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Authors: The Brothers Karamazov Quotes, The Brothers Karamazov Important Quotes, Quotations, Sayings from the novel by Fyodor Dostoevsky
Related Quotes:  Crime and Punishment  Fyodor Dostoevsky
In most cases, people, even the most vicious, are much more naive and simple-minded than we assume them to be. And this is true of ourselves too.
The Brothers Karamazov
Book I - The History of a Family, Chapter 1 - Fyodor Pavlovitch Karamazov.
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. When he has no respect for anyone, he can no longer love, and in him, he yields to his impulses, indulges in the lowest form of pleasure, and behaves in the end like an animal in satisfying his vices. And it all comes from lying--to others and to yourself.
The Brothers Karamazov
Zosima to Fyodor Pavlovich, Book II - An Unfortunate Gathering, Chapter 2 - The Old Buffoon.
The more I detest men individually the more ardent becomes my love for humanity.
The Brothers Karamazov
Lisa's mother Madame Kholakhov , Book II - An Unfortunate Gathering, Chapter 4 - A Lady of Little Faith.
If you were to destroy in mankind the belief in immortality, not only love but every living force maintaining the life of the world would at once be dried up. Moreover, nothing then would be immoral; everything would be lawful, even cannibalism.
The Brothers Karamazov
Miusov relates the beliefs of Ivan, Book II - An Unfortunate Gathering, Chapter 6 - Why Is Such a Man Alive?
I'm a Karamazov... when I fall into the abyss, I go straight into it, head down and heels up, and I'm even pleased that I'm falling in such a humiliating position, and for me I find it beautiful. And so in that very shame I suddenly begin a hymn. Let me be cursed, let me be base and vile, but let me also kiss the hem of that garment in which my God is clothed; let me be following the devil at the same time, but still I am also your son, Lord, and I love you, and I feel a joy without which the world cannot stand and be.
The Brothers Karamazov
Dmitri (Mitya) to Alyosha, saying he has fallen in love with a "low woman", Grushenka, Book III - The Sensualists, Chapter 3 - The Confession of a Passionate Heart.
To be in love is not the same as loving. You can be in love with a woman and still hate her.
The Brothers Karamazov
Dmitri (Mitya) to Alyosha, Book III - The Sensualists, Chapter 3 - The Confession of a Passionate Heart.
Beauty is mysterious as well as terrible. God and devil are fighting there and the battlefield is the heart of man.
The Brothers Karamazov
Dmitri (Mitya) to Alyosha, Book III - The Sensualists, Chapter 3 - The Confession of a Passionate Heart.
Viper will eat viper, and it would serve them both right!
The Brothers Karamazov
Dmitri comments about his brother and father, Book III - The Sensualists, Chapter 9 - The Sensualists.
For even those who have renounced Christianity and attack it, in their inmost being still follow the Christian ideal, for hitherto neither their subtlety nor the ardor of their hearts has been able to create a higher ideal of man and of virtue than the ideal given by Christ.
The Brothers Karamazov
Father Paissy to Alyosha, Book IV - Lacerations, Chapter 1 - Father Ferapont.
I've been sitting here thinking to myself: that if I didn't believe in life, if I lost faith in the woman I love, lost faith in the order of things, were convinced, in fact, that everything is a disorderly, damnable, and perhaps devil-riden chaos, if I were struck by every horror of man's disillusionment - still I should want to live and, having once tasted of the cup, I would not turn away from it till I had drained it!
The Brothers Karamazov
Ivan to Alyosha, Book V - Pro and Contra, Chapter 3 - The Brothers Make Friends.
There was an old sinner in the eighteenth century who declared that, if there was no God, he would have to be invented. S'il n'existait pas Dieu, il faudrait l'inventer. And man has actually invented God. And what's strange, what would be marvelous, is not that God should really exist; the marvel is that such an idea, the idea of the necessity of God, could enter the head of such a savage, vicious beast as man. So holy it is, so touching, so wise and so great a credit it does to man. As for me, I've long resolved not to think whether man created God or God man.
The Brothers Karamazov
Ivan to Alyosha, Book V - Pro and Contra, Chapter 3 - The Brothers Make Friends.
It's not that I don't accept God, you must understand; it's the world created by Him I don't and cannot accept.
The Brothers Karamazov
Ivan to Alyosha, Book V - Pro and Contra, Chapter 3 - The Brothers Make Friends.
