Top Dostoevsky Quotes

Browse top 26 famous quotes and sayings about Dostoevsky by most favorite authors.

Favorite Dostoevsky Quotes

1. "The real 19th century prophet was Dostoevsky, not Karl Marx."
Author: Albert Camus
2. "[P]eople need to use their intelligence to evaluate what they find to be true and untrue in the Bible. This is how we need to live life generally. Everything we hear and see we need to evaluate—whether the inspiring writings of the Bible or the inspiring writings of Shakespeare, Dostoevsky, or George Eliot, of Ghandi, Desmond Tutu, or the Dalai Lama."
Author: Bart D. Ehrman
3. "Tell it, Fanny. About the crowds, streets, buildings, lights, about the whirligig of loneliness, about the humpty-dumpty clutter of longings. And then explain about the summer parks and the white snow and the moon window in the sky. Throw in a poignantly ironical dissertation on life, on its uncharted aimlessness, and speak like Sherwood Anderson about the desire that stir in the heart. Speak like Remy de Gourmont and Dostoevsky and Stevie Crane, like Schopenhauer and Dreiser and Isaiah; speak like all the great questioners whose tongues have wagged and whose hearts have burned with questions. He will listen bewilderedly and, perhaps, only perhaps, understand for a moment the dumb pathos of your eyes."
Author: Ben Hecht
4. "This story ["The Depressed Person"] was the most painful thing I ever wrote. It's about narcissism, which is a part of depression. The character has traits of myself. I really lost friends while writing on that story, I became ugly and unhappy and just yelled at people. The cruel thing with depression is that it's such a self-centered illness - Dostoevsky shows that pretty good in his "Notes from Underground". The depression is painful, you're sapped/consumed by yourself; the worse the depression, the more you just think about yourself and the stranger and repellent you appear to others."
Author: David Foster Wallace
5. "In Dostoevsky there were things unbelievable and not to be believed, but some so true they changed you as you read them; frailty and madness, wickedness and saintliness, and the insanity of gambling were there to know as you knew the landscape and the roads in turgenev"
Author: Ernest Hemingway
6. "The fiction of Ayn Rand is as low as you can get re fiction. I hope you picked it up off the floor of the subway and threw it in the nearest garbage pail. She makes Mickey Spillane look like Dostoevsky."
Author: Flannery O'Connor
7. "It is a pity that there was no Dostoevsky living near this most interesting decadent [Jesus], I mean someone with an eye for the distinctive charm that this sort of mixture of sublimity, sickness, and childishness has to offer."
Author: Friedrich Nietzsche
8. "Dostoevsky,the only psychologist from whom I've anything to learn."
Author: Friedrich Nietzsche
9. "A few months later Dostoevsky died. He was followed to the grave by a vast multitude of mourners, who "gave the hapless man the funeral of a king." He is still probably the most widely read writer in Russia."
Author: Fyodor Dostoyevsky
10. "?" 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." --Crime and punishment, F. Dostoevsky"
Author: Fyodor Dostoyevsky
11. "...my longing was for Russia...Not Soviet Russia. But nineteenth-century Russia, the Russia of Dostoevsky's saintly prostitutes and Alyosha; of Tolstoy's Pierre; and Aksionov, the sufferer in "God Sees the Truth But Waits." A country where the characters in books were allowed to ask one another the questions: How must I live to be happy? What is goodness? Why does man suffer? What is to be done?"
Author: Guy Vanderhaeghe
12. "Dostoevsky is such a bad writer it is hard to take him seriously as a novelist, though he is a wonderful philosopher."
Author: John Banville
13. "In university courses we do exercises. Term papers, quizzes, final examinations are not meant for publication. We move through a course on Dostoevsky or Poe as we move through a mildly good cocktail party, picking up the good bits of food or conversation, bearing with the rest, going home when it comes to seem the reasonable thing to do. Art, at those moments when it feels most like art -- when we feel most alive, most alert, most triumphant -- is less like a cocktail party than a tank full of sharks."
Author: John Gardner
14. "We move through a course on Dostoevsky or Poe as we move through a mildly good cocktail party...Art...is less like a cocktail party thank a tank of shark."
