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Fyodor Dostoevsky Poster

Biography

Jump to: Overview (3)  | Mini Bio (1)  | Spouse (2)  | Trivia (5)  | Personal Quotes (579)

Overview (3)

Born in Moscow, Russian Empire [now Russia]
Died in St. Petersburg, Russian Empire [now Russia]  (lung hemorrhage, complications from emphysema and epileptic seizures.)
Birth NameFyodor Mikhaylovich Dostoyevsky

Mini Bio (1)

Fyodor Mikhailovich Dostoevsky was born on November 11, 1821, in Moscow, Russia. He was the second of seven children of Mikhail Andreevich and Maria Dostoevsky. His father, a doctor, was a member of the Russian nobility, owned serfs and had a considerable estate near Moscow where he lived with his family. It's believed that he was murdered by his own serfs in revenge for the violence he would commit against them while in drunken rages. As a child Fyodor was traumatized when he witnessed the rape of a young female serf and suffered from epileptic seizures. He was sent to a boarding school, where he studied sciences, languages and literature. He was devastated when his favorite writer, Alexander Pushkin, was killed in a duel in St. Petersburg in 1837. That same year Dostoevsky's mother died, and he moved to St. Petersburg. There he graduated from the Military Engineering Academy, and served in the Tsar's government for a year.

Dostoevsky was active in St. Petersburg literary life; he grew out of his early influence by Nikolay Gogol, translated "Eugenia Grande" by Honoré de Balzac in 1844 and published his own first novel, "Poor Folk", in 1845, and became friends with Ivan Turgenev and Nikolai A. Nekrasov, but it ended abruptly after they criticized his writing. At that time he became indirectly involved in a revolutionary movement, for which he was arrested in 1849, convicted of treason and sentenced to death. His execution was scheduled for a freezing winter day in St. Petersburg, and at the appointed hour he was blindfolded and ordered to stand before the firing squad, waiting to be shot. The execution was called off at the last minute, however, and his sentence was commuted to a prison term and exile in Siberia, where his health declined amid increased epileptic seizures. After serving ten years in prison and exile, he regained his title in the nobility and returned to St. Petersburg with permission from the Tsar. He abandoned his formerly liberal views and became increasingly conservative and religious. That, however, didn't stop him from developing an acute gambling problem, and he accumulated massive gambling debts.

In 1862, after returning from his first major tour of Western Europe, Dostoevsky wrote that "Russia needs to be reformed, by learning the new ideas that are developing in Europe." On his next trip to Europe, in 1863, he spent all of his money on a manipulative woman, A. Suslova, went on a losing gambling spree, returned home flat broke and sank into a depression. At that time he wrote "Notes from Underground" (1864), preceding existentialism in literature. His first wife died in 1864, after six years of a childless marriage, and he adopted her son from her previous marriage. Painful experiences caused him to fall further into depression, but it was during this period that he wrote what many consider his finest work: "Crime and Punishment" (1866).

After completion of "The Gambler" (1867), the 47-year-old Dostoevsky married his loyal friend and literary secretary, 20-year-old Anna Snitkina, and they had four children. His first baby died at three months of age, causing him to sink further into depression and triggering more epileptic seizures. At that time Dostoevsky expressed his disillusionment with the Utopian ideas in his novels "The Idiot" (1868) and "The Devils" (aka "The Posessed") (1871), where the "devils" are destructive people, such as revolutionaries and terrorists. Dostoevsky was the main speaker at the opening of the monument to Alexander Pushkin in 1880, calling Pushkin a "wandering Russian, searching for universal happiness". In his final great novel, "The Brothers Karamazov" (1880), Dostoevsky revealed the components of his own split personality, depicted in four main characters; humble monk Alyosha, compulsive gambler Dmitri, rebellious intellectual Ivan, and their cynical father Fyodor Karamazov.

Dostoevsky died on February 9, 1881, of a lung hemorrhage caused by emphysema and epileptic seizures. He lived his entire life under the pall of epilepsy, much like the mythical "Sword of Damocles", and was fearless in telling the truth. His writings are an uncanny reflection on his own life - the fate of a genius in Russia.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Steve Shelokhonov

Spouse (2)

Anna Grigorievna Snitkina (15 February 1867 - 9 February 1881) ( his death) ( 4 children)
Maria Dmitrievna Konstant Isaeva (February 1857 - 15 April 1864) ( her death)

Trivia (5)

His novel, "Crime and Punishment", has been called the most famous novel in the world.
Dostoevsky, next to Tolstoy and Turguenev, is regarded as one of the greatest novelists of 19th Century, for his major works 'Crime and Punishment', 'The Idiot', 'The devils' and 'The Karamazov brothers'. These four have been the basis for many movies.
The Music Video of Miike Snow's "Genghis Khan" portrays two enemies in love with each other.
A Character in Dennis Potter's "Cold Lazarus" is named after him.
Jordan Peterson's favorite Author.

Personal Quotes (579)

