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Quotes from Fyodor Mikhaylovich Dostoevsky

Updated on October 4, 2008

The Influence of Dostoevsky

Dostoevsky's influence has been acclaimed by a wide variety of writers, including Marcel Proust, William Faulkner, Charles Bukowski, Albert Camus, Friedrich Nietzsche, Ayn Rand, Franz Kafka, Henry Miller, Yukio Mishima, Cormac McCarthy, Gabriel García Márquez, Jack Kerouac, J.D. Salinger, Allen Ginsberg, Orhan Pamuk, and Joseph Heller.[citation needed] American novelist Ernest Hemingway cited Dostoevsky as a major influence on his work in his autobiographical novella A Moveable Feast.

In a book of interviews with Arthur Power (Conversations with James Joyce), James Joyce praised Dostoevsky's influence:

...he is the man more than any other who has created modern prose, and intensified it to its present-day pitch. It was his explosive power which shattered the Victorian novel with its simpering maidens and ordered commonplaces; books which were without imagination or violence.

In her essay The Russian Point of View, Virginia Woolf stated that,

The novels of Dostoevsky are seething whirlpools, gyrating sandstorms, waterspouts which hiss and boil and suck us in. They are composed purely and wholly of the stuff of the soul. Against our wills we are drawn in, whirled round, blinded, suffocated, and at the same time filled with a giddy rapture. Out of Shakespeare there is no more exciting reading.

Quotes from Fyodor Mikhaylovich Dostoevsky

A real gentleman, even if he loses everything he owns, must show no emotion. Money must be so far beneath a gentleman that it is hardly worth troubling about.

Fyodor Dostoevsky

Beauty is mysterious as well as terrible. God and devil are fighting there, and the battlefield is the heart of man.

Fyodor Dostoevsky

Deprived of meaningful work, men and women lose their reason for existence; they go stark, raving mad.

Fyodor Dostoevsky

Happiness does not lie in happiness, but in the achievement of it.

Fyodor Dostoevsky

If there is no God, everything is permitted.

Fyodor Dostoevsky

If you were to destroy the belief in immortality in mankind, not only love but every living force on which the continuation of all life in the world depended, would dry up at once.

Fyodor Dostoevsky

It is not possible to eat me without insisting that I sing praises of my devourer?

Fyodor Dostoevsky

It seems, in fact, as though the second half of a man's life is made up of nothing, but the habits he has accumulated during the first half.

Fyodor Dostoevsky

Man is fond of counting his troubles, but he does not count his joys. If he counted them up as he ought to, he would see that every lot has enough happiness provided for it.

Fyodor Dostoevsky

Man only likes to count his troubles, but he does not count his joys.

Fyodor Dostoevsky

Man, so long as he remains free, has no more constant and agonizing anxiety than find as quickly as possible someone to worship.

Fyodor Dostoevsky

Men do not accept their prophets and slay them, but they love their martyrs and worship those whom they have tortured to death.

Fyodor Dostoevsky

Much unhappiness has come into the world because of bewilderment and things left unsaid.

Fyodor Dostoevsky

One can know a man from his laugh, and if you like a man's laugh before you know anything of him, you may confidently say that he is a good man.

Fyodor Dostoevsky

Power is given only to those who dare to lower themselves and pick it up. Only one thing matters, one thing; to be able to dare!

Fyodor Dostoevsky

Realists do not fear the results of their study.

Fyodor Dostoevsky

Sarcasm: the last refuge of modest and chaste-souled people when the privacy of their soul is coarsely and intrusively invaded.

Fyodor Dostoevsky

The cleverest of all, in my opinion, is the man who calls himself a fool at least once a month.

Fyodor Dostoevsky

The formula 'Two and two make five' is not without its attractions.

Fyodor Dostoevsky

The greatest happiness is to know the source of unhappiness.

Fyodor Dostoevsky

The soul is healed by being with children.

Fyodor Dostoevsky

There are things which a man is afraid to tell even to himself, and every decent man has a number of such things stored away in his mind.

Fyodor Dostoevsky

There is no subject so old that something new cannot be said about it.

Fyodor Dostoevsky

To live without Hope is to Cease to live.

Fyodor Dostoevsky

To love someone means to see him as God intended him.

Fyodor Dostoevsky

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.

Fyodor Dostoevsky

Find out why Dostoevsky was Sentenced to Prison and Death

Works by Fyodor Dostoevsky

Novels:

  • Poor Folk
  • The Double: A Petersburg Poem
  • Netochka Nezvanova
  • The Village of Stepanchikovo
  • The Insulted and Humiliated
  • The House of the Dead
  • Notes from Underground
  • Crime and Punishment
  • The Gambler
  • The Idiot
  • The Possessed
  • The Raw Youth
  • The Brothers Karamazov

Short stories:

  • "White Nights"
  • "A Christmas Tree and a Wedding"
  • "An Honest Thief"
  • "The Peasant Marey"
  • "The Dream of a Ridiculous Man"
  • "A Gentle Creature"
  • "A Weak Heart"
  • "A Nasty Story"

Non-fiction:

  • A Writer's Diary

Fyodor Mikhaylovich Dostoevsky (1821-1881)
Fyodor Mikhaylovich Dostoevsky (1821-1881)

The Classic "The Idiot" as interpreted by Andy Kaufman

Comments

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  • John Sarkis profile image

    John Sarkis 

    6 years ago from Los Angeles, CA

    I personally think Dostoevsky is the greatest genius in the history of literature; I loved all of his quotes you put together in this article about him... Voted up!

    PS. the Kaufmann skit was a bit much, but it was funny...

  • coyjay profile image

    coyjay 

    6 years ago

    St James

    I began reading Dostoevsky in the late 50's. He had a profound effect on my life and thinking. I remember reading his statement, "We are all responsible for all." And also the stress he put on the difference between the ordinary man and the extraordinary man.

    You have posted a very interesting hub here.

    Coyjay

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