55 Fyodor Dostoevsky Quotes (On Happiness, Life, Love)

By Maxime Lagacé

Maxime is the founder of WisdomQuotes. He has been collecting quotes since 2004. His goal? To help you develop a calm and peaceful mind. Learn more about him on his about page.

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fyodor dostoevsky quotes wisdom
The top 55 Fyodor Dostoevsky quotes.

The topics on this page?

  • Happiness
  • Intelligence
  • Love
  • Life

Like Proust, Montaigne, or Socrates, Dostoevsky was a profound philosopher.

I discovered him in 2004 after my girlfriend had died in a car accident.

His quotes on suffering and happiness were life-changing to me.

Born in 1821, this Russian novelist and philosopher inspired me and many others throughout the years.

And Nietzsche is also one of those.

So, what will you learn?

  • The “utility” of suffering
  • The importance of self-knowledge
  • How to live a happier life

I hope you’ll enjoy these beautiful quotes as much as I did.

Top 10 Fyodor Dostoevsky Quotes

fyodor dostoevsky quotes beauty save world wisdom

Beauty will save the world. Fyodor Dostoevsky

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

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

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

fyodor dostoevsky quotes want overcome world yourself wisdom

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

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

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

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

I gave up caring about anything, and all the problems disappeared. Fyodor Dostoevsky


Fyodor Dostoevsky Quotes About Happiness, Suffering

fyodor dostoevsky quotes happiness comfort suffering wisdom

There is no happiness in comfort. Happiness comes from suffering. Fyodor Dostoevsky

It is better to be unhappy and know the worst, than to be happy in a fool’s paradise. Fyodor Dostoevsky

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

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

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

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

Suffering is the sole origin of consciousness. Fyodor Dostoevsky

fyodor dostoevsky quotes soul healed children wisdom

The soul is healed by being with children. Fyodor Dostoevsky

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

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

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

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

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



Fyodor Dostoevsky Quotes About Life

fyodor dostoevsky quotes darker night stars wisdom

The darker the night, the brighter the stars. 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. Fyodor Dostoevsky

Times of crisis, of disruption or constructive change, are not only predictable, but desirable. They mean growth. Fyodor Dostoevsky

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

You can be sincere and still be stupid. Fyodor Dostoevsky

fyodor dostoevsky quotes live without hope wisdom

To live without hope is to cease to live. Fyodor Dostoevsky

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

I will not and cannot believe that evil is the normal condition of mankind. Fyodor Dostoevsky

Money is coined liberty. Fyodor Dostoevsky

fyodor dostoevsky quotes power given wisdom

Power is given only to those who dare to lower themselves and pick it up. Fyodor Dostoevsky

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

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

But how could you live and have no story to tell? Fyodor Dostoevsky

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


Fyodor Dostoevsky Quotes About Love, Friendship

fyodor dostoevsky quotes love suffer otherwise wisdom

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

One cannot love what one does not know. Fyodor Dostoevsky

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

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 love another person is to see them as God intended them to be. Fyodor Dostoevsky

Fyodor Dostoevsky Quotes About Intelligence

fyodor dostoevsky quotes above dont lie yourself wisdom

Above all, don’t lie to yourself. 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

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

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

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

Man is a creature who can get accustomed to anything, and I think that is the best definition of him. Fyodor Dostoevsky

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

Reason is the slave of passion. Fyodor Dostoevsky



fyodor dostoevsky quotes possible happiness wisdom

Through it all, it is possible to find happiness. It’s the great mystery of human life that old grief passes gradually into quiet tender joy. Fyodor Dostoevsky

fyodor dostoevsky

Key Takeaways

  • Beauty. Like Dostoevsky, make sure you stay hopeful despite your sufferings and struggles. Yes, life is hard. But it can also be beautiful.
  • Self-knowledge. Perhaps you want to change the world. But don’t forget to change yourself first. Like Dostoevsky, make sure you gain self-knowledge and self-understanding every day.
  • Suffering. Keep in mind: suffering can be useful to you. Don’t ever escape from it. Instead, learn from it. Embrace it. You’ll grow and discover that inner peace resides in acceptance.
  • The present moment. Like Dostoevsky, take reality for what it is. If you receive good news, take them. If you receive bad news, take them. If you receive no news, keep going.
  • Love. Yes, to love means you suffer. But it also means you lived. So love the animals, love the plants, love your friends. “Love everything” like Dostoevsky said.

Visual For Fyodor Dostoevsky

fyodor dostoevsky quotes visual wisdom

To think too much is a disease. Fyodor Dostoevsky

Further Readings

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Author Bio

maxime lagace

Maxime Lagacé started collecting quotes in 2004 after he lost his girlfriend in a car accident.

In search of meaning, he dived in the self-improvement world, psychology and trail running.

Books, blogs, quotes and nature became his guide.

He started journaling, reflecting, writing his thoughts, feelings and quotes.

His goal was to understand his pain, his depression, his fears, his lack of motivation and inspiration.

He finished his software engineering degree in 2007 at the École de Technologie Supérieure de Montréal.

A few years later, he started his first website to share his love of quotes.

Maxime is a father of two, husband, and INFJ.

Other notable interests of Maxime are health (mental and physical), meditation, bananas, SEO, human potential, and education.

You can find him on X, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, LinkedIn, YouTube.

Last update

February 21, 2024

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