser desdichado”
Franz Kafka, The Diaries of Franz Kafka: 1910-1913

Fyodor Dostoyevsky
“Ascoltate, perchè non siamo tutti come fratelli gli uni per gli altri? Perchè anche la persona migliore nasconde sempre qualcosa all'altro e non gliene parla? Perchè non dire francamente, subito, quello che si ha nel cuore, se si che le nostre parole non saranno dette al vento? Invece ognuno appare per così dire più burbero di quanto non sia effettivamente, come se tutti avessero paura di fare torto ai propri sentimenti se li esternassero troppo in fretta...”
Fyodor Dostoyevsky

Svetlana Alexievich
“The mysterious Russian soul... Everyone wants to understand it. They read Dostoevsky: what's behind that soul of theirs? Well, behind our soul there's just more soul.”
Svetlana Alexievich, Czasy secondhand. Koniec czerwonego człowieka

Fyodor Dostoyevsky
“I read about a man condemned to death saying or thinking, an hour before his death, that if he had to live somewhere high up on a cliffside, on a ledge so narrow that there was room only for his two feet- and with the abyss, the ocean, eternal darkness, eternal solitude, eternal storm all around him- and had to stay like that, on a square foot of space, an entire lifetime, a thousand years, an eternity- it would be better to live so than to die right now! Only to live, to live, to live! To live, no matter how- only to live!”
Fyodor Dostoyevsky, Crime and Punishment

“Anyone who’s anyone in Dostoevsky’s novels sooner or later develops brain fever.”
W. F. Meredith

В преходните времена тая сган, която я има във всяко общество, се надига, и при
“В преходните времена тая сган, която я има във всяко общество, се надига, и при това не само че няма никакви цели, но няма дори капка разум и с всички сили изразява единствено тревога и нетърпение. Същевременно тая сган, без да подозира, почти винаги попада под командата на тайфата действащи с определена цел „напредничави“, която пък насочва всичките тия отрепки на обществото натам, накъдето й е угодно, освен ако самата тя не се състои от пълни идиоти, което впрочем също се случва.”
Fyodor Dostoyevsky

Fyodor Dostoyevsky
“A drunken but exceedingly depressed German clown from Munich entertained the public.”
Fyodor Dostoyevsky, Crime and Punishment

Fyodor Dostoyevsky
“Она смеялась, но она и негодовала.
- Спит! Вы спали! - вскричала она с презрительным удивлением.
- Это вы! - пробормотал князь, еще не совсем опомнившись и с удивлением
узнавая ее: - ах, да! Это свидание... я здесь спал.
- Видела.
- Меня никто не будил кроме вас? Никого здесь кроме вас не было? Я
думал, здесь была... другая женщина.
- Здесь была другая женщина?!
Наконец он совсем очнулся.”
Fyodor Dostoyevsky, The Idiot

Fyodor Dostoyevsky
“Ограниченному «обыкновенному» человеку нет, например, ничего легче, как вообразить себя человеком необыкновенным и оригинальным и усладиться тем без всяких колебаний. Стоило иному только капельку почувствовать в сердце своем что-нибудь из какого-нибудь общечеловеческого и доброго ощущения, чтобы немедленно убедиться, что уж никто так не чувствует, как он, что он передовой в общем развитии. Стоило иному на слово принять какую-нибудь мысль или прочитать страничку чего-нибудь без начала и конца, чтобы тотчас поверить, что это «свои собственные» и в его собственном мозгу зародились.”
Fyodor Dostoyevsky, The Idiot

Fyodor Dostoyevsky
“Лучше быть несчастным, но знать, чем счастливым, но и жить... в дураках.”
Fyodor Dostoyevsky, The Idiot

“Quanto più forte era in me la coscienza del bene e di tutto ciò ch'è "bello e sublime", con tanto più entusiasmo mi lasciavo sprofondare nel mio fango fino a impantanarmici completamente.”
Fédor Dostoïevski, Notas do Submundo

“[Dostoyevsky] eloquently proves that heartless ideas are often a source of immorality: they bring with them destructiveness, hatred, cynicism, and misanthropy. The novelist also carefully examines moral indifference and corruption which leads him to the questions: “What if reason takes the side of evil?” “What if evil is done for the sake of Good?”
George L. Kline

Lev Shestov
“If he tells the truth, it is because the most reeking lie no longer intoxicates him, even though he swallow it not in the modest doses that idealism offers, but in immoderate quantities, thousand-gallon-barrel gulps. He would taste the bitterness, but it would not make his head turn, as it does Schiller's, or Dostoevsky's, or even Socrates’, whose head, as we know, could stand any quantity of wine, but went spinning with the most commonplace lie.”
Lev Shestov, All Things are Possible

Fyodor Dostoyevsky
“ადამიანებს შეუძლიათ იყვნენ მშვენიერნი და ბედნიერნი და არ დაკარგონ დედამიწაზე ცხოვრების უნარი. მე არ მინდა და არ შემიძლია დავიჯერო, რომ ბოროტება შეიძლება იყოს ადამიანის ნორმალური მდგომარეობა.”
Fyodor Dostoyevsky

Fyodor Dostoyevsky
“გულია მთავარი, სხვა დანარჩენი სისულელეა. ჭკუაც საჭიროა, ცხადია... შეიძლება ჭკუა იყოს ყველაზე მთავარი. სულელს თუ გული აქვს და ჭკუა არა, ისეთივე საცოდავია, როგორც ჭკვიანი, მაგრამ უგულო სულელი. ძველთაძველი ჭეშმარიტებაა. აი მე სულელი ვარ, გული მაქვს და ჭკუა არა, შენ კი ჭკვიანი, უგულო სულელი ბრძანდები; ორივენი უბედურები ვართ, ორივენი ვეწამებით”
Fyodor Dostoyevsky

Svetlana Alexievich
“Chernobyl is a theme worthy of Dostoevsky, an attempt to justify mankind.”
Svetlana Alexievich

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