87 Fyodor Dostoevsky Quotes from the Russian Novelist

Famed Russian author Fyodor Dostoyevsky’s literary legacy, rich with psychological depth and philosophical insight, remains crucially relevant, exploring the societal, spiritual and political landscapes of 19th-century Russia.

With classics like “The Brothers Karamazov” and “Crime and Punishment”, his works dive into timeless themes — poverty, crime, family breakdown — still resonating today in discussions, studies and culture.

Fyodor Dostoevsky

From St. Petersburg’s bustling Dostoyevsky-themed tours and revered Memorial Museum to global theatrical, film and TV adaptations, his influence persists, with continual reinterpretation keeping his contributions vibrantly alive and perpetually significant in contemporary discourse and exploration.

Let’s dive into the best quotes by Fyodor Dostoevsky.

Best Fyodor Dostoevsky Quotes


If you want to overcome the whole world, overcome yourself. ~ Fyodor Dostoevsky.


I did not bow down to you, I bowed down to all the suffering of humanity. ~ Fyodor Dostoevsky.


Above all, don’t lie to yourself. ~ Fyodor Dostoevsky.


To go wrong in one’s own way is better than to go right in someone else’s. ~ Fyodor Dostoevsky.


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


Destroy my desires, eradicate my ideals, show me something better, and I will follow you. ~ Fyodor Dostoevsky.


Man is sometimes extraordinarily, passionately, in love with suffering… ~ Fyodor Dostoevsky.


Taking a new step, uttering a new word, is what people fear most. ~ Fyodor Dostoevsky.


Without God all things are permitted. ~ Fyodor Dostoevsky.


If he has a conscience he will suffer for his mistake. That will be his punishment-as well as the prison. ~ Fyodor Dostoevsky.


If you want to be respected by others, the great thing is to respect yourself. Only by that, only by self-respect will you compel others to respect you. ~ Fyodor Dostoevsky.

Famous Fyodor Dostoevsky Quotes

We sometimes encounter people, even perfect strangers, who begin to interest us at first sight, somehow suddenly, all at once, before a word has been spoken. ~ Fyodor Dostoevsky.


To live without Hope is to Cease to live. ~ Fyodor Dostoevsky.

Anyone who can appease a man’s conscience can take his freedom away from him. ~ Fyodor Dostoevsky.

The man who lies to himself and listens to his own lie comes to a point that he cannot distinguish the truth within him, or around him, and so loses all respect for himself and for others. And having no respect he ceases to love. ~ Fyodor Dostoevsky.

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


When reason fails, the devil helps! ~ Fyodor Dostoevsky.

I think the devil doesn’t exist, but man has created him, he has created him in his own image and likeness. ~ Fyodor Dostoevsky.


The greatest happiness is to know the source of unhappiness. ~ Fyodor Dostoevsky.

She was a complete slave and went in fear and trembling of her sister, who made her work day and night, and even beat her. ~ Fyodor Dostoevsky.

I always feel when I meet people that I am lower than all, and that they all take me for a buffoon; so I say let me play the buffoon, for you are, every one of you, stupider and lower than I. ~ Fyodor Dostoevsky.


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

Top Fyodor Dostoevsky Quotes

It takes something more than intelligence to act intelligently. ~ Fyodor Dostoevsky.


You can be sincere and still be stupid. ~ Fyodor Dostoevsky.

A dream! What is a dream? And is not our life a dream? ~ Fyodor Dostoevsky.

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. ~ Fyodor Dostoevsky.

The soul is healed by being with children. ~ Fyodor Dostoevsky.


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

A new philosophy, a new way of life, is not given for nothing. It has to be paid dearly for and only acquired with much patience and great effort. ~ Fyodor Dostoyevsky.

People speak sometimes about the “bestial” cruelty of man, but that is terribly unjust and offensive to beasts, no animal could ever be so cruel as a man, so artfully, so artistically cruel. ~ Fyodor Dostoevsky.

I can see the sun, but even if I cannot see the sun, I know that it exists. And to know that the sun is there – that is living. ~ Fyodor Dostoevsky.

The chief thing is to love others like yourself, that’s the great thing, and that’s everything; nothing else is wanted. ~ Fyodor Dostoevsky.

Right or wrong, it’s very pleasant to break something from time to time. ~ Fyodor Dostoevsky.

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

The Russian soul is a dark place. ~ Fyodor Dostoevsky.

The man who has a conscience suffers whilst acknowledging his sin. That is his punishment. ~ Fyodor Dostoevsky.


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

Man grows used to everything, the scoundrel! ~ Fyodor Dostoevsky.

What is hell? I maintain that it is the suffering of being unable to love. ~ Fyodor Dostoevsky.

Here is a commandment for you: seek happiness in sorrow. Work, work tirelessly. ~ Fyodor Dostoevsky.

Popular Fyodor Dostoevsky Quotes

The degree of civilization in a society can be judged by entering its prisons. ~ Fyodor Dostoevsky.


