Fyodor Dostoevsky Quotes (displaying: 121 - 150 of 1009 quotes)
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.
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.
One's own free and unfettered volition, one's own caprice, however wild, one's own fancy, inflamed sometimes to the point of madness - that is the one best and greatest good, which is never taken into consideration because it cannot fit into any classification and the omission of which sends all systems and theories to the devil.
I could have done even better, miss, and I'd know a lot more, if it wasn't for my destiny ever since childhood. I'd have killed a man in a duel with a pistol for calling me low-born, because I came from Stinking Lizaveta without a father, and they were shoving that in my face in Moscow. It spread there thanks to Grigory Vasilievich. Grigory Vasilievich reproaches me for rebelling against my nativity: 'You opened her matrix,' he says. I don't know about her matrix, but I'd have let them kill me in the womb, so as not to come out into the world at all, miss.
I hated my face, for example, found it odious, and even suspected that there was some mean expression in it, and therefore every time I came to work I made a painful effort to carry myself as independently as possible, and to express as much nobility as possible with my face. "let it not be a beautiful face," I thought, "but, to make up for that, let it be a noble, an expressive, and, above all, an extremely intelligent one." Yet I knew, with certainty and suffering, that i would never be able to express all those perfections with the face I had. The most terrible thing was that I found it positively stupid. And I would have been quite satisfied with intelligence. Let's even say I would even have agreed to a mean expression, provided only that at the same time my face be found terribly intelligent.
It was not only that I could not become spiteful, I did not know how to become anything; neither spiteful nor kind, neither a rascal nor an honest man, neither a hero nor an insect. Now, I am living out my life in my corner, taunting myself with the spiteful and useless consolation that an intelligent man cannot become anything seriously, and it is only the fool who becomes anything.
...in my opinion miracles will never confound a realist. It is not miracles that bring a realist to faith. A true realist, if he is not a believer, will always find in himself the strength and ability not to believe in miracles as well, and if a miracle stands before him as an irrefutable fact, he will sooner doubt his own senses than admit the fact. And even if he does admit it, he will admit it as a fact of nature that was previously unknown to him. In the realist, faith is not born from miracles, but miracles from faith. Once the realist comes to believe, then, precisely because of his realism, he must also allow for miracles. The Apostle Thomas declared that he would not believe until he saw, and when he saw, he said: "My Lord and My God!" Was it the miracle that made him believe? Most likely not, but he believed first and foremost because he wished to believe, and maybe already fully believed in his secret heart even as he was saying: "I will not believe until I see.
The reason why I consider myself a clever man is simply because I could never in my life finish anything I'd started. All right, I am a talker, a harmless, boring talker as we all are. But what can I do if the direct and sole purpose of every intelligent man is to talk, that is to say, to waste his time deliberately?
Oh, if only I did nothing simply as a result of laziness. Lord, how I’d respect myself then. I’d respect myself precisely because at least I’d be capable of being lazy; at least I’d possess one more or less positive trait of which I could be certain. Question: who am I? Answer: a sluggard. Why, it would have been very pleasant to hear that said about oneself. It would mean that I’d been positively identified; it would mean that there was something to be said about me. “A sluggard!” Why, that’s a calling and a vocation, a whole career! Don’t joke, it’s true. Then, by rights I’d be a member of the very best club and would occupy myself exclusively by being able to respect myself continually.