The whole work of man seems to consist in nothing but proving to himself every minute that he is a man and not a piano key.
The world will be saved by beauty.
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.
It is not the brains that matter most, but that which guides them - the character, the heart, generous qualities, progressive ideas.
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 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.
You can be sincere and still be stupid.
I swear to you gentlemen, that to be overly conscious is a sickness, a real, thorough sickness.
Man is sometimes extraordinarily, passionately, in love with suffering...
The world says: "You have needs -- satisfy them. You have as much right as the rich and the mighty. Don't hesitate to satisfy your needs; indeed, expand your needs and demand more." This is the worldly doctrine of today. And they believe that this is freedom. The result for the rich is isolation and suicide, for the poor, envy and murder.
To love someone means to see them as God intended them.
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.
Much unhappiness has come into the world because of bewilderment and things left unsaid.
Right or wrong, it's very pleasant to break something from time to time.
Nothing in this world is harder than speaking the truth, nothing easier than flattery.
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?
Taking a new step, uttering a new word, is what people fear most.
Man only likes to count his troubles; he doesn't calculate his happiness.
People speak sometimes about the "bestial" cruelty of man, but that is terribly unjust and offensive to beasts, no animal could ever be so cruel as a man, so artfully, so artistically cruel.
I say let the world go to hell, but I should always have my tea.
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.
The soul is healed by being with children.
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.
What is hell? I maintain that it is the suffering of being unable to love.
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.
To go wrong in one's own way is better than to go right in someone else's.
The darker the night, the brighter the stars, The deeper the grief, the closer is God!
It takes something more than intelligence to act intelligently.
The mystery of human existence lies not in just staying alive, but in finding something to live for.
"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.
But how could you live and have no story to tell?
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.
And the more I drink the more I feel it. That's why I drink too. I try to find sympathy and feeling in drink.... I drink so that I may suffer twice as much!
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.
I could not become anything; neither good nor bad; neither a scoundrel nor an honest man; neither a hero nor an insect. And now I am eking out my days in my corner, taunting myself with the bitter and entirely useless consolation that an intelligent man cannot seriously become anything, that only a fool can become something.
A beast can never be as cruel as a human being, so artistically, so picturesquely cruel.
The cleverest of all, in my opinion, is the man who calls himself a fool at least once a month.
The more stupid one is, the closer one is to reality. The more stupid one is, the clearer one is. Stupidity is brief and artless, while intelligence squirms and hides itself. Intelligence is unprincipled, but stupidity is honest and straightforward.
This is my last message to you: in sorrow, seek happiness.
Nothing is easier than to denounce the evildoer; nothing is more difficult than to understand him.
My God, a moment of bliss. Why, isn't that enough for a whole lifetime?
Killing myself was a matter of such indifference to me that I felt like waiting for a moment when it would make some difference.
I am alone, I thought, and they are everybody.
I did not bow down to you, I bowed down to all the suffering of humanity
If you want to overcome the whole world, overcome yourself.
I believe like a child that suffering will be healed and made up for, that all the humiliating absurdity of human contradictions will vanish like a pitiful mirage, like the despicable fabrication of the impotent and infinitely small Euclidean mind of man, that in the world's finale, at the moment of eternal harmony, something so precious will come to pass that it will suffice for all hearts, for the comforting of all resentments, for the atonement of all the crimes of humanity, for all the blood that they've shed; that it will make it not only possible to forgive but to justify all that has happened.
Sarcasm: the last refuge of modest and chaste-souled people when the PRIVACY of their soul is coarsely and intrusively invaded.
Yet, I didn't understand that she was intentionally disguising her feelings with sarcasm; that was usually the last resort of people who are timid and chaste of heart, whose souls have been coarsely and impudently invaded; and who, until the last moment, refuse to yield out of pride and are afraid to express their own feelings to you.
Besides, nowadays, almost all capable people are terribly afraid of being ridiculous, and are miserable because of it.
To love is to suffer and there can be no love otherwise.
Love in action is a harsh and dreadful thing compared to love in dreams.
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.
For, after all, you do grow up, you do outgrow your ideals, which turn to dust and ashes, which are shattered into fragments; and if you have no other life, you just have to build one up out of these fragments. And all the time your soul is craving and longing for something else. And in vain does the dreamer rummage about in his old dreams, raking them over as though they were a heap of cinders, looking in these cinders for some spark, however tiny, to fan it into a flame so as to warm his chilled blood by it and revive in it all that he held so dear before, all that touched his heart, that made his blood course through his veins, that drew tears from his eyes, and that so splendidly deceived him!
I used to analyze myself down to the last thread, used to compare myself with others, recalled all the smallest glances, smiles and words of those to whom I'd tried to be frank, interpreted everything in a bad light, laughed viciously at my attempts 'to be like the rest' -and suddenly, in the midst of my laughing, I'd give way to sadness, fall into ludicrous despondency and once again start the whole process all over again - in short, I went round and round like a squirrel on a wheel.
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.
When reason fails, the devil helps!
Don't let us forget that the causes of human actions are usually immeasurably more complex and varied than our subsequent explanations of them.
Pain and suffering are always inevitable for a large intelligence and a deep heart.
It is better to be unhappy and know the worst, than to be happy in a fool's paradise.
I think the devil doesn't exist, but man has created him, he has created him in his own image and likeness.
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.
They were like two enemies in love with one another.
Be not forgetful of prayer. Every time you pray, if your prayer is sincere, there will be new feeling and new meaning in it, which will give you fresh courage, and you will understand that prayer is an education.
Truly great men must, I think, experience great sorrow on the earth.
A fool with a heart and no sense is just as unhappy as a fool with sense and no heart.
Existentialism isn't so atheistic that it wears itself out showing that God doesn't exist. Rather, it declares that even if God did exist, that would change nothing.
Power is given only to him who dares to stoop and take it ... one must have the courage to dare.
Do you know I've been sitting here thinking to myself: that if I didn't believe in life, if I lost faith in the woman I love, lost faith in the order of things, were convinced in fact that everything is a disorderly, damnable, and perhaps devil-ridden chaos, if I were struck by every horror of man's disillusionment -- still I should want to live. Having once tasted of the cup, I would not turn away from it till I had drained it! At thirty though, I shall be sure to leave the cup even if I've not emptied it, and turn away -- where I don't know. But till I am thirty I know that my youth will triumph over everything -- every disillusionment, every disgust with life. I've asked myself many times whether there is in the world any despair that could overcome this frantic thirst for life. And I've come to the conclusion that there isn't, that is until I am thirty.
Man grows used to everything, the scoundrel!
You will burn and you will burn out; you will be healed and come back again.
Remember particularly that you cannot be a judge of anyone. For no one can judge a criminal until he recognizes that he is just such a criminal as the man standing before him, and that he perhaps is more than all men to blame for that crime. When he understands that, he will be able to be a judge. Though that sounds absurd, it is true. If I had been righteous myself, perhaps there would have been no criminal standing before me. If you can take upon yourself the crime of the criminal your heart is judging, take it at once, suffer for him yourself, and let him go without reproach. And even if the law itself makes you his judge, act in the same spirit so far as possible, for he will go away and condemn himself more bitterly than you have done. If, after your kiss, he goes away untouched, mocking at you, do not let that be a stumbling-block to you. It shows his time has not yet come, but it will come in due course. And if it come not, no matter; if not he, then another in his place will understand and suffer, and judge and condemn himself, and the truth will be fulfilled. Believe that, believe it without doubt; for in that lies all the hope and faith of the saints.
The greatest happiness is to know the source of unhappiness.
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.
Destroy my desires, eradicate my ideals, show me something better, and I will follow you.
The fear of appearances is the first symptom of impotence.
A hundred suspicions don't make a proof.
The man who lies to himself and listens to his own lie comes to such a pass 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, and in order to occupy and distract himself without love he gives way to passions and coarse pleasures, and sinks to bestiality in his vices, all from continual lying to other men and to himself.
The degree of civilization in a society can be judged by entering its prisons.
Grown-up people do not know that a child can give exceedingly good advice even in the most difficult case.
The centripetal force on our planet is still fearfully strong, Alyosha. I have a longing for life, and I go on living in spite of logic. Though I may not believe in the order of the universe, yet I love the sticky little leaves as they open in spring. I love the blue sky, I love some people, whom one loves you know sometimes without knowing why. I love some great deeds done by men, though I've long ceased perhaps to have faith in them, yet from old habit one's heart prizes them. Here they have brought the soup for you, eat it, it will do you good. It's first-rate soup, they know how to make it here. I want to travel in Europe, Alyosha, I shall set off from here. And yet I know that I am only going to a graveyard, but it's a most precious graveyard, that's what it is! Precious are the dead that lie there, every stone over them speaks of such burning life in the past, of such passionate faith in their work, their truth, their struggle and their science, that I know I shall fall on the ground and kiss those stones and weep over them; though I'm convinced in my heart that it's long been nothing but a graveyard. And I shall not weep from despair, but simply because I shall be happy in my tears, I shall steep my soul in emotion. I love the sticky leaves in spring, the blue sky - that's all it is. It's not a matter of intellect or logic, it's loving with one's inside, with one's stomach.
Without God all things are permitted.
And what's strange, what would be marvelous, is not that God should really exist; the marvel is that such an idea, the idea of the necessity of God, could enter the head of such a savage, vicious beast as man.
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
I am a sick man... I am a spiteful man. I am an unpleasant man. I think my liver is diseased. However, I don't know beans about my disease, and I am not sure what is bothering me. I don't treat it and never have, though I respect medicine and doctors. Besides, I am extremely superstitious, let's say sufficiently so to respect medicine. (I am educated enough not to be superstitious, but I am.) No, I refuse to treat it out of spite. You probably will not understand that. Well, but I understand it. Of course I can't explain to you just whom I am annoying in this case by my spite. I am perfectly well aware that I cannot "get even" with the doctors by not consulting them. I know better than anyone that I thereby injure only myself and no one else. But still, if I don't treat it, its is out of spite. My liver is bad, well then-- let it get even worse!
I used to imagine adventures for myself, I invented a life, so that I could at least exist somehow.
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.
There is nothing in the world more difficult than candor, and nothing easier than flattery. If there is a hundredth of a fraction of a false note to candor, it immediately produces dissonance, and as a result, exposure. But in flattery, even if everything is false down to the last note, it is still pleasant, and people will listen not without pleasure; with coarse pleasure, perhaps, but pleasure nevertheless.
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.
Only to live, to live and live! Life, whatever it may be!
Do you understand, sir, do you understand what it means when you have absolutely nowhere to turn?" Marmeladov's question came suddenly into his mind "for every man must have somewhere to turn...
I am a fool with a heart but no brains, and you are a fool with brains but no heart; and we're both unhappy, and we both suffer.
Love children especially, for they too are sinless like the angels; they live to soften and purify our hearts and, as it were, to guide us.
Break what must be broken, once for all, that's all, and take the suffering on oneself.
I swear, gentlemen, that to be too conscious is an illness - a real thorough-going illness.
People with new ideas, people with the faintest capacity for saying something new, are extremely few in number, extraordinarily so, in fact.
Sorrow compressed my heart, and I felt I would die, and then . . . Well, then I woke up.
Above all, avoid lies, all lies, especially the lie to yourself. Keep watch on your own lie and examine it every hour, every minute. And avoid contempt, both of others and of yourself: what seems bad to you in yourself is purified by the very fact that you have noticed it in yourself. And avoid fear, though fear is simply the consequence of every lie. Never be frightened at your own faintheartedness in attaining love, and meanwhile do not even be very frightened by your own bad acts.
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.
Love life more than the meaning of it?
Lying to ourselves is more deeply ingrained than lying to others.
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.
In a morbid condition, dreams are often distinguished by their remarkably graphic, vivid, and extremely lifelike quality. The resulting picture is sometimes monstrous, but the setting and the whole process of the presentation sometimes happen to be so probable, and with details so subtle, unexpected, yet artistically consistent with the whole fullness of the picture, that even the dreamer himself would be unable to invent them in reality, though he were as much an artist as Pushkin or Turgenev. Such dreams, morbid dreams, are always long remembered and produce a strong impression on the disturbed and already excited organism of the person.Raskolnikov had a terrible dream.
The man who has a conscience suffers whilst acknowledging his sin. That is his punishment.
It's the great mystery of human life that old grief passes gradually into quiet tender joy.
Man has it all in his hands, and it all slips through his fingers from sheer cowardice
One can fall in love and still hate.
It was a marvelous night, the sort of night one only experiences when one is young. The sky was so bright, and there were so many stars that, gazing upward, one couldn't help wondering how so many whimsical, wicked people could live under such a sky.
You see I kept asking myself then: why am I so stupid that if others are stupid-and I know they are-yet I won't be wiser?"
Forgive me... for my love -for ruining you with my love.
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.
Compassion is the chief law of human existence.
Don't be overwise; fling yourself straight into life, without deliberation; don't be afraid - the flood will bear you to the bank and set you safe on your feet again.
One can't understand everything at once, we can't begin with perfection all at once! In order to reach perfection one must begin by being ignorant of a great deal. And if we understand things too quickly, perhaps we shan't understand them thoroughly.
Nothing has ever been more insupportable for a man and a human society than freedom.
What do you think, would not one tiny crime be wiped out by thousands of good deeds?
What makes a hero? Courage, strength, morality, withstanding adversity? Are these the traits that truly show and create a hero? Is the light truly the source of darkness or vice versa? Is the soul a source of hope or despair? Who are these so called heroes and where do they come from? Are their origins in obscurity or in plain sight?
It was a wonderful night, such a night as is only possible when we are young, dear reader.
I love, I can only love the one I've left behind, stained with my blood when, ungrateful wretch that I am, I extinguished myself and shot myself through the heart. But never, never have I ceased to love that one, and even on the night I parted from him I loved him perhaps more poignantly than ever. We can truly love only with suffering and through suffering! We know not how to love otherwise. We know no other love. I want suffering in order to love. I want and thirst this very minute to kiss , with tears streaming down my cheeks, this one and only I have left behind. I don't want and won't accept any other.
Man, do not pride yourself on your superiority to the animals, for they are without sin, while you, with all your greatness, you defile the earth wherever you appear and leave an ignoble trail behind you -- and that is true, alas, for almost every one of us!
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.
Of course my jokes are in poor taste, inappropriate, and confused; they reveal my lack of security. But that is because I have no respect for myself.
The more I love humanity in general the less I love man in particular. In my dreams, I often make plans for the service of humanity, and perhaps I might actually face crucifixion if it were suddenly necessary. Yet I am incapable of living in the same room with anyone for two days together. I know from experience. As soon as anyone is near me, his personality disturbs me and restricts my freedom. In twenty-four hours I begin to hate the best of men: one because he's too long over his dinner, another because he has a cold and keeps on blowing his nose. I become hostile to people the moment they come close to me. But it has always happened that the more I hate men individually the more I love humanity.
I utter what you would not dare think.
It's life that matters, nothing but life-the process of discovering, the everlasting and perpetual process, not the discovery itself, at all.
But I always liked side-paths, little dark back-alleys behind the main road- there one finds adventures and surprises, and precious metal in the dirt.
It's not God that I don't accept, Alyosha, only I most respectfully return him the ticket.
