The 50 Deep Thoughts Quotes by Fyodor Dostoyevsky

Last updated on Oct 22nd, 2021

The 50 Deep Thoughts Quotes by Fyodor Dostoyevsky

Fyodor Mikhailovich Dostoyevsky (November 11, 1821 – February 9, 1881), often transliterated and uttered as Dostoevsky, was famous Russian novelist and short story writer. His works explore human psychology in the context of the troubled political and social atmosphere, and he is often acknowledged by critics as one of the greatest and most prominent psychologists in world literature.

Dostoyevsky’s works of fiction include 2 translations, 15 novels and novellas, and 17 short stories. The most important are Crime and Punishment (1866), The Idiot (1869), Demons (1872) and The Brothers Karamazov (1880). His novella Notes from Underground (1864), which is named the “best overture for existentialism ever written” by Walter Kaufmann, is considered one of the first works of existentialist literature.

With his work, which has been translated into 170 languages, Dostoyevsky influenced many great writers and philosophers such as Anton Chekhov, Ernest Hemingway and Friedrich Nietzsche.

In honor of his birthday, here are 50 best quotes from his papers.

Destroy my desires, wipe out my ideals, show me something better, and I will follow you. - Fyodor Dostoyevsky (Notes From Underground Quotes)
1

Destroy my desires, wipe out my ideals, show me something better, and I will follow you.Part I, Chapter X, Notes From Underground (1864)

With love one can live even without happiness. - Fyodor Dostoyevsky (Notes From Underground Quotes)
2

With love one can live even without happiness.Part II, Chapter VI, Notes From Underground (1864)

Lying is a delightful thing for it leads to the truth. - Fyodor Dostoyevsky (Crime and Punishment Quotes)
3

Lying is a delightful thing for it leads to the truth.Part II, Chapter IV, Crime and Punishment (1866)

Civilisation has made mankind if not more bloodthirsty, at least more vilely, more loathsomely bloodthirsty. - Fyodor Dostoyevsky (Notes From Underground Quotes)
4

Civilisation has made mankind if not more bloodthirsty, at least more vilely, more loathsomely bloodthirsty.Part I, Chapter VII, Notes From Underground (1864)

The best definition of man is: a being that walks on two legs and is ungrateful. - Fyodor Dostoyevsky (Notes From Underground Quotes)
5

The best definition of man is: a being that walks on two legs and is ungrateful.Part I, Chapter VIII, Notes From Underground (1864)

If they drive God from the earth, we shall shelter Him underground. - Fyodor Dostoyevsky (The Brothers Karamazov Quotes)
6

If they drive God from the earth, we shall shelter Him underground.Part IV, Book XI. Ivan, Chapter IV. A Hymn and a Secret

The more I love humanity in general, the less I love man in particular. - Fyodor Dostoyevsky (The Brothers Karamazov Quotes)
7

The more I love humanity in general, the less I love man in particular.Part I, Book II. An Unfortunate Gathering, Chapter IV. A Lady of Little Faith

What is hell? I maintain that it is the suffering of being unable to love. - Fyodor Dostoyevsky (The Brothers Karamazov Quotes)
8

What is hell? I maintain that it is the suffering of being unable to love.Part II, Book VI. The Russian Monk, Chapter III. Conversations and Exhortations of Father Zossima

The soul is healed by being with children... - Fyodor Dostoyevsky (The Idiot Quotes)
9

The soul is healed by being with children…Part I, Chapter VI, The Idiot (1869)

Sarcasm: This is usually the last refuge of modest and chaste-souled people when the privacy of their soul is coarsely and intrusively invaded. - Fyodor Dostoyevsky (Notes From Underground Quotes)
10

Sarcasm: This is usually the last refuge of modest and chaste-souled people when the privacy of their soul is coarsely and intrusively invaded.Part II, Chapter VI, Notes From Underground (1864)

The wisest of all, in my opinion, is he who can, if only once a month, call himself a fool. - Fyodor Dostoyevsky (Bobok Quotes)
11

The wisest of all, in my opinion, is he who can, if only once a month, call himself a fool.Bobok (1873)