Author: John Gardner
15. "Out of Dostoevsky: Kafka. Out of Tolstoy: Margaret Mitchell.(in conversation, explaining his dislike for Tolstoy)"
Author: Joseph Brodsky
16. "For who brooded over the meaninglessness of life anymore? Teenagers. They were the only ones who were preoccupied with existential issues, and as a result there was something puerile and immature about them, and hence it was doubly impossible for adults with their sense of propriety intact to deal with them. However, this is not so strange for we never feel more strongly and passionately about life than in our teenage years, when we step into the world for the first time, as it were, and all our feelings are new feelings. So there they are, with their big ideas on small orbits, looking this way and that for an opportunity to launch them, as the pressure builds. And who is it they light upon sooner or later but Uncle Dostoevsky."
Author: Karl Ove Knausgård
17. "Dostoevsky does not believe his own words, and he is trying to replace a lack of faith with "feeling" and eloquence."
Author: Lev Shestov
18. "If Darwin had seen in life what Dostoevsky saw, he would not have talked of the law of the preservation of species, but of its destruction."
Author: Lev Shestov
19. "Whether I am believed or not, I will repeat that Vladimir Soloviov, who held that Dostoevsky was a prophet, is wrong, and that N. K. Mikhailovsky, who calls him a cruel talent and a grubber after buried treasure, is right. Dostoevsky grubs after buried treasure no doubt about that. And, therefore, it would be more becoming in the younger generation that still marches under the flag of pious idealism if, instead of choosing him as a spiritual leader, they avoided the old sorcerer, in whom only those gifted with great shortsightedness or lack of experience in life could fail to see the dangerous man."
Author: Lev Shestov
20. "Dostoevsky's nature was two-fold, like Spinoza's, and like that of nearly all those who try to awaken humanity from its torpor."
Author: Lev Shestov
21. "But Dostoevsky does allow himself to ask just this very question: whether our reason has any right to judge between the possible and the impossible."
Author: Lev Shestov
22. "Andras Riedlmayer described a colleague who survived the siege of Sarajevo. In the winter, the scholar and his wife ran out of firewood, and so began to burn their books for heat and cooking. 'This forces one to think critically,' Riedlmayer remembered his friend saying. 'One must prioritize. First you burn old college textbooks, which you haven't read in thirty years. Then there are the duplicates. But eventually, you're forced to make tougher choices. Who burns today: Dostoevsky or Proust?' I asked Riedlmayer if his friend had any books left when the war was over. 'Oh yes,' he replied, his face lit by a flickering smile. 'He still had many books. Sometimes, he told me, you look at the books and just choose to go hungry."
Author: Matthew Battles
23. "I'd say that the question whether love still exists plays the same role in my novels as the question of God's existence in Dostoevsky."
Author: Michel Houellebecq
24. "You are not Dostoevsky,' said the woman...'You never can tell...' he answered.'Dostoevsky is dead,' the woman said, a bit uncertainly.'I protest!' he said with heat, 'Dostoevsky is immortal!"
Author: Mikhail Bulgakov
25. "Back when George W. Bush was identifying his Axis of Evil, it struck me that a longer and more instructive list could be compiled of the Axis of the Humiliated (or Insulted and Injured, to borrow from Dostoevsky)."
Author: Serge Schmemann
26. "Great writers, I discovered, were not to be bowed down before and worshipped, but embraced and befriended. Their names resounded through history not because they had massive brows and thought deep incomprehensible thoughts, but because they opened windows in the mind, they put their arms round you and showed you things you always knew but never dared to believe. Even if their names were terrifyingly foreign and intellectual sounding, Dostoevsky, Baudelaire or Cavafy, they turned out to be charming and wonderful and quite unalarming after all."
Author: Stephen Fry

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The spirit is willing but the flesh is weak."
Author: American Proverb

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