The stupider one is, the closer one is to reality. The stupider one is, the clearer one is. Stupidity is brief and artless, while intelligence wriggles and hides itself. Intelligence is a knave, but stupidity is honest and straightforward.
The Brothers Karamazov
Ivan to Alyosha, Book V - Pro and Contra, Chapter 3 - The Brothers Make Friends.
People talk sometimes of a bestial cruelty, but that's a great injustice and insult to the beasts; a beast can never be so cruel as a man, so artistically cruel. The tiger only tears and gnaws, that's all he can do. He would never think of nailing people by the ears, even if he were able to do it.
The Brothers Karamazov
Ivan to Alyosha, Book V - Pro and Contra, Chapter 4 - Rebellion.
I think if the devil doesn't exist, but man has created him, he has created him in his own image and likeness.
The Brothers Karamazov
Ivan to Alyosha, Book V - Pro and Contra, Chapter 4 - Rebellion.
Why, the whole world of knowledge is not worth that child's prayer to 'dear, kind God'! I say nothing of the sufferings of grown-up people, they have eaten the apple, damn them, and the devil take them all! But these little ones!
The Brothers Karamazov
Ivan to Alyosha, on the suffering and torture of children, Book V - Pro and Contra, Chapter 4 - Rebellion.
Listen! if everyone must suffer, in order to buy eternal harmony with their suffering, pray tell me what have children got to do with it? It's quite incomprehensible why they should have to suffer, and why they should buy harmony with their suffering.
The Brothers Karamazov
Ivan to Alyosha, Book V - Pro and Contra, Chapter 4 - Rebellion.
"Is there in the whole world a being who would have the right to forgive and could forgive? I don't want harmony. From love for humanity I don't want it. I would rather be left with the unavenged suffering. I would rather remain with my unavenged suffering and unsatisfied indignation, even if I were wrong. Besides, too high a price is asked for harmony; it's beyond our means to pay so much to enter on it. And so I hasten to give back my entrance ticket, and if I am an honest man I am bound to give it back as soon as possible. And that I am doing. It's not God that I don't accept, Alyosha, only I most respectfully return him the ticket."
"That's rebellion," murmered Alyosha, looking down.
The Brothers Karamazov
Ivan and Alyosha, Book V - Pro and Contra, Chapter 4 - Rebellion.
"Imagine that you are creating a fabric of human destiny with the object of making men happy in the end, giving them peace and rest at last, but that it was essential and inevitable to torture to death only one tiny creature - that baby beating its breast with its fist, for instance - and to found that edifice on its unavenged tears: would you consent to be the architect on those conditions? Tell me, and tell me the truth!"
"No, I wouldn't consent," said Alyosha softly.
The Brothers Karamazov
Ivan to Alyosha, Book V - Pro and Contra, Chapter 4 - Rebellion.
So long as man remains free he strives for nothing so incessantly and so painfully as to find someone to worship.
The Brothers Karamazov
Ivan to Alyosha, Book V - Pro and Contra, Chapter 5 - The Grand Inquisitor.
All is lawful.
The Brothers Karamazov
Ivan to Alyosha, Book V - Pro and Contra, Chapter 5 - The Grant Inquisitor.
It's the great mystery of human life that old grief passes gradually into quiet tender joy.
The Brothers Karamazov
Zosima, Book VI - The Russian Monk, Chapter 1 - Father Zosima and His Visitors.
Very different is the monastic way. Obedience, fasting, and prayer are laughed at, yet they alone constitute the way to real and true freedom: I cut away my superfluous and unnecessary needs, through obedience I humble and chasten my vain and proud will, and thereby, with God's help, attain freedom of spirit, and with that, spiritual rejoicing!
The Brothers Karamazov
Book VI - The Russian Monk, Chapter 3 - Conversations and Exhortations of Father Zosima.
There is only one salvation for you: take yourself up, and make yourself responsible for all the sins of men. For indeed it is so, my friend, and the moment you make yourself sincerely responsible for everything and everyone, you will see at once that it is really so, that it is you who are guilty on behalf of all and for all. Whereas by shifting your own laziness and powerlessness onto others, you will end by sharing in Satan's pride and murmuring against God.
The Brothers Karamazov
Book VI - The Russian Monk, Chapter 3 - Conversations and Exhortations of Father Zosima.