Suffering is the sole origin of consciousness. ~ Fyodor Dostoevsky.

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

Times of crisis, of disruption or constructive change, are not only predictable, but desirable. They mean growth. Taking a new step, uttering a new word, is what people fear most. ~ Fyodor Dostoevsky.

We are citizens of eternity. ~ Fyodor Dostoevsky.

Man has it all in his hands, and it all slips through his fingers from sheer cowardice. ~ Fyodor Dostoevsky.

A society should be judged not by how it treats its outstanding citizens but by how it treats its criminals. ~ Fyodor Dostoevsky.


I utter what you would not dare think. ~ 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. ~ Fyodor Dostoevsky.

Lying to ourselves is more deeply ingrained than lying to others. ~ Fyodor Dostoevsky.

The best way to keep a prisoner from escaping is to make sure he never knows he’s in prison. ~ Fyodor Dostoevsky.

There is only one thing that I dread: not to be worthy of my sufferings. ~ Fyodor Dostoevsky.

If everything on earth were rational, nothing would happen. ~ Fyodor Dostoevsky.

If there is no God, then I am God. ~ Fyodor Dostoevsky.

Great Fyodor Dostoevsky Quotes

To think too much is a disease. ~ Fyodor Dostoevsky.

Man is a mystery. It needs to be unraveled, and if you spend your whole life unraveling it, don’t say that you’ve wasted time. I am studying that mystery because I want to be a human being. ~ Fyodor Dostoevsky.

To love someone means to see them as God intended them. ~ Fyodor Dostoevsky.

Love the animals, love the plants, love everything. If you love everything, you will perceive the divine mystery in things. Once you perceive it, you will begin to comprehend it better every day. And you will come at last to love the whole world with an all-embracing love. ~ Fyodor Dostoevsky.


Reason is the slave of passion. ~ Fyodor Dostoevsky.

If he’s alive he has everything in his power! Whose fault is it he doesn’t understand that. ~ Fyodor Dostoevsky.

There is immeasurably more left inside than what comes out in words. Your thought, even a bad one, while it is with you, is always more profound, but in words it is more ridiculous and dishonorable. ~ Fyodor Dostoevsky.

Truly great men must, I think, experience great sorrow on the earth. ~ Fyodor Dostoevsky.

You ache with it all; and the more mysterious it is, the more you ache. ~ Fyodor Dostoevsky.

The cleverest of all, in my opinion, is the man who calls himself a fool at least once a month. ~ Fyodor Dostoevsky.

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. ~ Fyodor Dostoevsky.

Oh I’ve plenty of time, my time is entirely my own. ~ Fyodor Dostoevsky.

Nothing is easier than to denounce the evildoer; nothing is more difficult than to understand him. ~ Fyodor Dostoevsky.

You will burn and you will burn out; you will be healed and come back again. ~ Fyodor Dostoevsky.

If you wish to glimpse inside a human soul and get to know a man, don’t bother analyzing his ways of being silent, of talking, of weeping, of seeing how much he is moved by noble ideas; you will get better results if you just watch him laugh. If he laughs well, he’s a good man. ~ Fyodor Dostoevsky.

Love in action is a harsh and dreadful thing compared to love in dreams. ~ Fyodor Dostoevsky.

Powerful Fyodor Dostoevsky Quotes

The world will be saved by beauty. ~ Fyodor Dostoevsky.

When he has lost all hope, all objects in life, man becomes a monster in his misery. ~ Fyodor Dostoevsky.

For broad understanding and deep feeling, you need pain and suffering. ~ Fyodor Dostoevsky.


I am alone, I thought, and they are everybody. ~ Fyodor Dostoevsky.

Power is given only to those who dare to lower themselves and pick it up. Only one thing matters, one thing; to be able to dare! ~ Fyodor Dostoevsky.

I wanted to become a Napoleon, that’s why I killed…Now do you understand? ~ Fyodor Dostoevsky.

Learning to love is hard and we pay dearly for it. It takes hard work and a long apprenticeship, for it is not just for a moment that we must learn to love, but forever. ~ 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. ~ Fyodor Dostoevsky.

I have so much to say to you that I am afraid I shall tell you nothing. ~ Fyodor Dostoevsky.

Pain and suffering are always inevitable for a large intelligence and a deep heart. The really great men must, I think, have great sadness on earth. ~ Fyodor Dostoevsky.

To love is to suffer and there can be no love otherwise. ~ Fyodor Dostoyevsky.

So these were the 87 top Fyodor Dostoevsky quotes and sayings on love, life and tolerance.

If you like these quotes and sayings, then you can also read my other posts on Dejan Stojanovic Quotes and Frederick Buechner Quotes.

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Chandan Negi
Chandan Negi

I’m the Founder of Internet Pillar - I love sharing quotes and motivational content to inspire and motivate people - #quotes #motivation #internetpillar