I may be wrong, but it seems to me that it is possible to tell a man by his laugh, and that if on first meeting you like the laugh of a person who is completely unknown to you, then you may confidently say that this is a good person. - Fyodor Dostoyevsky (The House of the Dead Quotes)
12

I may be wrong, but it seems to me that it is possible to tell a man by his laugh, and that if on first meeting you like the laugh of a person who is completely unknown to you, then you may confidently say that this is a good person.Part I, Chapter III, The House of the Dead (1862)

Happiness lies not in happiness but only in the attempt to achieve it. - Fyodor Dostoyevsky (A Writer's Diary Quotes)
13

Happiness lies not in happiness but only in the attempt to achieve it.January 1876, Chapter III, A Writer's Diary (1873-1881)

Much unhappiness has come into the world because of bewilderment and things left unsaid. - Fyodor Dostoyevsky (A Number of Articles about Russian Literature Quotes)
14

Much unhappiness has come into the world because of bewilderment and things left unsaid.Introduction, A Number of Articles about Russian Literature (1861)

Man is fond of reckoning his troubles, but he does not count his joys. If he counted them up as he ought, he would see that every lot has enough happiness provided for it. - Fyodor Dostoyevsky (Notes From Underground Quotes)
15

Man is fond of reckoning his troubles, but he does not count his joys. If he counted them up as he ought, he would see that every lot has enough happiness provided for it.Part II, Chapter VI, Notes From Underground (1864)

To make truth sound probable you must always mix in some falsehood with it. - Fyodor Dostoyevsky (The Possessed Quotes)
16

To make truth sound probable you must always mix in some falsehood with it.Part II, Chapter I, The Possessed (Demons) (1872)

Life without hope is impossible. - Fyodor Dostoyevsky (The House of the Dead Quotes)
17

Life without hope is impossible.
(Also known as: To live without Hope is to Cease to live.)Part I, Chapter II, The House of the Dead (1862)

It seems, in fact, as though the second half of a man's life is usually made up of nothing, but the habits he has accumulated during the first half. - Fyodor Dostoyevsky (The Possessed Quotes)
18

It seems, in fact, as though the second half of a man’s life is usually made up of nothing, but the habits he has accumulated during the first half.Part II, Chapter II, The Possessed (Demons) (1872)

If one wanted to crush and destroy a man entirely, to mete out to him the most terrible punishment, one at which the most fearsome murderer would tremble, shrinking from it in advance, all one would have to do would be to make him do work that was completely and utterly devoid of usefulness and meaning. - Fyodor Dostoyevsky (The House of the Dead Quotes)
19

If one wanted to crush and destroy a man entirely, to mete out to him the most terrible punishment, one at which the most fearsome murderer would tremble, shrinking from it in advance, all one would have to do would be to make him do work that was completely and utterly devoid of usefulness and meaning.
(Also known as: Deprived of meaningful work, men and women lose their reason for existence; they go stark, raving mad.)Part II, Chapter VII, The House of the Dead (1862)

Above all, don't lie to yourself. 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. - Fyodor Dostoyevsky (The Brothers Karamazov Quotes)
20

Above all, don’t lie to yourself. 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.Part I, Book II. An Unfortunate Gathering, Chapter II. The Old Buffoon, The Brothers Karamazov (1880)

Pain and suffering are always inevitable for a large intelligence and a deep heart. - Fyodor Dostoyevsky (Crime and Punishment Quotes)
21

Pain and suffering are always inevitable for a large intelligence and a deep heart.Part III, Chapter V, Crime and Punishment (1866)

Talking nonsense? Not a bit! I like them to talk nonsense. That's man's one privilege over all creation. - Fyodor Dostoyevsky (Crime and Punishment Quotes)
22

Talking nonsense? Not a bit! I like them to talk nonsense. That’s man’s one privilege over all creation.Part III, Chapter I, Crime and Punishment (1864)

To go wrong in one's own way is better than to go right in someone else's. - Fyodor Dostoyevsky (Crime and Punishment Quotes)
23

To go wrong in one’s own way is better than to go right in someone else’s.Part III, Chapter I, Crime and Punishment (1866)

