The Best Fyodor Dostoevsky quotes

Fyodor Dostoevsky quotes thumbnail

Russian author Fyodor Dostoevsky is one of the most celebrated and admired authors in history. Though his life was filled with great tragedy, he managed to produce some of the most powerful and timeless pieces of literature ever written. This blog post will provide a brief quotes compilation of Dostoevsky, as well as highlight some of his most famous works.

Discover the best World, Human Beings, Reason, Love, Happiness, Life, Heart, Truth quotes from Fyodor Dostoevsky, and much more.


About Fyodor Dostoevsky

birth of the author

11 November 1821

death of the author

9 February 1881

occupation of the author

Military Engineer

education of the author

Military Engineering-Technical University, St. Petersburg

genre of the author

Novel, Short Story, Journalism

movement of the author

Literary Movement:

award of the author

Notable Works:
Notes From Underground And More.

date of the author

Years Active:


I almost do not exist now and I know it; God knows what lives in me in place of me. β€” Fyodor Dostoevsky

What you need more than anything in life is a definite position. β€” Fyodor Dostoevsky

Life is in ourselves and not in the external. β€” Fyodor Dostoevsky

I punish myself for my whole life, my whole life I punish. β€” Fyodor Dostoevsky

i almost do not exist now and i know it god knows what lives in me in place of me Fyodor Dostoevsky quote

The consciousness of life is higher than life. β€” Fyodor Dostoevsky

Life is paradise, and we are all in paradise, but we refuse to see it. β€” Fyodor Dostoevsky

Life [had] replaced logic. β€” Fyodor Dostoevsky

Only to live, to live and live! Life, whatever it may be! β€” Fyodor Dostoevsky

Life had stepped into the place of theory. β€” Fyodor Dostoevsky

what you need more than anything in life is a definite position Fyodor Dostoevsky quote

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. β€” Fyodor Dostoevsky

I used to imagine adventures for myself, I invented a life, so that I could at least exist somehow. β€” Fyodor Dostoevsky

At first, art imitates life. Then life will imitate art.Then life will find its very existence from the arts. β€” Fyodor Dostoevsky

The second half of a man’s life is made up of nothing but The habits he has acquired during The first half. β€” Fyodor Dostoevsky

Twice two is four is not life, gentlemen, but the beginning of death. β€” Fyodor Dostoevsky

life is in ourselves and not in the external Fyodor Dostoevsky quote

And if there’s love, you can do without happiness too. Even with sorrow, life is sweet. β€” Fyodor Dostoevsky

Every man looks out for himself, and he has the happiest life who manages to hoodwink himself best of all. β€” Fyodor Dostoevsky

When he has lost all hope, all object in life, man becomes a monster in his misery. β€” Fyodor Dostoevsky

We have all lost touch with life, we all limp, each to a greater or lesser degree. β€” Fyodor Dostoevsky

Life is what matters, life alone–the continuous, eternal process of discovering life–and not the discovery itself. β€” Fyodor Dostoevsky

i punish myself for my whole life my whole life i punish Fyodor Dostoevsky quote

It’s the great mystery of human life that old grief passes gradually into quiet tender joy. β€” Fyodor Dostoevsky


Is there in the whole world a being who would have the right to forgive and could forgive? β€” Fyodor Dostoevsky

I say let the world go to hell, but I should always have my tea. β€” Fyodor Dostoevsky

Beauty would save the world. β€” Fyodor Dostoevsky

Much unhappiness has come into the world because of bewilderment and things left unsaid. β€” Fyodor Dostoevsky

i say let the world go to hell but i should always have my tea Fyodor Dostoevsky quote

If you want to overcome the whole world, overcome yourself. β€” Fyodor Dostoevsky

It is easier for a Russian to become an atheist than for anyone else in the world. β€” Fyodor Dostoevsky

What is most vile and despicable about money is that it even confers talent. And it will do so until the end of the world. β€” Fyodor Dostoevsky

The world will be saved by beauty. β€” Fyodor Dostoevsky

I cannot understand why the world is arranged as it is. β€” Fyodor Dostoevsky

beauty would save the world Fyodor Dostoevsky quote

I do not rebel against my God, I simply do not accept his world. β€” Fyodor Dostoevsky

The world stands on absurdities, and without them perhaps nothing at all would happen. β€” Fyodor Dostoevsky

The absurd is only too necessary on earth. The world stands on absurdities. β€” Fyodor Dostoevsky

One may say anything about the history of the world–anything that might enter the most disordered imagination. The only thing one can’t say is that it’s rational. β€” Fyodor Dostoevsky

Nothing in this world is harder than speaking the truth, nothing easier than flattery. β€” Fyodor Dostoevsky

if you want to overcome the whole world overcome yourself Fyodor Dostoevsky quote