"What do you think?" shouted Razumihin, louder than ever, "you think I am attacking them for talking nonsense? Not a bit! I like them to talk nonsense. That's man's one privilege over all creation. Through error you come to the truth! I am a man because I err! You never reach any truth without making fourteen mistakes and very likely a hundred and fourteen. And a fine thing, too, in its way; but we can't even make mistakes on our own account! Talk nonsense, but talk your own nonsense, and I'll kiss you for it. To go wrong in one's own way is better than to go right in someone else's. In the first case you are a man, in the second you're no better than a bird. Truth won't escape you, but life can be cramped. There have been examples. And what are we doing now? In science, development, thought, invention, ideals, aims, liberalism, judgment, experience and everything, everything, everything, we are still in the preparatory class at school. We prefer to live on other people's ideas, it's what we are used to! Am I right, am I right?" cried Razumihin, pressing and shaking the two ladies' hands.
But man is a fickle and disreputable creature and perhaps, like a chess-player, is interested in the process of attaining his goal rather than the goal itself.
There is only one thing that I dread: not to be worthy of my sufferings.
The pleasure of despair. But then, it is in despair that we find the most acute pleasure, especially when we are aware of the hopelessness of the situation... ...everything is a mess in which it is impossible to tell what's what, but that despite this impossibility and deception it still hurts you, and the less you can understand, the more it hurts.
Love is such a priceless treasure that you can buy the whole world with it, and redeem not only your own but other people's sins. Go, and do not be afraid.
I want to suffer so that I may love.
The whole work of man really seems to consist in nothing but proving to himself every minute that he is a man and not a piano key.
I believe the best definition of man is the ungrateful biped.
I will not and cannot believe that evil is the normal condition of mankind.
But to fall in love does not mean to love. One can fall in love and still hate.
In every idea of genius or in every new human idea, or, more simply still, in every serious human idea born in anyone's brain, there is something that cannot possibly be conveyed to others.
To care only for well-being seems to me positively ill-bred. Whether it's good or bad, it is sometimes very pleasant, too, to smash things.
And so I ask myself: 'Where are your dreams?' And I shake my head and mutter: 'How the years go by!' And I ask myself again: 'What have you done with those years? Where have you buried your best moments? Have you really lived? Look,' I say to myself, 'how cold it is becoming all over the world!' And more years will pass and behind them will creep grim isolation. Tottering senility will come hobbling, leaning on a crutch, and behind these will come unrelieved boredom and despair. The world of fancies will fade, dreams will wilt and die and fall like autumn leaves from the trees. . . .
It wasn't the New World that mattered...Columbus died almost without seeing it; and not really knowing what he had discovered. It's life that matters, nothing but life - the process of discovering, the everlasting and perpetual process, not the discovery itself, at all.
I almost do not exist now and I know it; God knows what lives in me in place of me.
Sometimes you dream strange dreams, impossible and unnatural; you wake up and remember them clearly, and are surprised at a strange fact: you remember first of all that reason did not abandon you during the whole course of your dream; you even remember that you acted extremely cleverly and logically for that whole long, long time when you were surrounded by murderers, when they were being clever with you, concealed their intentions, treated you in a friendly way, though they already had their weapons ready and were only waiting for some sort of sign; you remember how cleverly you finally deceived them, hid from them; then you realize that they know your whole deception by heart and merely do not show you that they know where you are hiding; but you are clever and deceive them again-all that you remember clearly. But why at the same time could your reason be reconciled with such obvious absurdities and impossibilities, with which, among other things, your dream was filled? Before your eyes, one of your murderers turned into a woman, and from a woman into a clever, nasty little dwarf-and all that you allowed at once, as an accomplished fact, almost without the least perplexity, and precisely at the moment when, on the other hand, your reason was strained to the utmost, displaying extraordinary force, cleverness, keenness, logic? Why, also, on awakening from your dream and entering fully into reality, do you feel almost every time, and occasionally with an extraordinary force of impressions, that along with the dream you are leaving behind something you have failed to fathom? You smile at the absurdity of your dream and feel at the same time that the tissue of those absurdities contains some thought, but a thought that is real, something that belongs to your true life, something that exists and has always existed in your heart; it is as if your dream has told you something new, prophetic, awaited; your impression is strong, it is joyful or tormenting, but what it is and what has been told you-all that you can neither comprehend nor recall.
Be the sun and all will see you.
I don't know how to be silent when my heart is speaking.
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. Imagine that you are doing this but that it is essential and inevitable to torture to death only one tiny creature...in order to found that edifice on its unavenged tears. Would you consent to be the architect on those conditions? Tell me. Tell the truth.
Life is paradise, and we are all in paradise, but we refuse to see it.
Because it begins to seem to me at such times that I am incapable of beginning a life in real life, because it has seemed to me that I have lost all touch, all instinct for the actual, the real; because at last I have cursed myself; because after my fantastic nights I have moments of returning sobriety, which are awful! Meanwhile, you hear the whirl and roar of the crowd in the vortex of life around you; you hear, you see, men living in reality; you see that life for them is not forbidden, that their life does not float away like a dream, like a vision; that their life is being eternally renewed, eternally youthful, and not one hour of it is the same as another; while fancy is so spiritless, monotonous to vulgarity and easily scared, the slave of shadows, of the idea, the slave of the first cloud that shrouds the sun... One feels that this inexhaustible fancy is weary at last and worn out with continual exercise, because one is growing into manhood, outgrowing one's old ideals: they are being shattered into fragments, into dust; if there is no other life one must build one up from the fragments. And meanwhile the soul longs and craves for something else! And in vain the dreamer rakes over his old dreams, as though seeking a spark among the embers, to fan them into flame, to warm his chilled heart by the rekindled fire, and to rouse up in it again all that was so sweet, that touched his heart, that set his blood boiling, drew tears from his eyes, and so luxuriously deceived him!
It is amazing what one ray of sunshine can do for a man!
They were renewed by love; the heart of each held infinite sources of life for the heart of the other.
If he's honest, he'll steal; if he's human, he'll murder; if he's faithful, he'll deceive.
In any case civilization has made mankind if not more blood-thirsty, at least more vilely, more loathsomely blood-thirsty. In old days he saw justice in bloodshed and with his conscience at peace exterminated those he thought proper. Now we do think bloodshed abominable and yet we engage in this abomination, and with more energy than ever. Which is worse? Decide that for yourselves.
You know the direct, legitimate fruit of consciousness is inertia, that is, conscious sitting-with-the-hands-folded. I have referred to this already. I repeat, I repeat with emphasis: all "direct" persons and men of action are active just because they are stupid and limited. How explain that? I will tell you.
'I'll go this minute!' Of course, I remained.
In despair there are the most intense enjoyments, especially when one is very acutely conscious of the hopelessness of one's position.
The whole work of man really seems to consist in nothing but proving to himself every minute that he is a man and not a piano-key!
Oh, gentlemen, do you know, perhaps I consider myself an intelligent man, only because all my life I have been able neither to begin nor to finish anything. Granted I am a babbler, a harmless vexatious babbler, like all of us. But what is to be done if the direct and sole vocation of every intelligent man is babble, that is, the intentional pouring of water through a sieve?
But what can a decent man speak of with most pleasure? Answer: Of himself. Well, so I will talk about myself.
I admit that twice two makes four is an excellent thing, but if we are to give everything its due, twice two makes five is sometimes a very charming thing too.
I tell you solemnly, that I have many times tried to become an insect. But I was not equal even to that. I swear, gentlemen, that to be too conscious is an illness- a real thorough-going illness.
Now answer me, sincerely, honestly, who lives past forty? I'll tell you who does: fools and scoundrels.
It is clear to me now that, owing to my unbounded vanity and to the high standard I set for myself, I often looked at myself with furious discontent, which verged on loathing, and so I inwardly attributed the same feeling to everyone.
It was from feeling oneself that one had reached the last barrier, that it was horrible, but that it could not be otherwise; that there was no escape for you; that you never could become a different man; that even if time and faith were still left you to change into something different you would most likely not wish to change; or if you did wish to, even then you would do nothing; because perhaps in reality there was nothing for you to change into.
I've never been a coward at heart, although I've always been a coward in action
An intelligent man cannot become anything seriously, and it is only the fool who becomes anything.
How can a man of consciousness have the slightest respect for himself?
You don't need free will to determine that twice two is four. that's not what i call free will
But I repeat to you for the hundredth time, there is only one case, one only, when man may purposely, consciously wish for himself even the harmful, the stupid, even what is stupidest of all: namely, so as to have the right to wish for himself even what is stupidest of all and not be bound by an obligation to wish for himself only what is intelligent.
I even think the best definition of man is: a being that goes on two legs and is ungrateful.
We are discussing things seriously; but if you won't deign to give me your attention, I will drop your acquaintance. I can retreat into my underground hole.
The best definition of man is the ungrateful biped
The pleasure of despair. But then, it is in despair that we find the most acute pleasure, especially when we are aware of the hopelessness of the situation... everything is a mess in which it is impossible to tell what's what, but that despite this impossibility and deception it still hurts you, and the less you can understand, the more it hurts.
No, I'd better sit on to the end,' I went on thinking; 'you would be pleased, my friends, if I went away. Nothing will induce me to go. I'll go on sitting here and drinking to the end, on purpose, as a sign that I don't think you of the slightest consequence.
It is impossible, for example, while preserving reason, to want senselessness.
And a respectable man must be a coward and a slave not only at the present time, owing to some accidental circumstances, but generally in all periods of time. That's a law of nature for all respectable people on earth
The best definition of man is: a being that goes on two legs and is ungrateful.
We sometimes choose absolute nonsense because in our foolishness we see in that nonsense the easiest means for attaining a supposed advantage.
Dreams, as we all know, are very curious things: certain incidents in them are presented with quite uncanny vividness, each detail executed with the finishing touch of a jeweller, while others you leap across as though entirely unaware of, for instance, space and time. Dreams seem to be induced not by reason but by desire, not by the head but by the heart, and yet what clever tricks my reason has sometimes played on me in dreams!
Another circumstance, too, worried me in those days: that there was no one like me and I was unlike anyone else. "I am alone and they are EVERYONE," I thought-and pondered.
We've all grown unaccustomed to life, we're all lame, each of us more or less. We've even grown so unaccustomed that at times we feel a sort of loathing for real "living life," and therefore cannot bear to be reminded of it. For we've reached a point where we regard real "living life" almost as a labor, almost as a service, and we all agree in ourselves that it's better from a book.
I swear, gentlemen, that to be too conscious is an illness--a real thorough-going illness.
But the trouble was that the hysterics could not go on for ever, and (I am writing the loathsome truth) lying face downwards on the sofa with my face thrust into my nasty leather pillow, I began by degrees to be aware of a far-away, involuntary but irresistible feeling that it would be awkward now for me to raise my head and look Liza straight in the face. Why was I ashamed? I don't know, but I was ashamed
I am extremely superstitious, sufficiently so to respect medicine
Finally: I'm bored, and I constantly do nothing. And writing things down really seems like work. They say work makes a man good and honest. Well, here's a chance, at least.
To live longer than forty years is bad manners, is vulgar, immoral. Who does live beyond forty? Answer that, sincerely and honestly I will tell you who do: fools and worthless fellows.
What is to be done with millions of facts that bear witness that men, CONSCIOUSLY, that is fully understanding their real interests, have left them in the background and have rushed headlong on another path, to meet peril and danger, compelled to this course by nobody and nothing, but, as it were, simply disliking the beaten track, and have obstinately, willfully, struck out another difficult absurd way, seeking it almost in the darkness.
I am a sick man.... I am a spiteful man. I am an unattractive man.
...man is pre-eminently a creative animal, predestined to strive consciously for an object and to engage in engineering-that is, incessantly and eternally to make new roads, wherever they may lead.
...would deliberately desire the most fatal rubbish, the most uneconomical absurdity, simply to introduce into all this positive good sense his fatal fantastic element.
Whether it's good or bad, it is sometimes very pleasant, too, to smash things.
I was not only not a spiteful but not even an embittered man, that I was simply scaring sparrows at random and amusing myself by it.
In fact, I believe that the best definition of man is the ungrateful biped. But that is not all, that is not his worst defect; his worst defect is his perpetual moral obliquity
Man is a frivolous and incongruous creature, and perhaps, like a chess player, loves the process of the game, not the end of it.
But 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.
...that to be too conscious is an illness--a real thorough-going illness.
Only look about you: blood is being spilt in streams, and in the merriest way, as though it were champagne. Take the whole of the nineteenth century in which Buckle lived. Take Napoleon-the Great and also the present one. Take North America-the eternal union. Take the farce of Schleswig-Holstein. . . . And what is it that civilization softens in us? The only gain of civilization for mankind is the greater capacity for variety of sensations-and absolutely nothing more.
At that time I was only twenty-four years old. My life then was already gloomy, disorderly, and solitary to the point of savagery.
But do you know what: I am convinced that we underground folk ought to be kept on a curb. Though we may sit forty years underground without speaking, when we do come out into the light of day and break out we talk and talk and talk....
Then I remembered about science and... shut up.
At once I drink to the health of the artist who painted the picture worthy of Gay, because I love all that is "sublime and beautiful."
Absurdity of absurdities.
Moral obliquity and consequently lack of good sense; for it has long been accepted that lack of good sense is due to no other cause than moral obliquity.
I am forty years old now, and you know forty years is a whole lifetime; you know it is extreme old age. To live longer than forty years is bad manners, is vulgar, immoral. Who does live beyond forty? Answer that, sincerely and honestly I will tell you who do: fools and worthless fellows.
But what made me furious was that I knew for certain that I should go, that I should make a point of going; and the more tactless, the more unseemly my going would be, the more certainly I would go.
In every man's memories there are such things as he will reveal not to everyone, but perhaps only to friends. There are also such as he will reveal not even to friends, but only to himself, and that in secret. Then, finally, there are such as a man is afraid to reveal even to himself, and every decent man will have accumulated quite a few things of this sort
Oh, tell me, who first declared, who first proclaimed that man only does nasty things because he does not know his own real interests; and that if he were enlightened, if his eyes were opened to his real normal interests, man would at once cease to do nasty things, would at once become good and noble because, being enlightened and understanding his real advantage, he would see his own advantage in the good and nothing else... . Oh, the babe! Oh, the pure, innocent child!
Question: What is he? Answer: A sluggard; how very pleasant it would have been to hear that of oneself! It would mean that I was positively defined, it would mean that there was something to say about me. "Sluggard"-why, it is a calling and vocation, it is a career. Do not jest, it is so
The enjoyment of the sufferer finds expression in those moans; if he did not feel enjoyment in them he would not moan.
...reason, gentlemen, is a fine thing, that is unquestionable, but reason is only reason and satisfies only man's reasoning capacity, while wanting is a manifestation of the whole of life-that is, the whole of human life, including reason and various little itches.
In that case, of course, people are not spiteful in silence, but moan; but they are not candid moans, they are malignant moans, and the malignancy is the whole point. The enjoyment of the sufferer finds expression in those moans; if he did not feel enjoyment in them he would not moan.
...there are continually turning up in life moral and rational persons, sages and lovers of humanity who make it their object to live all their lives as morally and rationally as possible, to be, so to speak, a light to their neighbours simply in order to show them that it is possible to live morally and rationally in this world. And yet we all know that those very people sooner or later have been false to themselves, playing some queer trick, often a most unseemly one.
But it's in despair that you discover the most intense pleasure, especially when you are acutely conscious of the hopelessness of your predicament
In every man's memory there are things he won't reveal to others, except, perhaps, to his friends. And there are things he won't reveal even to friends, only, perhaps, to himself, and there, too, in secret. And finally, there are things he is afraid to reveal even to himself, and every decent man has quite an accumulation of them. In fact, the more decent the man, the more of them he has stored up
I, for instance, have a great deal of AMOUR PROPRE. I am as suspicious and prone to take offence as a humpback or a dwarf.
Because profit for you is prosperity, wealth, freedom, peace, and so on and so forth; so that a man who, for example, openly and knowingly went against this whole inventory would, in your opinion - well, and also in mine, of course - be an obscurantist or a complete madman, right?
An officer put me in my place from the first moment.

