Quotes about Fyodor Dostoyevsky
13 Sourced Quotes
The slight, the facile and the merely self-glorifying tend to drop away over the centuries, and what we are left with is the bedrock: Homer and Milton, the Greek tragedian and Shakespeare, Chaucer and Cervantes and Swift, Dostoyevsky and Tolstoy and James and Conrad. Time does not make their voices fainter, on the contrary, it reinforces our sense of their truth-telling capacity.
Interest in and patience with long, complex books and poems have alarmingly diminished not only among college students but college faculty in the US. It is difficult to imagine American students today, even at elite universities, gathering impromptu at midnight for a passionate discussion of big, challenging literary works like Dostoyevsky's The Brothers Karamazov — a scene I witnessed in a recreation room strewn with rock albums at my college dormitory in upstate New York in 1965.
People think I'm crazy to put myself through such torture, though I would argue otherwise. Somewhere along the line we seem to have confused comfort with happiness. Dostoyevsky had it right: 'Suffering is the sole origin of consciousness.' Never are my senses more engaged than when the pain sets in. There is a magic in misery. Just ask any runner.
Writers ever since writing began have had problems, and the main problem narrows down to just one word — life. Certainly this might be an age of so-called faithlessness and despair we live in, but the new writers haven't cornered any market on faithlessness and despair, any more than Dostoyevsky or Marlowe or Sophocles did.
Let's say there's a molecule that produces a religious experience... a natural molecule that the body produces whose function it is to produce religious experiences, at least on occasion?... So let's call it "theophorin"... What could the selective advantage of theophorin be?... to suit us for the quest that was, according to Dostoyevsky, to strive for nothing so incessantly and so painfully as to find someone to worship and obey.
You read something which you thought only happened to you, and you discover that it happened 100 years ago to Dostoyevsky. This is a very great liberation for the suffering, struggling person, who always thinks that he is alone. This is why art is important. Art would not be important if life were not important, and life is important.
Dostoyevsky wrote of the unconscious as if it were conscious; that is in reality the reason why his characters seem 'pathological', while they are only visualized more clearly than any other figures in imaginative literature... He was in the rank in which we set Dante, Shakespeare and Goethe.