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. - Fyodor Dostoyevsky (The Brothers Karamazov Quotes)
24

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.Part II, Book V. Pro and Contra, Chapter IV. Rebellion, The Brothers Karamazov (1880)

Man is a mystery. One must solve it. If you spend your entire life trying to puzzle it out, then do not say that you have wasted your time. I occupy myself with this mystery, because I want to be a man. - Fyodor Dostoyevsky Quotes
25

Man is a mystery. One must solve it. If you spend your entire life trying to puzzle it out, then do not say that you have wasted your time. I occupy myself with this mystery, because I want to be a man.Letter to Mikhail Mikhailovich Dostoevsky (August 16, 1839)

Right or wrong, it's very pleasant to break something from time to time. - Fyodor Dostoyevsky (Notes From Underground Quotes)
26

Right or wrong, it’s very pleasant to break something from time to time.Part I, Chapter IX, Notes From Underground (1864)

Taking a new step, uttering a new word is what they fear most... - Fyodor Dostoyevsky (Crime and Punishment Quotes)
27

Taking a new step, uttering a new word is what they fear most…Part I, Chapter I, Crime and Punishment (1866)

Nothing in the world is harder than speaking the truth and nothing easier than flattery. - Fyodor Dostoyevsky (Crime and Punishment Quotes)
28

Nothing in the world is harder than speaking the truth and nothing easier than flattery.Part VI, Chapter IV, Crime and Punishment (1866)

Power is only vouchsafed to the man who dares to stoop and pick it up. There is only one thing, one thing needful: one has only to dare! - Fyodor Dostoyevsky (Crime and Punishment Quotes)
29

Power is only vouchsafed to the man who dares to stoop and pick it up. There is only one thing, one thing needful: one has only to dare!Part V, Chapter IV, Crime and Punishment (1866)

But what can a decent man speak of with most pleasure? Answer: Of himself. - Fyodor Dostoyevsky (Notes From Underground Quotes)
30

But what can a decent man speak of with most pleasure? Answer: Of himself.Part I, Chapter I, Notes From Underground (1864)

For anyone to love a man, he must be hidden, for as soon as he shows his face, love is gone. - Fyodor Dostoyevsky (The Brothers Karamazov Quotes)
31

For anyone to love a man, he must be hidden, for as soon as he shows his face, love is gone.Part II, Book V. Pro and Contra, Chapter IV. Rebellion, The Brothers Karamazov (1880)

So long as man remains free he strives for nothing so incessantly and so painfully as to find some one to worship. - Fyodor Dostoyevsky (The Brothers Karamazov Quotes)
32

So long as man remains free he strives for nothing so incessantly and so painfully as to find some one to worship.Part II, Book V. Pro and Contra, Chapter V. The Grand Inquisitor, The Brothers Karamazov (1880)

If there were no God, he would have to be invented. - Fyodor Dostoyevsky (The Brothers Karamazov Quotes)
33

If there were no God, he would have to be invented.Part II, Book V. Pro and Contra, Chapter III. The Brothers Make Friends, The Brothers Karamazov (1880)

There is no such old topic on which one could not say something new. - Fyodor Dostoyevsky (A Writer's Diary Quotes)
34

There is no such old topic on which one could not say something new.July and August 1876, Chapter III, A Writer's Diary (1873-1881)

If you want to be respected by others, the great thing is to respect yourself. - Fyodor Dostoyevsky (The Insulted and the Injured Quotes)
35

If you want to be respected by others, the great thing is to respect yourself.Part III, Chapter II, The Insulted and the Injured (Humiliated and Insulted) (1861)

Beauty would save the world. - Fyodor Dostoyevsky (The Idiot Quotes)
36

Beauty would save the world.Part III, Chapter V, The Idiot (1869)

A fool with a heart and no brains is just as unhappy as a fool with brains and no heart. - Fyodor Dostoyevsky (The Idiot Quotes)
37

A fool with a heart and no brains is just as unhappy as a fool with brains and no heart.Part I, Chapter VII, The Idiot (1869)

On our earth we can only love with suffering and through suffering. - Fyodor Dostoyevsky (The Dream of a Ridiculous Man Quotes)
38