I was standing by the billiard-table and in my ignorance blocking up the way, and he wanted to pass; he took me by the shoulders and without a word--without a warning or explanation--moved me from where I was standing to another spot and passed by as though he had not noticed me. I could have forgiven blows, but I could not forgive his having moved me without noticing me
Consciousness, for instance, is infinitely superior to twice two makes four. Once you have mathematical certainty there is nothing left to do or to understand. There will be nothing left but to bottle up your five senses and plunge into contemplation. While if you stick to consciousness, even though the same result is attained, you can at least flog yourself at times, and that will, at any rate, liven you up. Reactionary as it is, corporal punishment is better than nothing.
I was also afraid to the point of illness of being ridiculous, and therefore slavishly worshipped routine in everything to do with externals; I loved falling into the common rut, and feared any eccentricity in myself with all my soul. But how could I hold out? I was morbidly developed, as a man of our time ought to be developed. And they were all dull-witted and as like one another as a flock of sheep.
One other circumstance tormented me then: namely, that no one else was like me, and I was like no one else. "I am one, and they are all," thought I, and-I'd fall to thinking.
Towards the end I myself could not stand it: as I grew older, a need for people, for friends, developed. I tried to start getting closer with some; but the attempt always came out unnaturally and would simply end of itself.
Man likes to make roads and to create, that is a fact beyond dispute. But why has he such a passionate love for destruction and chaos also? Tell me that! But on that point I want to say a couple of words myself. May it not be that he loves chaos and destruction (there can be no disputing that he does sometimes love it) because he is instinctively afraid of attaining his object and completing the edifice he is constructing?
I was positively astounded by the promptitude of this "Yes." So the same thought may have been straying through her mind when she was staring at me just before. So she, too, was capable of certain thoughts? "Damn it all, this was interesting, this was a point of likeness!" I thought, almost rubbing my hands. And indeed it's easy to turn a young soul like that!
At times, with an intense, acute pang I was stabbed to the heart by the thought that ten years, twenty years, forty years would pass, and that even in forty years I would remember with loathing and humiliation those filthiest, most ludicrous, and most awful moments of my life.
What man wants is simply INDEPENDENT choice, whatever that independence may cost and wherever it may lead. And choice, of course, the devil only knows what choice.
Owing to its rarity, perhaps, any external event, however trivial, always made me feel as though some radical change in my life were at hand.
"HA, HA, HA! Next you'll be finding pleasure in a toothache!" you will exclaim, laughing. "And why not? There is also pleasure in a toothache," I will answer. I had a toothache for a whole month; I know there is. Here, of course, one does not remain silently angry, one moans; but these are not straightforward moans, they are crafty moans, and the craftiness is the whole point.
I even think that the best definition of a man is an ungrateful creature on two legs
I might foam at the mouth, but bring me a doll to play with, give me a cup of tea with sugar in it, and maybe I should feel appeased.
But all these are golden dreams.
That is my conviction of forty years. I am forty years old now, and you know forty years is a whole lifetime; you know it is extreme old age. To live longer than forty years is bad manners, is vulgar, immoral. Who does live beyond forty? Answer that, sincerely and honestly I will tell you who do: fools and worthless fellows.
I, for instance, was triumphant over everyone; everyone, of course, was in dust and ashes, and was forced spontaneously to recognise my superiority, and I forgave them all.
What made them necessarily imagine that what man needs is necessarily a reasonably profitable wanting? Man needs only independent wanting, whatever this independence may cost and wherever it may lead. Well, and this wanting, the devil knows...
So much have we lost touch with 'real life' that we occasionally feel a kind of disgust for it and so can't bear to be reminded of it. For we have arrived at the point where we look on 'real life' as toil, almost as compulsory service, and all of us privately agree that 'life' as we find it in book is better.
And why are you so firmly, so triumphantly, convinced that only the normal and the positive-in other words, only what is conducive to welfare-is for the advantage of man? Is not reason in error as regards advantage? Does not man, perhaps, love something besides well-being? Perhaps he is just as fond of suffering? Perhaps suffering is just as great a benefit to him as well-being? Man is sometimes extraordinarily, passionately, in love with suffering, and that is a fact. [. . .] And yet I think man will never renounce real suffering, that is, destruction and chaos. Why, suffering is the sole origin of consciousness. Though I did lay it down at the beginning that consciousness is the greatest misfortune for man, yet I know man prizes it and would not give it up for any satisfaction. Consciousness, for instance, is infinitely superior to twice two makes four. Once you have mathematical certainty there is nothing left to do or to understand. There will be nothing left but to bottle up your five senses and plunge into contemplation.
And I could hardly have resigned myself to the simple, vulgar, direct debauchery of a clerk and have endured all the filthiness of it. What could have allured me about it then and have drawn me at night into the street? No, I had a lofty way of getting out of it all.
I swear, gentlemen, that to be too conscious is an illness-a real thorough-going illness.
I consider myself an intelligent man, only because all my life I have been able neither to begin nor to finish anything.
In fact, we have lost touch so badly that we often feel a kind of loathing for genuine 'living live,' and hence cannot endure being reminded of it. We've reached a point where we virtually regard 'living life' as hard labor, almost servitude and we all agree in private that it's much better 'according to books
I am forty years old now, and you know forty years is a whole lifetime; you know it is extreme old age. To live longer than forty years is bad manners, is vulgar, immoral
Can a man of perception respect himself at all?
I did not hate her so much, however, when I was running about the room and peeping through the crack in the screen. I was only insufferably oppressed by her being here. I wanted her to disappear. I wanted "peace," to be left alone in my underground world. Real life oppressed me with its novelty so much that I could hardly breathe.
It's perfectly clear to me now that it was I who, owing to my boundless vanity, and hence also my exactingness towards myself, very often looked upon myself with furious dissatisfaction, reaching the point of loathing, and therefore mentally attributed my view to everyone else.
For what is a man without desires, without free will and without choice, if not a stop in an organ?
Beautiful and sublime.
To live longer than forty years is bad manners, is vulgar, immoral. Who does live beyond forty?
The deserted street lamps gleamed sullenly in the snowy darkness like torches at a funeral.
Gradually, however, i grew accustomed to this too. I grew accustomed to everything, that is, i didn't actually grow accustomed but somehow agreed of my own free will to grin and bear it.
It seemed to me that to invite myself so suddenly and unexpectedly would be positively graceful, and that they would all be conquered at once and would look at me with respect.