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. β€” Fyodor Dostoevsky

Since I wasn’t consulted at the time of the creation of the world, I reserve for myself the right to have my own opinion about it. β€” Fyodor Dostoevsky

It’s not God that I do not accept, you understand, it is this world of God’s, created by God, that I do not accept and cannot agree to accept. β€” Fyodor Dostoevsky

They have succeeded in accumulating a greater mass of objects, but the joy in the world has grown less. β€” Fyodor Dostoevsky


But to fall in love does not mean to love. One can fall in love and still hate. β€” Fyodor Dostoevsky

but to fall in love does not mean to love one can fall in love and still hate Fyodor Dostoevsky quote

Loving someone is different from being in love with someone. You can hate someone you’re in love with β€” Fyodor Dostoevsky

They were like two enemies in love with one another. β€” Fyodor Dostoevsky

Hell is the inability to love. β€” Fyodor Dostoevsky

To love another person is to see them as God intended them to be. β€” Fyodor Dostoevsky

If thou love each thing thou wilt perceive the mystery of God in all. β€” Fyodor Dostoevsky

they were like two enemies in love with one another Fyodor Dostoevsky quote

The more I love humanity in general, the less I love man in particular. β€” Fyodor Dostoevsky

In abstract love of humanity one almost always only loves oneself. β€” Fyodor Dostoevsky

Forgive me… for my love–for ruining you with my love. β€” Fyodor Dostoevsky

If you love everything, you will perceive the divine mystery of things. β€” Fyodor Dostoevsky

I want to suffer so that I may love. β€” Fyodor Dostoevsky

hell is the inability to love Fyodor Dostoevsky quote

To love is to suffer and there can be no love otherwise. β€” Fyodor Dostoevsky

Love life more than the meaning of it? β€” Fyodor Dostoevsky

With love one can live even without happiness. β€” Fyodor Dostoevsky

To be in love is not the same as loving. You can be in love with a woman and still hate her. β€” Fyodor Dostoevsky

In order to love simply, it is necessary to know how to show love. β€” Fyodor Dostoevsky

to love another person is to see them as god intended them to be Fyodor Dostoevsky quote

The more I detest men individually the more ardent becomes my love for humanity. β€” Fyodor Dostoevsky

I feel pity for him, and that is a poor sign of love. β€” Fyodor Dostoevsky

Love in action is a harsh and dreadful thing compared with love in dreams. β€” Fyodor Dostoevsky

Love the animals: God has given them the rudiments of thought and joy untroubled. β€” Fyodor Dostoevsky


There is no explaining anything by reasoning and so it is useless to reason. β€” Fyodor Dostoevsky

there is no explaining anything by reasoning and so it is useless to reason Fyodor Dostoevsky quote

If not reason, then the devil. β€” Fyodor Dostoevsky

Reason is the slave of passion. β€” Fyodor Dostoevsky

Redundant Thematics

In Fyodor Dostoevsky Statements


What does reason know? Reason only knows what it has succeeded in learning. β€” Fyodor Dostoevsky

The death of a child is the greatest reason to doubt the existence of God. β€” Fyodor Dostoevsky

I never have frustrations. The reason is to wit: Of at first I don’t succeed, I quit! β€” Fyodor Dostoevsky

if not reason then the devil Fyodor Dostoevsky quote

My God, but what do I care about the laws of nature and arithmatic if for some reason these laws and two times two is four are not to my liking? β€” Fyodor Dostoevsky

When reason fails, the devil helps! β€” Fyodor Dostoevsky

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. β€” Fyodor Dostoevsky

Without a clear perception of his reasons for living, man will never consent to live, and will rather destroy himself than tarry on earth, though he be surrounded with bread’. β€” Fyodor Dostoevsky


If someone proved to me that Christ is outside the truth, and that in reality the truth were outside of Christ, then I should prefer to remain with Christ rather than with the truth. β€” Fyodor Dostoevsky

lying is a delightful thing for it leads to truth Fyodor Dostoevsky quote

If the people around you are spiteful and callous and will not hear you, fall down before them and beg their forgiveness; for in truth you are to blame for their not wanting to hear you. β€” Fyodor Dostoevsky

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. β€” Fyodor Dostoevsky

It is man’s unique privilege, among all other organisms. By pursuing falsehood you will arrive at the truth! β€” Fyodor Dostoevsky

Lying is a delightful thing, for it leads to truth. β€” Fyodor Dostoevsky

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. β€” Fyodor Dostoevsky

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. β€” Fyodor Dostoevsky

They tease me now, telling me it was only a dream. But does it matter whether it was a dream or reality, if the dream made known to me the truth? β€” Fyodor Dostoevsky

