Dostoyevsky's Phrases: Top 30

George Alvarez 18-10-2023
George Alvarez

In this article we will tell you a little about the life story of one of the greatest writers of Russian and world literature: Fyodor Mikhailovitch Dostoyevsky. Dostoyevsky's phrases These are words that the writer said in his works and throughout his career.

Personal life

Dostoevsky was born in Moscow on October 30, 1821, the second of seven children. His father, Mikhail, was a military surgeon and was known to be very strict and violent with his family.

In 1837, Dostoyevsky's mother died early of tuberculosis, which caused Mikhail to sink into alcoholism and depression, culminating in the sending of Fyodor and one of his brothers to the St. Petersburg School of Engineering. In 1839, Mikhail dies under very suspicious circumstances. One version is that his servants, because they were treated too badly, murdered him.

This event was very striking in the life of Fiódor, who for a long time wished for his father's death and ended up blaming himself until the end of his life. This fact was studied by Sigmund Freud in his well-known article "Dostoevsky and the Parricide" of 1928.

Entering Literature

In 1843, even after graduating in engineering and obtaining the rank of sub-lieutenant, Dostoevsky did not continue his career and began to work as a translator. Among his works was the translation of the works of Balzac, an author of whom Dostoevsky was an admirer.

The following year, he leaves the army and begins writing his first work : the novel Poor People Later on, the following were written Niétotchka Niezvânova (between 1846 and 1849) and White Nights (1848).

Militancy and prison

Dostoyevsky was active with a socialist group called the Petrashevsky Circle that denounced the abuse of power committed by the authoritarian government of Tsar Nicholas I.

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In April 1849, as a consequence of his involvement in politics, Dostoyevsky was arrested and sentenced to death He was even taken to the firing yard with other prisoners, but at the last minute, his sentence was exchanged for 5 years of hard labor in Siberia, where he remained until 1854.

His time in prison was very traumatic, to the point that he recounts some of his experiences in Memories of the House of the Dead published in 1862.

Dostoyevsky's affective life

Dostoyevsky met Maria Dmitriévna Issáieva, who was a widow and had a son. The two were married in 1857. Then, in the 1860s, he made several trips to Europe and met Paulina Suslova, with whom he had an affair. love affair .

However, Paulina ends up betraying him. Dostoevsky is disappointed with the one who was his great passion and returns to his wife, who died of tuberculosis in 1864.

In 1867, Fyodor remarried. His second wife was Anna Grigoriévna, who was his secretary and assisted him in the production of his book The Player It has become a sales success.

Literary career - source of Dostoyevsky's sentences

Dostoyevsky's works have a profound psychological burden As such, his characters are mostly always questioning the validity of morals, and their actions walk a fine line between good and evil.

Therefore, among the profiles of the protagonists we have:

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  • sick, be they physical or mental, owners of a feverish mind;
  • criminals;
  • infidels;
  • decadent, where anguish always runs through his thoughts.

The stories reflect in their interior what the author himself lived. That is, the places where Dostoyevsky lived, the time in prison; the people he lived with and met are faithful portraits that served as the biographical basis for his books. In this way, they were a keynote during his entire literary life.

Main works

  • Memoirs from Underground (1864);
  • Crime and Punishment (1866);
  • The Idiot (1869);
  • The Demons (1872);
  • The Brothers Karamazov (1881).

Dostoyevsky's Best Phrases

  1. You can be sure that it was not when he discovered America, but when he was discovering it, that Columbus was happy.
  2. You know a man by his laughter ; if the first time we meet him he laughs pleasantly, the intimate is excellent.
  3. The more I like humanity in general, the less I appreciate people in particular, as individuals.
  4. I have to proclaim my disbelief. To me there is nothing higher than the idea of the non-existence of God. Man invented God so that he could live without killing himself.
  5. Neither man nor nation can exist without a sublime idea.
  6. Sometimes man prefers suffering to passion.
  7. Purification by suffering is less painful than the situation that is created for a guilty person by an unthinking absolution.
  8. Tragedy and satire are sisters and are always in agreement; considered at the same time, they receive the name of truth.
  9. Nothing has served despotism as well as the sciences and talent.
  10. There is no idea or fact that cannot be vulgarized and presented in a ridiculous light.
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More Phrases by Dostoyevsky

  1. I definitely do not understand why it is more glorious to bombard a city with shells than to murder someone with axes.
  2. Beauty will save the world.
  3. Lack of freedom is never about being segregated, but about being in promiscuity, for the unspeakable suffering is not being able to be alone .
  4. Life is a paradise, but men do not know it and do not care to know it.
  5. Faith and mathematical demonstrations are two irreconcilable things.
  6. Is it not better to correct, recover, and educate a human being than to cut off his head?
  7. If someone were to prove to me that Christ is outside of the truth, and if it were really established that the truth is outside of Christ, I would prefer Christ to the truth.
  8. Every woman knows that jealous people are the first to forgive.
  9. The real truth is always unreal.
  10. There is no subject so old that something new cannot be said about it.

Latest phrases by Dostoyevsky

  1. In the eyes of the artist, the public is a necessary evil You have to beat it, nothing more.
  2. The best definition I can give of a man is that of a being that gets used to everything.
  3. The criminal, at the moment he commits his crime, is always a sick person.
  4. Man's cruelty is often compared with that of beasts, but this is to revile the latter.
  5. The greatest happiness is when a person knows why he is unhappy.
  6. We are all responsible for everything, before everyone.
  7. God, in Heaven, every time He sees a sinner call upon Him with all his heart, He has the same joy as a mother when she sees the first smile on her child's face.
  8. Lying is man's only privilege over all other animals.
  9. If you want to conquer the whole world, conquer yourself .
  10. If God did not exist, everything would be allowed.

Final considerations

Finally, as we have seen, Dostoevsky's work has a determining psychological character, which can be considered a reflection of his soul, which is why many people can identify with his writings to this day.

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George Alvarez

George Alvarez is a renowned psychoanalyst who has been practicing for over 20 years and is highly regarded in the field. He is a sought-after speaker and has conducted numerous workshops and training programs on psychoanalysis for professionals in the mental health industry. George is also an accomplished writer and has authored several books on psychoanalysis that have received critical acclaim. George Alvarez is dedicated to sharing his knowledge and expertise with others and has created a popular blog on Online Training Course in Psychoanalysis that is widely followed by mental health professionals and students around the world. His blog provides a comprehensive training course that covers all aspects of psychoanalysis, from theory to practical applications. George is passionate about helping others and is committed to making a positive difference in the lives of his clients and students.