"Do you want to join, too?" Simonov observed, with no appearance of pleasure, seeming to avoid looking at me. He knew me through and through.

It infuriated me that he knew me so thoroughly.
And even if, in this manifestation, our life frequently turns out to be rubbishy, it's nevertheless life and not just the extraction of a square root.
My friend, it is impossible to love people as they are.
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.
If he's alive he has everything in his power! Whose fault is it he doesn't understand that!
I must add... my gratitude to you for the attention with which you have listened to me, for, from my numerous observations, our Liberals are never capable of letting anyone else have a conviction of his own without at once meeting their opponent with abuse or even something worse.
I think that if one is faced by inevitable destruction -- if a house is falling upon you, for instance -- one must feel a great longing to sit down, close one's eyes and wait, come what may . . .
The prince says that the world will be saved by beauty! And I maintain that the reason he has such playful ideas is that he is in love.
We must never forget that human motives are generally far more complicated than we are apt to suppose, and that we can very rarely accurately describe the motives of another.
God knows what is in me in place of me.
Oh I've plenty of time, my time is entirely my own.
Pass us by, and forgive us our happiness
The Russian soul is a dark place.
Compassion was the most important, perhaps the sole law of human existence.
One man doesn't believe in god at all, while the other believes in him so thoroughly that he prays as he murders men!
Do you know I don't know how one can walk by a tree and not be happy at the sight of it? How can one talk to a man and not be happy in loving him! Oh, it's only that I'm not able to express it...And what beautiful things there are at every step, that even the most hopeless man must feel to be beautiful! Look at a child! Look at God's sunrise! Look at the grass, how it grows! Look at the eyes that gaze at you and love you!...
And how can one love two at once? With two different kinds of love? That's interesting . . . poor idiot
The essence of religious feeling does not come under any sort of reasoning or atheism, and has nothing to do with any crimes or misdemeanors. There is something else here, and there will always be something else - something that the atheists will for ever slur over; they will always be talking of something else.
Nothing helps a man to reform like thinking of the past with regret.
Some people have luck, and everything comes out right with them; others have none, and never a thing turns out fortunately.
To a commonplace man of limited intellect, for instance, nothing is simpler than to imagine himself an original character, and to revel in that belief without the slightest misgiving.
At such times I felt something was drawing me away, and I kept fancying that if I walked straight on, far, far away and reached that line where the sky and earth meet, there I should find the key to the mystery, there I should see a new life a thousand times richer and more turbulent than ours.
Why, you are so eaten up with pride and vanity that you'll end by eating up one another, that's what I prophecy
Why is it that when you awake to the world of realities you nearly always feel, sometimes very vividly, that the vanished dream has carried with it some enigma which you have failed to solve?
I don't like being with grown-up people. I've known that a long time. I don't like it because I don't know how to get on with them.
Do you know, to my thinking it's a good thing sometimes to be absurd; it's better in fact, it makes it easier to forgive one another, it's easier to be humble. One can't understand everything at once, we can't begin with perfection all at once! In order to reach perfection one must begin by being ignorant of a great deal. And if we understand things too quickly, perhaps we shan't understand them thoroughly.
If I had had the power to prevent my own birth I should certainly never have consented to accept existence under such ridiculous conditions.
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.
It is easier for a Russian to become an Atheist, than for any other nationality in the world. And not only does a Russian 'become an Atheist,' but he actually BELIEVES IN Atheism, just as though he had found a new faith, not perceiving that he has pinned his faith to a negation. Such is our anguish of thirst!
Delicacy and dignity are taught by one's own heart, not by a dancing master.
Speak of a wolf and you see his tail!
It was all quite natural, human beings are created in order to torment one another.
What matters," said the prince at last, "is that you have a child's trusting nature and extraordinary truthfulness. Do you know that a great deal can be forgiven you for that alone?
Through children the soul is healed...
"You should pass us by and forgive us our happiness," said the prince in a low voice.
How can one deceive these dear little birds, when they look at one so sweetly and confidingly? I call them birds because there is nothing in the world better than birds!
I quite understand you. You mean that an innocent lie for the sake of a good joke is harmless, and does not offend the human heart. Some people lie, if you like to put it so, out of pure friendship, in order to amuse their fellows; but when a man makes use of extravagance in order to show his disrespect and to make clear how the intimacy bores him, it is time for a man of honour to break off the said intimacy., and to teach the offender his place.
Bah! You want to hear the vilest thing a man's done and you want him to be a hero at the same time!
We degrade God too much, ascribing to him our ideas, in vexation at being unable to understand Him.
As soon as you have finished telling us anything, you seem to be ashamed of what you've said," Aglaia observed suddenly. "Why is that?
We degrade Providence too much by attributing our ideas to it out of annoyance at being unable to understand it.
Perhaps I shall meet with troubles and many disappointments, but I have made up my mind to be polite and sincere to everyone; more cannot be asked of me.
What does it matter if it's an illness, then?' he decided, at last, 'what does it matter that it's an abnormal tension, if the result itself, if the moment of sensation, recalled and examined in a condition of health, turns out to be the highest degree of harmony and beauty, yields a hitherto unheard-of and undreamed-of sense of completeness, proportion, reconciliation and an ecstatic, prayerful fusion with the highest synthesis of life?
Let us become servants in order to be leaders.
The general never regretted his early marriage, or regarded it as a foolish youthful escapade; and he so respected and feared his wife that he was very near loving her.
We've already had Malthus, the friend of humanity. But the friend of humanity with shaky moral principles is the devourer of humanity, to say nothing of his conceit; for, wound the vanity of any one of these numerous friends of humanity, and he's ready to set fire to the world out of petty revenge-like all the rest of us, though, in that, to be fair; like myself, vilest of all, for I might well be the first to bring the fuel and run away myself
...The men of those days...were absolutely not the same people that we are now; it was not the same race as now, in our age, really, it seems we are a different species...In those days they were men of one idea, but now we are more nervous, more developed, more sensitive; men capable of two or three ideas at once...Modern men are broader-minded - and I swear that this prevents their being so all-of-a-piece as they were in those days.
...a friend of mankind with shaky moral foundation is a cannibal of mankind, to say nothing of his vainglory; insult the vainglory of one of these numberless friends of mankind, and he is ready at once to set fire to the four corners of the world out of petty vengence
Anyone who attacks individual charity, attacks human nature and casts contempt on personal dignity.
Towards the end of November, during a thaw, at nine o'clock one morning, a train on the Warsaw and Petersburg railway was approaching the latter city at full speed. The morning was so damp and misty that it was only with great difficulty that the day succeeded in breaking; and it was impossible to distinguish anything more than a few yards away from the carriage windows.
You say I haven't any originality. But mark this, dear Prince, there's nothing more annoying for a man of our time and race than to tell him he's not original, a weak character with no special talents, ordinary in other words. You didn't even deign to regard me as a genuine rogue, I felt like killing you for that just now, you know that?
If I had had the power to prevent my own birth I should certainly never have consented to accept existence under such ridiculous conditions. However, I have the power to end my existence, although I do but give back days that are already numbered. It is an insignificant gift, and my revolt is equally insignificant.
Compassion was the principal and, perhaps, the only law of existence for the whole of mankind.
Abstract love of humanity is nearly always love of self.
But here I should imagine the most terrible part of the whole punishment is, not the bodily pain at all-but the certain knowledge that in an hour, then in ten minutes, then in half a minute, then now-this very instant-your soul must quit your body and that you will no longer be a man-and that this is certain, certain!
And what aim in life is more important or sacred than a parental aim?
What's going on there I don't understand and have never understood: either she loves you beyond all bounds, or... if she loves you, then why does she want to get you married to someone else? She says: "I want to see him happy" - that means she loves you.
Very well, then there's an experiment, and the thing is proved; one cannot live and count each moment; say what you like, but one cannot.
Whoever infringes upon individual 'charity' infringes upon man's nature and scorns his personal dignity
With quietism like yours one could fill a hundred years with happiness. Whether one showed you an execution or a little finger, you would extract an equally edifying thought from both of them, and would still be content. That's the way to get on in life.
Such power!" Adelaida cried all at once, peering greedily at the portrait over her sister's shoulder.

"Where? What power?" Lizaveta Prokofyevna asked sharply.

