Though the sleepy, myopic, and rather bald-pated figure reflected in the mirror was precisely of such insignificant quality as to arrest decidedly no one's exclusive attention at first sight, its owner evidently remained perfectly pleased with all he saw in the mirror.

Fyodor Dostoevsky

Fyodor Dostoevsky

Profession: Author
Nationality: Russian

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Two and two do make four. Nature doesn't ask your advice. She isn't interested in your preferences or whether or not you approve of her laws. You must accept nature as she is with all the consequences that that implies.

Yes, Lise. You see, your question whether we do not despise that unhappy man by dissecting his soul was the question of a person who has suffered a lot. I'm afraid I don't know how to put it properly, but a person to whom such questions occur is himself capable of suffering.

I swear to you that I am not quite such an ass as I like to appear sometimes, although I am rather an ass, I admit.

He could not love passively; once he loved, he immediately also began to help.

Compared to them I was a fly, a nasty obscene fly – cleverer, better educated, nobler than any of them, that goes without saying – but a fly, always getting out of everybody's way.

Oh! he understood that for the humble soul of the Russian peasant, worn out by grief and toil, and still more by the everlasting injustice and everlasting sin, his own and the world's, it was the greatest need and comfort to find some one or something holy to fall down before and worship.

Bah! you wish to hear a man tell of his worst actions, and you expect the story to come out goody-goody! One's worst actions always are mean.

Stupidity is brief and guileless, while wit equivocates and hides. Wit is a scoundrel, while stupidity is honest and sincere.

You have only to creep into a secluded corner or into a crocodile, to shut your eyes, and you immediately devise a perfect millennium for mankind.

Every decent man of our time is and is bound to be a coward and a slave. This is his normal condition. I am deeply convinced of that. This is how he is constituted, and this is what he is meant to be.

Add to that that he was to some extent a youth of our last epoch—that is, honest in nature, desiring the truth, seeking for it and believing in it, and seeking to serve it at once with all the strength of his soul, seeking for immediate action, and ready to sacrifice everything, life itself, for it.

If God does not exist, everything is permitted.

It's the great mystery of human life that old grief passes gradually into quiet, tender joy. The mild serenity of age takes the place of the riotous blood of youth.

I, for instance, was triumphant over everyone; everyone, of course, was in dust and ashes, and was forced spontaneously to recognise my superiority, and I forgave them all.