17 July 2015

The Brothers Karamazov Quotes

The following are selected quotes from The Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoyevsky.

- "Fyodor Pavolovitch was drunk when he heard of his wife's death, and the story is that he ran out into the street and began shouting with joy, raising his hands to Heaven: "Lord, now lettest Thou Thy servant depart in peace," but others say he wept without restraint like a little child, so much so that people were sorry for him, in spite of the revulsion he inspired. It is quite possible that both versions were true, that he rejoiced at his release, and at the same time wept for her who released him. As a general rule, people, even the wicked, are much more naive and simple-hearted than we suppose. And we ourselves are, too." (5)

- "In his childhood and youth he was by no means expansive, and talked little indeed, but not from shyness or a sullen insociability; quite the contrary, from something different, from a sort of inner preoccupation entirely personal and unconcerned with other people, but so important to him that he seemed, as it were, to forget others on account of it." (14)

- "It is not miracles that dispose realists to belief. The genuine realist, if he is an unbeliever, will always find strength and ability to disbelieve in the miraculous, and if he is confronted with a miracle as an irrefutable fact he would rather disbelieve his own senses than admit the fact. Even if he admits it, he admits it as a fact of nature till then unrecognized by him. Faith does not, in the realist, spring from the miracle but the miracle from faith." (20)

- "'It's just the same story as a doctor once told me,' observed the elder. 'He was a young man getting on in years, and undoubtedly clever. He spoke as frankly as you, though in jest, in bitter jest. 'I love humanity,' he said, 'but I wonder at myself. The more I love humanity in general, the less I love man in particular.'" (49)

- "I am sorry I can say nothing more consoling to you, for love in action is a harsh and dreadful thing compared with love in dreams. Love in dreams is greedy for immediate action, rapidly performed and in the sight of all. Men will even give their lives if only the ordeal does not last long but is soon over, with all looking on and applauding as though on stage. But active love is labor and fortitude, and for some people too, perhaps, a complete science. But I predict that just when you see with horror that in spite of all your efforts you are getting further from your goal instead of nearer to it - at that very moment I predict you will reach it and behold clearly the miraculous power of the Lord who has been all the time loving and mysteriously guiding you," (50)

- "I understand too well, Ivan. One long to love with one's inside, with one's stomach. You said that so well and I am awfully glad that you have such a longing for life,' cried Alyosha. 'I think everyone should love life above everything in the world.'
'Love life more than the meaning of it?'
' Certainly, love it, regardless of logic as you say, it must be regardless of logic, and it's only then one will understand the meaning of it. I have thought so a long time. Half your work is done, Ivan, you love life, now you've only to try to do the second half and you are saved.'" (213)

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