"Such beauty has power," Adelaida said hotly. "You can overturn the world with such beauty.
Don't let us forget that the causes of human actions are usually immeasurably more complex and varied than our subsequent explanations of them. And these can rarely be distinctly defined.
And I fancy, besides, that we seem like such different people ... through various circumstances, that we cannot perhaps have many points in common. But yet I don't believe in that last idea myself, for it often only seems that there are no points in common, when there really are some ... it's just laziness that makes people classify themselves according to appearances, and fail to find anything in common.... But perhaps I am boring you? You seem ...
How easily the heart accustoms itself to comforts, and how difficult it is to tear one's self away from luxuries which have become habitual and, little by little, indispensable.
The point is in life, in life alone-in discovering it, constantly and eternally, and not at all in the discovery itself!
The morning was so damp and misty
Oh, you may be sure that Columbus was happy not when he had discovered America, but when he was discovering it. Take my word for it, the highest moment if his happiness was just three days before the discovery of the New World, when the mutinous crew were on the point of returning to Europe in despair. It wasn't the New World that mattered, even if it had fallen to pieces. Columbus died almost without seeing it; and not really knowing what he had discovered. It's life that matters, nothing but life -- the process of discovering, the everlasting and perpetual process, not the discovery itself, at all.
Imagine the most terrible part of the whole punishment is, not the bodily pain at all-but the certain knowledge that in an hour,-then in ten minutes, then in half a minute, then now-this very instant-your soul must quit your body and that you will no longer be a man-and that this is certain, certain! That's the point-the certainty of it. Just that instant when you place your head on the block and hear the iron grate over your head-then-that quarter of a second is the most awful of all.
First you have to buy powder, pistol powder, not the damp, and not as coarse as for a cannon. Then you have to put the powder in first, and get some felt off a door. And then you have to put the bullet in afterwards, and not the bullet before the powder, or it won't go off. Do you hear, Keller? or else it won't go off. Ha-ha! Isn't that a magnificent reason, friend Keller?
Well, it's not a disaster, is it? Man, too, comes to his end, and here we are making a fuss about a clay pot!
You mustn't think to embarrass them with your witnessing, Your Excellency; they won't be embarrassed.
A new, sad and cheerless feeling constricted his heart; he suddenly realized that at that moment, and for a long time now, he had not been saying what he should have been saying, nor doing what he should have been doing, and that these cards he held in his hands, and had been so pleased about, could be of no help now.
He entered a confectioner's shop to rest, once. He was in a state of nervous excitement and perturbation; he noticed nothing and no one; and he felt a craving for solitude, to be alone with his thoughts and his emotions, and to give himself up to them passively. He loathed the idea of trying to answer the questions that would rise up in his heart and mind. "I am not to blame for all this," he thought to himself, half unconsciously.
Take a soldier and put him right in front of a cannon in a battle and fire it at him, and he'll go on hoping, but read out a certain death sentence to that same soldier, and he'll go mad, or start to weep.
You are very beautiful, Aglaya Ivanovna, so beautiful that one is afraid to look at you.
Not that I will ever believe there is nothing in common between any two people, as some declare is the case. I am sure people make a great mistake in sorting each other into groups, by appearances
Varvara was a girl of some twenty-three summers, of middle height, thin, but possessing a face which, without being actually beautiful, had the rare quality of charm, and might fascinate even to the extent of passionate regard.
Beauty is a riddle
Lunatics! Vain creatures! They don't believe in God, they don't believe in Christ! Why, you are so eaten up with pride and vanity that you'll end up by eating one another, that's what I prophesy.
I swear to you that I am not quite such an ass as I like to appear sometimes, although I am rather an ass, I admit
The law of self-destruction and the law of self-preservation are equally strong in mankind!
Girls and boys, laughing and crying; for as they went home many of them found time to fight and make peace, to weep and play. I forgot my troubles in looking at them. And then, all those three years, I tried to understand why men should be for ever tormenting themselves.
And indeed, what aim in life is more important and sacred than a father's? To what should one adhere, if not to one's family?
I'm drunk but truthful.
Both touching and somehow repulsive.
When he heard about the bench, his heart began to beat horribly. A moment later he pulled himself together and, with shame, drove away the absurd thought.
Love equates people
I can but thank you," he said, in a tone too respectful to be sincere, "for your kindness in letting me speak, for I have often noticed that our Liberals never allow other people to have an opinion of their own, and immediately answer their opponents with abuse, if they do not have recourse to arguments of a still more unpleasant nature.
For the wagons that bear grain to the whole of mankind without any moral basis for their action may most cold-bloodedly exclude an important part of mankind from the enjoyment of what they bear, something that has already happened...
Now what happens? Everything is exposed to the public gaze, veils are thrown back, every wound is probed by careless fingers. We are for ever present at an orgy of scandalous revelations
We must name the eminent and fascinating Prince N. - once the vanquisher of female hearts all over Europe.
What's more certain than anything is that your pity is even stronger than my love!
I used to watch the line where earth and sky met, and longed to go and seek there the key of all mysteries, thinking that I might find there a new life, perhaps some great city where life should be grander and richer-and then it struck me that life may be grand enough even in a prison.
What exquisite, or rather, what bovine crudity there is in their egoism, an egoism they simply cannot manage to perceive in themselves!
On the other hand, all your thoughts, all the seeds you have sown, which perhaps you have already forgotten, will take root and grow; the one who has received from you will give to another. And how can you know what part you will play in the future resolution of the fates of mankind?
Once I am rich, I shall be a genius, an extremely original man. One of the vilest and most hateful things connected with money is that it can buy even talent; and will do so as long as the world lasts.
Poverty's no sin, we mustn't omit to point that out.' This also turned out to be true: the fair-haired young man admitted it at once, and with unexpected haste.
At first, right at the outset, yes, I did feel an urge, and I lapsed into great anxiety. I kept thinking all the time of how I was going to live; I wanted to test my fate, felt anxious particularly at certain moments
Disbelief in the devil is a French notion, a frivolous notion.
She, being human, could not resist the satisfaction of pouring even more poison into her brother's heart by exaggerating the calamity, even though she loved him sincerely and with compassion.
"Do you forgive me for everything? For everything, not only the vase?' the prince started to get up from his seat
As soon as a man feels in his heart just a drop of some sort of generally human and kindly feeling for something or other, he immediately becomes convinced that no one else feels as he does, that he is in the forefront of general development.
There are people who take exceeding pleasure in their own irritable touchiness, especially when it reaches the final limit (which always happens very quickly); at that moment they even find it more enjoyable to be offended than not to be offended. These irritable people always suffer dreadful torments of remorse afterwards, if they are intelligent, of course, and able to reflect that they got ten times more worked up than was necessary.
As soon as some of our young ladies cut their hair, put on blue spectacles, and called themselves nihilists, they became convinced at once that, having put on the spectacles, they immediately began to have their own "convictions."
And you don't know what she did to me in Moscow! And the money, all the money I've given her...' 'But... how can you marry her now?... What will it be like afterwards?' the prince asked in horror
Their reputation of being the spurners of all useless worldly trivia, prejudices and almost everything else in the world except their own interests.
Indeed, there is nothing more vexing, for instance, than to be rich, of respectable family, of decent appearance, of rather good education, not stupid, even kind, and at the same time to have no talent, no particularity, no oddity even, not a single idea of one's own, to be decidedly "like everybody else.
To age, General Epanchin was in the very prime of life; that is, about fifty-five years of age,-the flowering time of existence, when real enjoyment of life begins.
And all this, all this abroad, all this Europe of yours, it's all just a fantasy, and all of us, while we're abroad, are just a fantasy... mark my words, you'll see for yourself!' she concluded, almost angrily, as she parted from Yevgeny Pavlovich.
Such suffering and terror were what Christ spoke of.7 No, a human being should not be treated like that!' Although he could not have put all this into words as the prince had done, the valet understood, if not all of it, then the main point, and this was even visible in his features, which showed that he was moved
You know, in my opinion, being ridiculous is sometimes even a good thing, and better than that: we can forgive one another more quickly, and acquire humility more quickly; after all, we can't understand everything at once, we can't begin directly from perfection! In order to achieve perfection, we must first of all fail to understand a great many things! And if we understand too quickly, we may not understand very well.
Alexandra, my eldest, here, plays the piano, or reads or sews; Adelaida paints landscapes and portraits (but never finishes any); and Aglaya sits and does nothing. I don't work too much, either
The impudence of Ignorance
Thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes.
What's more, any memoirs by eyewitnesses are a treasure, no matter who the eyewitness happens to be. Don't you think so?
I remember my melancholy was intolerable; I felt inclined to cry; I sat and wondered and wondered uncomfortably; the consciousness that everything was strange weighed terribly upon me; I could understand that it was all foreign and strange.
Oh! what does grief matter-what does misfortune matter, if one knows how to be happy?
Is it not enough that I am devoured, without my being expected to bless the power that devours me?
But a certain dullness of mind seems an almost necessary qualification, if not for every public man, at least for every one seriously engaged in making money.
I meant... I meant,' the prince began to tremble, 'I merely wanted to explain to Aglaya Ivanovna... to have the honour of explaining that I have never had the intention of... having the honour of asking for her hand... even some day... I'm not to blame for this in any way, I swear to God, I'm not to blame, Aglaya Ivanovna! I've never wanted to, and it has never been in my mind, I will never want to, you'll see: rest assured! Some cruel person has slandered me to you! You mustn't worry!
In a word, many flattering things were said of them. But there was some criticism. People spoke with horror of the number of books they had read.
A dead man has no age
...there is always something left over which is impossible to communicate to others...there will always be something left which cannot be coaxed out of your brain and which will remain with you forever; you will die with it, without ever communicating to anyone what is perhaps the essence of your thought.
I think I must be one of those who are born to be in luck, for one does not often meet with people whom one feels he can love from the first sight of their faces
How could he have submitted to a faith that is... unchristian? Catholicism is the same thing as an unchristian faith!' he added suddenly, his eyes beginning to flash, and he stared ahead of him, somehow taking them all in with his eyes
He said that those five minutes seemed to him an infinite length of time, an immense richness; it seemed to him that during those five minutes he would live so many lives that there was no point in thinking about the last moment yet, so he made various allocations: he calculated the time he needed to say goodbye to his companions, and allotted some two minutes to it, then he allotted another two minutes to think about himself for the last time, and then look around him for the last time.
Farther on, in another place, she wrote: 'Do not consider my words as the sickly ecstasies of a diseased mind, but you are, in my opinion-perfection! I have seen you-I see you every day. I do not judge you; I have not weighed you in the scales of Reason and found you Perfection-it is simply an article of faith. But I must confess one sin against you-I love you. One should not love perfection. One should only look on it as perfection-yet I am in love with you. Though love equalizes, do not fear. I have not lowered you to my level, even in my most secret thoughts. I have written 'Do not fear,' as if you could fear. I would kiss your footprints if I could; but, oh! I am not putting myself on a level with you!"
What is most vile and despicable about money is that it even confers talent
It's better to be unhappy and know, than to be happy and live... as a fool. You appear not to believe for one moment that you have a rival, and... in that quarter?
Inventors and geniuses, at the beginning of their careers (and very often at the end as well), have almost always been regarded in society as no more than fools-that is a most routine observation, well known to everyone.
Latterly he tormented me, too: it was all quite natural, human beings are created in order to torment one another
His respect for his spouse and occasional fear of her were so great that it could even be said that he loved her.
And wasn't it all the same whether it was a dream or a reality?
Five years of this Petersburg life went by, and, of course, during that time a great deal happened. Totski's position was very uncomfortable; having "funked" once, he could not totally regain his ease. He was afraid, he did not know why, but he was simply afraid of Nastasia Philipovna.
... when God will chastise a man, He first of all deprives him of his reason....
Now mark this, prince-there is nothing so offensive to a man of our time and race than to be told that he is wanting in originality, that he is weak in character, has no particular talent, and is, in short, an ordinary person.
Do you know there is a limit of ignominy, beyond which man's consciousness of shame cannot go, and after which begins satisfaction in shame?
The eyes -the same two eyes -met his! The man concealed in the niche had also taken a step forward. For one second they stood face to face. Suddenly the prince caught the man by the shoulder and twisted him round towards the light, so that he might see his face more clearly. Rogojin's eyes flashed, and a smile of insanity distorted his countenance. His right hand was raised, and something glittered in it.
Oh, what do my grief and my misfortune matter if I have the strength to be happy?
There are cases when one may sometimes burn one's ships and not go home again. Life does not consist only of lunches and dinners and prince S's.
I used to dream like that, till i nearly went out of my mind ...
It's difficult to judge beauty; I am not ready yet. Beauty is a riddle.
I want to talk about everything with at least one person as I talk about things with myself.
Next moment something appeared to burst open before him: a wonderful inner light illuminated his soul. This lasted perhaps half a second, yet he distinctly remembered hearing the beginning of the wail, the strange, dreadful wail, which burst from his lips of its own accord, and which no effort of will on his part could suppress.
The ass is a good-natured and useful creature.
And many cannot behold an epileptic fit without a feeling of mysterious terror and dread. Such a feeling, we must suppose, overtook Rogojin at this moment, and saved the prince's life
There is nothing so annoying as to be fairly rich, of a fairly good family, pleasing presence, average education, to be "not stupid," kind-hearted, and yet to have no talent at all, no originality, not a single idea of one's own-to be, in fact, "just like everyone else."
Here was my whole life hanging on his one word! Surely I was serious enough?
In a word, the world spoke well of the girls; but they were not without their enemies, and occasionally people talked with horror of the number of books they had read.
She is passion embodied, a flower of melodrama in eternal bloom.
My writing is excellent. Perhaps I might call it a talent, I am quite the calligraphist. Let me write you something as a specimen.
Do not be angry with the audacity of a desperate and drowning man for making a last effort to save himself from perdition.
She cares as much for him as for a piece of orange-peel-not more
That's good,' she said, 'you go on like that, reading books. I'll make you a list myself of the books you ought to read first-shall I?
You have no tenderness, nothing but truth, and so you judge unjustly.
I dare not dream of hope, for i am not worthy of it. But after a word from you i can accept my poverty again; i shall joyfully endure my hopeless lot. I shall face the struggle; i shall be glad of it; i shall rise up again with renewed strength.
Oh, you may be sure that Columbus was happy not when he had discovered America, but when he was discovering it.
As to age, General Epanchin was in the very prime of life; that is, about fifty-five years of age,-the flowering time of existence, when real enjoyment of life begins.
How can morality have need of my last breaths, and why should I die listening to the consolations offered by
Is it not enough that I am devoured, without my being expected to bless the power that devours me? Surely-surely
Bah! you wish to hear a man tell of his worst actions, and you expect the story to come out goody-goody! One's worst actions always are mean.
He made a point of never asserting himself when he would gain more by keeping in the background
I am naked and a beggar and an atom in the vortex of humanity.
It is better to be unhappy and know the worst, than to be happy in a fool's paradise!
It is said 'thou shalt not kill,' is he to be killed because he murdered some one else? No, it is not right, it's an impossible theory.
Pass on by us and forgive us our happiness
The prince took off his tin cross, Parfyon his gold one, and they exchanged them.
Considered alone, the railways will not pollute the springs of life, but as a whole they are accursed. The whole tendency of our latest centuries, in its scientific and materialistic aspect, is most probably accursed.
...he so respected his wife, and at times so feared her, that he actually, in fact, loved her
Is it true, prince, that you once declared that "beauty would save the world"? Great Heaven! The prince says that beauty saves the world! And I declare that he only has such playful ideas because he's in love! Gentlemen, the prince is in love. I guessed it the moment he came in. Don't blush, prince; you make me sorry for you. What beauty saves the world? Colia told me that you are a zealous Christian; is it so? Colia says you call yourself a Christian.'