Of course I shall go astray often…for who does not make mistakes? But I cannot go far wrong for I have seen the truth. β€” Fyodor Dostoevsky

A man who lies to himself, and believes his own lies, becomes unable to recognize truth, either in himself or in anyone else, and he ends up losing respect for himself and for others. β€” Fyodor Dostoevsky

Everything passes, only truth remains. β€” Fyodor Dostoevsky

People really do like seeing their best friends humiliated; a large part of the friendship is based on humiliation; and that is an old truth,well known to all intelligent people. β€” Fyodor Dostoevsky

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. β€” Fyodor Dostoevsky


A beast can never be as cruel as a human being, so artistically, so picturesquely cru el. β€” Fyodor Dostoevsky

Nothing has ever been more insupportable for a man and a human society than freedom.–The Grand Inquisitor β€” Fyodor Dostoevsky

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. β€” Fyodor Dostoevsky

compassion is the chief law of human existence Fyodor Dostoevsky quote

If he’s honest, he’ll steal; if he’s human, he’ll murder; if he’s faithful, he’ll deceive. β€” Fyodor Dostoevsky

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. β€” Fyodor Dostoevsky

Compassion is the chief law of human existence. β€” Fyodor Dostoevsky

Equality lies only in human moral dignity. … Let there be brothers first, then there will be brotherhood, and only then will there be a fair sharing of goods among brothers. β€” Fyodor Dostoevsky

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. β€” Fyodor Dostoevsky

The mystery of human existence lies not in just staying alive, but in finding something to live for. β€” Fyodor Dostoevsky

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 β€” Fyodor Dostoevsky

Human laziness makes people pigeonhole one another at first site so that they find nothing in common with one another. β€” Fyodor Dostoevsky


Only the heart knows how to find what is precious. β€” Fyodor Dostoevsky

And though I suffer for you, yet it eases my heart to suffer for you. β€” Fyodor Dostoevsky

only the heart knows how to find what is precious Fyodor Dostoevsky quote

A fool with a heart and no sense is just as unhappy as a fool with sense and no heart. β€” Fyodor Dostoevsky

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. β€” Fyodor Dostoevsky

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? β€” Fyodor Dostoevsky

Sorrow compressed my heart, and I felt I would die, and then… Well, then I woke up. β€” Fyodor Dostoevsky

Beauty is mysterious as well as terrible. God and devil are fighting there, and the battlefield is the heart of man. β€” Fyodor Dostoevsky

and though i suffer for you yet it eases my heart to suffer for you Fyodor Dostoevsky quote

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. β€” Fyodor Dostoevsky

He does not like showing his feelings and would rather do a cruel thing than open his heart freely. β€” Fyodor Dostoevsky

A widow, the mother of a family, and from her heart she produces chords to which my whole being responds. β€” Fyodor Dostoevsky

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. β€” Fyodor Dostoevsky

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. β€” Fyodor Dostoevsky

It is not the brains that matter most, but that which guides them–the character, the heart, generous qualities, progressive ideas. β€” Fyodor Dostoevsky


Happiness lies not in happiness but only in the attempt to achieve it. β€” Fyodor Dostoevsky

The greatest happiness is knowing the source of unhappiness. β€” Fyodor Dostoevsky

A single day is sufficient for a man to discover what happiness is. β€” Fyodor Dostoevsky

Beyond the grave they will find nothing but death. But we shall keep the secret, and for their happiness we shall allure them with the reward of heaven and eternity. β€” Fyodor Dostoevsky

happiness lies not in happiness but only in the attempt to achieve it Fyodor Dostoevsky quote

This is my last message to you: in sorrow, seek happiness. β€” Fyodor Dostoevsky

Man only likes to count his troubles; he doesn’t calculate his happiness. β€” Fyodor Dostoevsky

For men are made for happiness, and any one who is completely happy has a right to say to himself, ‘I am doing God’s will on earth.’ β€” Fyodor Dostoevsky

But what are years, what are months!’ he would exclaim. ‘Why count the days, when even one day is enough for man to know all happiness. β€” Fyodor Dostoevsky

But do you understand, I cry to him, do you understand that along with happiness, in the exact same way, in perfectly equal proportion, man also needs unhappiness β€” Fyodor Dostoevsky

the greatest happiness is knowing the source of unhappiness Fyodor Dostoevsky quote


Dostoevsky’s words ring true today as they did over a hundred years ago. The power of the mind is infinite and we are constantly discovering new ways to harness that power. If you want to learn more about how to use cognitive neuroscience in your own business, check out our courses. We have modules on marketing, sales, and even leadership that will give you the tools you need to succeed. With the ever-growing body of knowledge about how the human brain works, there is no limit to what you can achieve.