There is only one salvation for you: take yourself up, and make yourself responsible for all the sins of men. For indeed it is so, my friend, and the moment you make yourself sincerely responsible for everything and everyone, you will see at once that it is really so, that it is you who are guilty on behalf of all and for all. Whereas by shifting your own laziness and powerlessness onto others, you will end by sharing in Satan's pride and murmuring against God.
The Brothers Karamazov
Book VI - The Russian Monk, Chapter 3 - Conversations and Exhortations of Father Zosima.
Men reject their prophets and slay them, but they love their martyrs and honor those they have slain.
The Brothers Karamazov
Book VI - The Russian Monk, Chapter 3 - Conversations and Exhortations of Father Zosima.
What is hell? I maintain that it is the suffering of being unable to love.
The Brothers Karamazov
Book VI - The Russian Monk, Chapter 3 - Conversations and Exhortations of Father Zosima.
I may be wicked, but still I gave an onion.
The Brothers Karamazov
Brushenka tells Rakitkin and Alyosha the fable of the onion, Book VII - Alyosha, Chapter 3 - The Onion.
Even there, in the mines, underground, I may find a human heart in another convict and murderer by my side, and I may make friends with him, for even there one may live and love and suffer. One may thaw and revive a frozen heart in that convict, one may wait upon him for years, and at last bring up from the dark depths a lofty soul, a feeling, suffering creature; one may bring forth an angel, create a hero! There are so many of them, hundreds of them, and we are to blame for them.
The Brothers Karamazov
Mitya (Dmitri) to Aloysha who visits him in prison, Book XI - Ivan, Chapter 4 - A Hymn and a Secret.
If they drive God from the earth, we shall shelter Him underground.
The Brothers Karamazov
Mitya (Dmitri) to Aloysha who visits him in prison, Book XI - Ivan, Chapter 4 - A Hymn and a Secret.
Everything is permitted.
The Brothers Karamazov
Smerdyakov quotes Ivan's words back to him, Book XI - Ivan, Chapter 8 - The Second Visit to Smerdyakov.
But hesitation, anxiety, the struggle between belief and disbelief—all that is sometimes such a torment for a conscientious man like yourself, that it's better to hang oneself. . . . I'm leading you alternately between belief and disbelief, and I have my own purpose in doing so. A new method, sir: when you've completely lost faith in me, then you'll immediately start convincing me to my face that I am not a dream but a reality—I know you know; and then my goal will be achieved. And it is a noble goal. I will sow a just a tiny seed of faith in you, and from it an oak will grow—and such an oak that you, sitting in that oak, will want to join 'the desert fathers and the blameless women'; because secretly you want that ver-ry, ver-ry much.
The Brothers Karamazov
Taunt delivered by the devil that visits Ivan, Book XI - Ivan, Chapter 9 - The Third, and Final, Visit to Smerdyakov.
Psychology lures even most serious people into romancing, and quite unconsciously.
The Brothers Karamazov
Fetyukovich, the defense lawyer for Dmitri, Book XII - A Judicial Error, Chapter 10 - The Speech for the Defense An Argument that Cuts Both Ways.
I know that heart, it is a wild but noble heart . . . It will bow down before your deed, it thirsts for a great act of love, it will catch fire and resurrect forever. There are souls that in their narrowness blame the whole world. But overwhelm such a soul with mercy, give it love, and it will curse what it has done, for there are so many germs of good in it. The soul will expand and behold how merciful God is, and how beautiful and just people are. He will be horrified, he will be overwhelmed with repentance and the countless debt he must henceforth repay. And then he will not say, 'I am quits,' but will say, 'I am guilty before all people and am the least worthy of all people.'
The Brothers Karamazov
Fetyukovich, the defense lawyer, tells the jury they should acquit Dmitri even if they think he is guilty, Book XII - A Judicial Error, Chapter 13 - An Adulterer of Thought.
You must know that there is nothing higher, or stronger, or sounder, or more useful afterwards in life, than some good memory, especially a memory from childhood, from the parental home.
The Brothers Karamazov
Alyosha, Epilogue, Chapter 3 - Ilyushechka's Funeral, The Speech at the Stone.
The Brothers Karamazov is a 1880 philosophical novel by Russian author Fyodor Dostoevsky that debates the existence of God, the role of religion in modern societies, and the result of class differences on the individual. At its heart is a murder mystery surrounding the killing of Fyodor Karamazov, and the role of his sons in the crime. It is considered one of the greatest novels in world literature. Dostoevsky was born on November 11, 1821, and died on February 9, 1881.


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