The prince regarded him attentively, but said nothing.
As soon as a man takes some thought or other at its word or reads a little page of something without beginning or end, he believes at once that these are "his own thoughts" and were conceived in his own brain.
A murder by sentence is far more dreadful than a murder committed by a criminal
Who could say that human nature can endure such a trial without slipping into madness? Why this ghastly, needless outrage? Perhaps there is a man to whom the death sentence was read and who was allowed to suffer and then told, 'Go, You are pardoned.' Perhaps such a man could tell us something. This was the agony and the horror of which Christ told too. No, you cannot treat a man like that. ...Think! When there is torture there is pain and wounds, physical agony, and all this distracts the mind from mental suffering, so that one is tormented only by the wounds until the moment of death. But the most terrible agony many not be in the wounds themselves but in knowing for certain that within an hour, then within ten minutes, then within half a minute, now at this very instant - your soul will leave your body and you will no longer be a person, and that is certain; the worst thing is that it is certain.
And then it seemed to me that even in prison one might discover an immense life.
"Then I would make each minute into a whole lifetime, I would lose nothing, would account for each minute, waste nothing in vain!"

I remember being told of a poor wretch I once knew, who had died of hunger. I was almost beside myself with rage! I believe if I could have resuscitated him I would have done so for the sole purpose of murdering him!
But do you understand, I cry to him, do you understand that if you have the guillotine in the forefront, and with such glee, it's for the sole reason that cutting heads off is the easiest thing, and having an idea is difficult!
People who can speak well, speak briefly.
All my life I did not want it to be only words. This is why I lived, because I kept not wanting it. And now, too, every day I want it not to be words.
Mankind can still continue to live without the Englishman, can continue without Germany, can continue all too well without the Russian, can continue without science, can continue without bread - it is only without beauty that we cannot continue, for there will be nothing at all to do in the world! That's where the whole secret lies, that's where the whole of history lies! Science itself would not last a minute without beauty -
And a real, undoubted grief is sometimes capable of making a solid and steadfast man even out of a phenomenally light-minded one, if only for a short time; moreover, real and true grief has sometimes even made fools more intelligent, also only for a time, of course; grief has this property.
Because reading books and having them bound represent two enormously different stages of development. First, people gradually get used to reading, over centuries naturally, but they don't take care of their books and toss them around. Having books bound signifies respect for the book; it indicates that people not only love to read, but they view it an important occupation. Nowhere in Russia has that stage been reached. Europe has been binding its books for sometime.
I got entangled in my own data, and my conclusion directly contradicts the original idea from which I start. Starting from unlimited freedom, I conclude with unlimited despotism. I will add, however, that apart from my solution of the social formula, there can be no other.
Man is unhappy because he doesn't know he's happy; only because of that
If Stavrogin believes, he does not believe that he believes. And if he does not believe, he does not believe that he does not believe.
My friends, God is necessary for me if only because he is the one being who can be loved eternally.
One cannot love what one does not know
Marriage is the moral death of every proud soul, of all independence.
It must be true that the whole second half of a man's life is most often made up only of habits accumulated during the first half.
Full freedom will come only when it makes no difference whether to live or not to live. That's the goal for everyone
One must be a great man indeed to be able to hold out even against common sense.
I do not wish you much happiness--it would bore you; I do not wish you trouble either; but, following the people's philosophy, I will simply repeat: 'Live more' and try somehow not to be too bored; this useless wish I am adding on my own.
God is the pain of the fear of death
You cannot imagine what sorrow and anger seize one's whole soul when a great idea, which one has long and piously revered, is picked up by some bunglers and dragged into the street, to more fools like themselves, and one suddenly meets it in the flea market, unrecognizable, dirty, askew, absurdly presented, without proportion, without harmony, a toy for stupid children
God is necessary, and therefore must exist...But I know that he does not and cannot exist...Don't you understand that a man with these two thoughts cannot go on living?
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.
People with new ideas, people with the faintest capacity for saying something new, are extremely few in number, extraordinarily so, in fact
Don't be overwise; fling yourself straight into life, without deliberation; don't be afraid - the flood will bear you to the bank and set you safe on your feet again
Man has it all in his hands, and it all slips through his fingers from sheer cowardice.
You see I kept asking myself then: why am I so stupid that if others are stupid-and I know they are-yet I won't be wiser?
I did not bow down to you, I bowed down to all the suffering of humanity.
Pain and suffering are always inevitable for a large intelligence and a deep heart
It would be interesting to know what it is men are most afraid of.
Your worst sin is that you have destroyed and betrayed yourself for nothing.
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?
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.
The whole question here is: am I a monster, or a victim myself?
He did not know that the new life would not be given him for nothing, that he would have to pay dearly for it, that it would cost him great striving, great suffering. But that is the beginning of a new story -- the story of the gradual renewal of a man, the story of his gradual regeneration, of his passing from one world into another, of his initiation into a new unknown life. That might be the subject of a new story, but our present story is ended.
It's the moon that makes it so still, weaving some mystery.
Reason is the slave of passion.
You're a gentleman," they used to say to him. "You shouldn't have gone murdering people with a hatchet; that's no occupation for a gentleman.
Suffering is part and parcel of extensive intelligence and a feeling heart.
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...
That's just the point: an honest and sensitive man opens his heart, and the man of business goes on eating - and then he eats you up.
Intelligence alone is not nearly enough when it comes to acting wisely.
He was one of the numerous and varied legion of dullards, of half-animated abortions, conceited, half-educated coxcombs, who attach themselves to the idea most in fashion only to vulgarize it and who caricature every cause they serve, however sincerely.
Through error you come to the truth! I am a man because I err! You never reach any truth without making fourteen mistakes and very likely a hundred and fourteen.
I know that you don't believe it, but indeed, life will bring you through. You will live it down in time. What you need now is fresh air, fresh air, fresh air!
Where is it I've read that someone condemned to death says or thinks, an hour before his death, that if he had to live on some high rock, on such a narrow ledge that he'd only room to stand, and the ocean, everlasting darkness, everlasting solitude, everlasting tempest around him, if he had to remain standing on a square yard of space all his life, a thousand years, eternity, it were better to live so than to die at once. Only to live, to live and live! Life, whatever it may be!
Existence alone had never been enough for him; he had always wanted more. Perhaps it was only from the force of his desires that he had regarded himself as a man to whom more was permitted than to others
Walking along the crowded row He met the one he used to know.
Hm ... yes, all is in a man's hands and he lets it all slip from cowardice, that's an axiom
But you are a great sinner, that's true," he added almost solemnly, and your worst sin is that you have destroyed and betrayed yourself for nothing. Isn't that fearful? Isn't it fearful that you are living in this filth which you loathe so, and at the same time you know yourself (you've only to open your eyes) that you are not helping anyone by it, not saving anyone from anything?
Again it became suddenly plain and perceptible to him that he had just told a fearful lie - that he would never now be able to speak freely of everything - that he would never again be able to speak of anything to anyone.
One can't hold one's tongue when one has a feeling, a tangible feeling
They may all be drunk at my place, but they're all honest, and though we do lie-because I lie, too-in the end we'll lie our way to the truth
The people who have nothing to lock up are the happy ones, aren't they?
Fear of aesthetics is the first sign of powerlessness
It's because I chatter that I do nothing. Or perhaps it is that I chatter because I do nothing.
We have facts,' they say. But facts are not everything-at least half the business lies in how you interpret them!
Or renounce life altogether! Accept fate obediently as it is, once and for all, and stifle everything in myself, renouncing any right to act, to live, to love.
I saw clear as daylight how strange it is that not a single person living in this mad world has had the daring to go straight for it all and send it flying to the devil! I...I wanted to have the daring...and I killed her.
Every man looks out for himself, and he has the happiest life who manages to hoodwink himself best of all.
We've got facts," they say. But facts aren't everything; at least half the battle consists in how one makes use of them!
A special form of misery had begun to oppress him of late. There was nothing poignant, nothing acute about it; but there was a feeling of permanence, of eternity about it; it brought a foretaste of hopeless years of this cold leaden misery, a foretaste of an eternity "on a square yard of space.
It is not time that matters, but you yourself
I drink because I wish to multiply my sufferings.
But you are a great sinner, that's true," he added almost solemnly, and your worst sin is that you have destroyed and betrayed yourself for nothing.
In a morbid condition of the brain, dreams often have a singular actuality, vividness, and extraordinary semblance of reality.
If he has a conscience he will suffer for his mistake. That will be punishment as well as the prison.
...everyone needs a somewhere, a place he can go. There comes a time, you see, inevitably there comes a time you have to have a somewhere you can go!
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.
It is man's unique privilege, among all other organisms. By pursuing falsehood you will arrive at the truth!
We always imagine eternity as something beyond our conception, something vast, vast! But why must it be vast? Instead of all that, what if it's one little room, like a bath house in the country, black and grimy and spiders in every corner. and that's all eternity is? I sometimes fancy it like that.
The plague spread and moved on. In the whole world only a few people were able to save themselves: the pure and the chosen, predestined to begin a new race of men and a new life, to renew and purify the earth; but these people were not seen anywhere by anybody, and nobody heard their voices or their words.
On an exceptionally hot evening early in July a young man came out of the garret in which he lodged in S. Place and walked slowly, as though in hesitation, towards K. bridge.
Do you understand, sir, do you understand what it means when you have absolutely nowhere to turn?
Perhaps," you will add, grinning, "those who have never been slapped will also not understand" - thereby politely hinting that I, too, may have experienced a slap in my life, and am therefore speaking as a connoisseur.
Nothing in the world is harder than speaking the truth and nothing easier than flattery.
What's most revolting is that one is really sad! No, it's better at home. Here at least one blames others for everything and excuses oneself.
We all have chance meetings with people, even with complete strangers, who interest us at first glance, suddenly, before a word is spoken
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... .
Hm...yes, 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...But I am talking too much
Would you believe, they insist on complete absence of individualism and that's just what they relish! Not to be themselves, to be as unlike themselves as they can. That's what they regard as the highest point of progress.
He is a man of intelligence, but to act sensibly, intelligence is not enough.
Life is given to me only once, and never will be again-I don't want to sit waiting for universal happiness. I want to live myself; otherwise it's better not to live at all.
Dreams appear much more prominent and clear when the dreamer is in an unhealthy state - they have an extraordinary semblance of reality. Most monstrous pictures are put together but all the circumstances are so subtly interwoven the details so artistically harmonious in every minute respect as to defy human imitation. Such morbid dreams are always recollected for very long and produce strong impressions on the disordered and already excited organs of the dreamer.
What if man is not really a scoundrel, man in general, I mean, the whole race of mankind-then all the rest is prejudice, simply artificial terrors and there are no barriers and it's all as it should be.