On our earth we can only love with suffering and through suffering.Chapter III, The Dream of a Ridiculous Man (1877)

It's not the brains that matter most, but that which guides them - the character, the heart, generous qualities, progressive ideas. - Fyodor Dostoyevsky (The Insulted and the Injured Quotes)
39

It’s not the brains that matter most, but that which guides them – the character, the heart, generous qualities, progressive ideas.Part III, Chapter II, The Insulted and the Injured (Humiliated and Insulted) (1861)

Money is freedom in the form of coins, and so for a man who has been completely deprived of freedom it is ten times as dear. - Fyodor Dostoyevsky (The House of the Dead Quotes)
40

Money is freedom in the form of coins, and so for a man who has been completely deprived of freedom it is ten times as dear.Part I, Chapter I, The House of the Dead (1862)

To be a human among human beings, and remain one forever, no matter what misfortunes befall, not to become depressed, and not to falter - this is what life is, herein lies its task. - Fyodor Dostoyevsky Quotes
41

To be a human among human beings, and remain one forever, no matter what misfortunes befall, not to become depressed, and not to falter – this is what life is, herein lies its task.Letter to his brother Mikhail (December 22, 1849)

Life is in ourselves and not in the external. - Fyodor Dostoyevsky Quotes
42

Life is in ourselves and not in the external.Letter to his brother Mikhail (December 22, 1849)

Nothing is more seductive for a man than his freedom of conscience, but nothing is a greater cause of suffering. - Fyodor Dostoyevsky (The Brothers Karamazov Quotes)
43

Nothing is more seductive for a man than his freedom of conscience, but nothing is a greater cause of suffering.Part II, Book V. Pro and Contra, Chapter V. The Grand Inquisitor, The Brothers Karamazov (1880)

Atheism: It seeks to replace in itself the moral power of religion, in order to appease the spiritual thirst of parched humanity and save it; not by Christ, but by force. - Fyodor Dostoyevsky (The Idiot Quotes)
44

Atheism: It seeks to replace in itself the moral power of religion, in order to appease the spiritual thirst of parched humanity and save it; not by Christ, but by force.Part IV, Chapter VII, The Idiot (1869)

Love a man even in his sin, for that is the semblance of Divine Love and is the highest love on earth. - Fyodor Dostoyevsky (The Brothers Karamazov Quotes)
45

Love a man even in his sin, for that is the semblance of Divine Love and is the highest love on earth.Part II, Book VI. The Russian Monk, Chapter III. Conversations and Exhortations of Father Zossima

For the secret of man's being is not only to live but to have something to live for. - Fyodor Dostoyevsky (The Brothers Karamazov Quotes)
46

For the secret of man’s being is not only to live but to have something to live for.Part II, Book V. Pro and Contra, Chapter V. The Grand Inquisitor, The Brothers Karamazov (1880)

If you want to conquer the world, conquer yourself. - Fyodor Dostoyevsky (The Possessed Quotes)
47

If you want to conquer the world, conquer yourself.Part I, Chapter III, The Possessed (Demons) (1872)

Without some goal and some effort to reach it, no man can live. - Fyodor Dostoyevsky (The House of the Dead Quotes)
48

Without some goal and some effort to reach it, no man can live.Part II, Chapter VII, The House of the Dead (1862)

Men reject their prophets and slay them, but they love their martyrs and honor those whom they have slain. - Fyodor Dostoyevsky (The Brothers Karamazov Quotes)
49

Men reject their prophets and slay them, but they love their martyrs and honor those whom they have slain.Part II, Book VI. The Russian Monk, Chapter III. Conversations and Exhortations of Father Zossima, The Brothers Karamazov (1880)

Man is unhappy because he doesn't know he's happy. It's only that. - Fyodor Dostoyevsky (The Possessed Quotes)
50

Man is unhappy because he doesn’t know he’s happy. It’s only that.Part II, Chapter I, The Possessed (Demons) (1872)

No Source

1

To love someone means to see him as God intended him.No source

2

Realists do not fear the results of their study.No source

3

You can be sincere and still be stupid.No source

4

Lying to ourselves is more deeply ingrained than lying to others.No source