Thus a man will sometimes suffer half an hour of mortal fear with a robber, but once the knife is finally at his throat, even fear vanishes.
Oh, as I stood above the Neva this morning at dawn I knew I was a villain.
Actions are sometimes performed in a masterly and most cunning way, while the direction of the actions is deranged and dependent on various morbid impressions - it's like a dream.
Eh, brother, but nature has to be corrected and guided, otherwise we'd all drown in prejudices. Without that there wouldn't be even a single great man.
Chase several hares and you won't catch one.
The servants used to say, 'he read himself silly.
Practicality is a difficult thing to find; it does not drop down from heaven. And for the last two hundred years we have been divorced from all practical life. Ideas, if you like, are fermenting, and desire for good exists, though it's in a childish form, and honesty you may find, although there are crowds of brigands. Anyway, there's no practicality. Practicality goes well shod.
Money is the honey of humanity
It is almost better to tell your own lies than somebody else's truth; in the first case you are a man, in the second you are no better than a parrot!
What's 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. . .
Although Pulcheria Alexandrovna was forty-three, her face still retained traces of her former beauty; 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. We may add in parenthesis that to preserve all this is the only means of retaining beauty to old age.
Ah, Father! That's words and only words! Forgive! If he'd not been run over, he'd have come home today drunk and his only shirt dirty and in rags and he'd have fallen asleep like a log, and I should have been sousing and rinsing till daybreak, washing his rags and the children's and then drying them by the window and as soon as it was daylight I should have been darning them. What's the use of talking forgiveness! I have forgiven as it is!
People do get carried away and make mistakes, but one must have indulgence; those mistakes are merely evidence of enthusiasm for the cause and of abnormal external environment
Indeed, in that sense we're all rather often almost like mad people, only with the slight difference that the 'sick' are somewhat madder than we are, so that it's necessary to draw a line here.
But I tell you what it is; an honest and sensitive man is open; and a business man 'listens and goes on eating' you up.
They sat side by side, sad and weary, like shipwrecked sailors on a deserted shore
Well, sir, it is precisely my notion that one sees and learns most of all by observing our younger generations.
I wanted to find out then and quickly whether I was a louse like everybody else or a man. Whether I can step over barriers or not, whether I dare stoop to pick up or not, whether I am a trembling creature or whether I have the right...
Life had stepped into the place of theory and something quite different would work itself out in his mind.
There are bookish dreams here, sir, there is a heart chafed by theories
I want to attempt a thing like that and am frightened by these trifles," he thought, with an odd smile. "Hm ... yes, 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
And if only fate would have sent him repentance - burning repentance that would have torn his heart and robbed him of sleep, that repentance, the awful agony of which brings visions of hanging and drowning!
The perpetration of a crime is accompanied by illness!
One of the prisoners, Grigoryev, went mad as soon as he was untied, and never regained his sanity.
His malice was aimed at himself; with shame and contempt he recollected his "cowardice."
The temperament reflects everything like a mirror! Gaze into it and admire what you see! But why are you so pale, Rodion Romanovitch? Is the room stuffy? Shall I open the window?
The triumphant sense of security, of deliverance from overwhelming danger, that was what filled his whole soul that moment without thought for the future, without analysis, without suppositions or surmises, without doubts and without questioning. It was an instant of full, direct, purely instinctive joy.
And, beginning to grind his teeth again, Pyotr Petrovich admitted that he'd been a fool--but only to himself, of course.
Suffering and pain are always obligatory for a broad consciousness and a deep heart. Truly great men I think, must feel great sorrow in this world.
Do you think, you who sold it, that this bottom of yours has been sweet to me? Affliction, I sought affliction at the bottom of it, tears and affliction, and I found them, I tasted them
He seemed to be trying to find his way somewhere, but had forgotten where.
Till the last moment they dress a man up in peacock's feathers, till the last moment they hope for the good and not the bad; and though they may have premonitions of the other side of the coin, for the life of them they will not utter a real word beforehand; the thought alone makes them cringe; they wave the truth away with both hands, till the very moment when the man they've decked out so finely sticks their noses in it with his own two hands.
Because I couldn't bear my burden and have come to throw it on another: you suffer too, and I shall feel better! And can you love such a mean wretch?
He wandered aimlessly. The sun was setting. A special form of misery had begun to oppress him of late. There was nothing poignant, nothing acute about it; but there was a feeling of permanence, of eternity about it; it brought a foretaste of hopeless years of this cold leaden misery, a foretaste of an eternity "on a square yard of space." Towards evening this sensation usually began to weigh on him more heavily.
You're necessary to me, and that's why I've come to you
Trifles, trifles are what matter! Why, it's just such trifles that always ruin everything... .
It is in just such stupid things clever people are most easily caught. The more cunning a man is, the less he suspects that he will be caught in a simple thing. The more cunning a man is, the simpler the trap he must be caught in. Porfiry is not such a fool as you think....
Clearly, he now had not to be anguished, not to suffer passively, by mere reasoning about unresolvable questions, but to do something without fail, at once, quickly.
In wine is truth, and the truth had all come out, "that is, all the uncleanness of his coarse and envious heart"!
What answer had your lecturer in Moscow to make to the question why he was forging notes? 'Everybody is getting rich one way or another, so I want to make haste to get rich too.' I don't remember the exact words, but the upshot was that he wants money for nothing, without waiting or working! We've grown used to having everything ready-made, to walking on crutches, to having our food chewed for us. Then the great hour struck, and every man showed himself in his true colours
There are situations in life which bring the impartial observer to the conclusion that suicide is a luxury which is within the reach of, and permissible to, wealthy people.
I don't need you to tell me I'm not well, though I don't really know what's wrong with me; I think I'm five times healthier than you are.
It may be that you ought to thank God; why, for all you know he may be preserving you for something. Be of great heart and fear less.
Scraps and shreds of thoughts were simply swarming in his brain, but he could not catch at one, he could not rest on one, in spite of all his efforts...
In the end she felt pity for me, for the lost man. And when a girl's heart is moved to pity, that is, of course, most dangerous for her. She's sure to want to "save" him then, to bring him to reason, to resurrect him, to call him to nobler aims, to regenerate him into a new life and new activity. Well, everyone knows what can be dreamt up in that vein. I saw at once that the bird was flying into my net on its own.
If you chase several hares at once, you won't overtake any one of them.
He doesn't love anyone, and maybe he never will
The harmonious man, it needs to be said, hardly exists at all; out of many tens, even hundreds of thousands perhaps one or two at most are encountered, and even then in rather feeble versions.
I like it when people lie! Lying is man's only privilege over all other organisms. If you lie-you get to the truth! Lying is what makes me a man. Not one truth has ever been reached without first lying fourteen times or so, maybe a hundred and fourteen, and that's honorable in its way; well, but we can't even lie with our own minds!
It wasn't you I was bowing to, but the whole of human suffering.
It appeared to him strange and marvelous that he should have stopped in the very same place as he used to do, as if he really imagined he could think the same thoughts now as then, and be interested in the same ideas and images as had interested him once ... not long ago.
Strength, strength is what I need; nothing can be done without strength; and strength must be gained by strength.
For no reason, but the sunrise, the bay of Naples, the sea-you look at them and it makes you sad. What's most revolting is that one is really sad! No, it's better at home. Here at least one blames others for everything and excuses oneself
A percentage! What splendid words they have; they are so scientific, so consolatory.... Once you've said 'percentage' there's nothing more to worry about. If we had any other word... maybe we might feel more uneasy....
When reason fails, the devil helps!" he thought with a strange grin. This chance raised his spirits extraordinarily.
And why do you ask what can't be answered? What's the use of such foolish questions? How could it depend on my decision? Who has made me the judge to decide who ought to live and who ought not to live?
And why do you ask what can't be answered? What's the use of such foolish questions? How could it depend on my decision? Who has made me the judge to decide who ought to live and out ought not to live?
There are some people who interest us immediately, at first glance, before a word is exchanged.
...a condemned man who, at the hour of death, says or thinks that if the alternative were offered him of existing somewhere, on a height of rock or some narrow elevation, where only his two feet could stand, and round about him the ocean, perpetual gloom, perpetual solitude, perpetual storm, to remain there standing on a yard of surface for a lifetime, a thousand years, eternity! - rather would he live thus than die at once? Only live, live, live! - no matter how, only live!
People won't change, nobody can reform them, and it's not worth the effort! Yes, that's right! It's the law of their being. . . . Their law, Sonia! That's right! I know now, Sonia, that whoever is strong and self-confident in mind and spirit has power over them! Whoever is bold and dares has right on his side. Whoever can spit on the most people becomes their legislator, and whoever dares the most has the most right! So it has been in the past, and so it will always be!
He wants money for nothing, without waiting or working! We've grown used to having everything ready made, to walking on crutches, to having our food chewed for us. Then the great hour struck, and every man showed himself in his true colors.
It was like a dream in which one is being pursued, nearly caught and will be killed, and is rooted to the spot and cannot even move one's arms.
The vast mass of mankind is mere material, and only exists in order by some great effort, by some mysterious process, by means of some crossing of races and stocks, to bring into the world at last perhaps one man out of a thousand with a spark of independence.
Though all my friends there are drunk, yet they are all honest, and though we do talk a lot of trash, and I do, too, yet we shall talk our way to the truth at last, for we are on the right path,
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,
In order to understand any man one must be deliberate and careful to avoid forming prejudices and mistaken ideas, which are very difficult to correct and get over afterwards.
The game's not worth the candle
All men are divided into 'ordinary' and 'extraordinary.' Ordinary men have to live in submission, have no right to transgress the law, because, don't you see, they are ordinary. But extraordinary men have a right to commit any crime and to transgress the law in any way, just because they are extraordinary
Something new and unexpected, something hitherto unknown and undreamt of, had taken place in him. He did not so much understand with his mind as feel instinctively with the full force of his emotions that he could never again communicate with these people in a great gush of feeling, as he had just now, or in any way whatever.
Just a glass of beer, a piece of dry bread-and in one moment the brain is stronger, the mind is clearer and the will is firm! Phew, how utterly petty it all is!
It must be the top drawer," he reflected. "So she carries the keys in a pocket on the right. All in one bunch on a steel ring... . And there's one key there, three times as big as all the others, with deep notches; that can't be the key of the chest of drawers ... then there must be some other chest or strong-box ... that's worth knowing. Strong-boxes always have keys like that ... but how degrading it all is.
The first category is always the man of the present, the second the man of the future. The first preserve the world and people it, the second move the world and lead it to its goal.
There are certain persons who can... that is, not precisely are able to, but have a perfect right to commit breaches of morality and crimes, and that the law is not for them.
And why, just at the moment when he had brought away the embryo of his idea from the old woman had he dropped at once upon a conversation about her?
He was one of that countless and multifarious legion of vulgar persons, sickly abortions and half-educated petty tyrants who like a flash attach themselves to the current ideas that are most fashionable in order, again like a flash,to vulgarize them, caricaturing the very cause they seek to serve, sometimes with great genuineness.
Bitter is the ascent of Golgotha...

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